Jump to content

CNA's Union-Busting in Ohio-An Open Letter

Posted

You are reading page 3 of CNA's Union-Busting in Ohio-An Open Letter. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

by LindaKirby LindaKirby (New) New

No and I never claimed to be. The origional post by RN Power Ohio seems ti infer that the author was part of the RN's employed by the hsopitals in question.

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I didn't get that impression on reading the letter.

RN Power Ohio

Specializes in Med/Surg/Tele, Hem/Onc, BMT. Has 15 years experience.

"An article written by a nurse and long time activist. "

From my post. I do not see how this infers that the nurse was working at a CHP hosptial.

i think we should check the facts before accepting the claim that seiu is a weak company union. one of the local papers in ohio ran an editorial yesterday about cna's busting up of these elections, and they dismiss this claim outright saying seiu's behavior in springfield shows it to be "distinctly unpoodle-like." check it out on this site:

[color=#003399]http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/o/content/oh/story/opinions/editorial/2008/03/13/sns031308editunion_r.html

i keep looking online for evidence that cna would be a stronger union for these nurses in ohio, and i must confess seiu looks infinitely better for ohio nurses than cna. as far as i can tell, cna doesn't represent any union rns in ohio or nurses who work for this company. with no members under contract, how can they have the political power to deliver on their promises of ratios? with no members in these markets or in this company, how can they negotiate superior contracts?

also, this whole argument that cna is stronger relies on the premise that these nurses were making a choice between cna. there choice was seiu or no union, despite what i understand cna to have said that "no=cna." they have no union at all right now, so cna's supposed strength has left these nurses in a much weaker position than if they would have voted yes to be seiu.

SEIU has not done a thing for health care workers in WI, they got a really bad reputation in this state. Maybe they need to prove that they are there for the worker,then they can regain some of their status as a union for the worker.

http://theunionnews.blogspot.com/2008/03/seiu-shocked-by-decert-epidemic.html

3/9/08

SEIU shocked by decert epidemic

laborstate.pngseiu.pngLeaders of a movement that has tentatively ousted the Service Employees International Union from a nursing home downtown say the union was unresponsive and unavailable too often. "[sEIU] didn't do anything for us except collect union dues," said Mary Foor, cook supervisor at the Altoona (PA) Center for Nursing Care.

Foor and others presented owner Grane Healthcare with a petition signed by 70 of the 120 bargaining-unit workers, renouncing SEIU representation at the expiration of its contract, they said. The company immediately withdrew its recognition of the union, which has appealed to the National Labor Relations Board in hopes an investigation will show the petition doesn’t represent a majority.

It was hard for workers to get an answer on almost any question they asked the union, including what it was doing with money from fundraisers, cook supervisor Debbie Hartman, housekeeper Woody Patterson and Foor said.

"No one ever gets back to anybody," Patterson said.

"An article written by a nurse and long time activist. "

From my post. I do not see how this infers that the nurse was working at a CHP hosptial.

Pardon me but the title

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN OHIO REGARDING CATHOLIC HEALTH PARTNERS, SEIU, AND NATIONAL NURSES ORGANIZING COMMITTEE/CALIFORNIA NURSES ORGANIZATION

by a Registered Nurse Who Was There

gives that impression. And why not include that the author's job is as a major NNOC organizer in Ohio. I think that bit of info is very important.

My interest is in learning the facts of the situation, not in hearing more propaganda from one side or the other. Unfortunately I have yet to see a factual, unbiased report on the situation. I will continue to search though.

lizzyj

Specializes in community health. Has 25 years experience.

"So-called neutrality agreements occur under the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act. The CNA has had many elections under the same provisions for neutrality.

Neutrality agreements are not the issue..yes NNOC/CNA has won neutriality agreements and subsequent elcetions but the BIG DIFFERENCE was that the agreeement included a requirement that 30% of the the RNs being organized had to sign authorization cards stating they wanted NNOC/CNA represenation before filing for an election and before having the rights to go inside and speak with the nurses.

...and in most cases an NNOC/CNA didn't file forthe election un til over 50% signed.

How many RN signed cards in Ohio? an d why wasn't that a require,ent before going fdorward with an election? It's called democracy.

jsrRN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 10 years experience.

Give me a break! If SEIU had been organizing in Ohio for 3 years, how could CNA/NNOC derail the process in a week's time? This is proof that there was no support from RNs in those facilities. SEIU and teh hospitals were banking on the fact that teh election would be over before most RNs even got word that it was hgappening.

From where I sit this is simple. SEIU cut a deal with an employer (What they do best!). They whispered sweet promises into the ears of executives...."we promise not to strike, we'll keep your "girls" in line, we'll keep real unions out, we won't fight back if you want to restructure or down-size, we won't let RNs speak out about unsafe conditions..."

Think about it: what kind of anti-RN, anti-patient promises would you have to make for a hospital to be railroading RNs INTO a union?! The employer filed the election petition!

RNrecoveringfromSEIU wrote:

"Think about it: what kind of anti-RN, anti-patient promises would you have to make for a hospital to be railroading RNs INTO a union?! The employer filed the election petition!"

And there's the real key point: When CNA organizes a hospital, the bosses fight tooth and nail against it, because they know it means an effective union with a core focus on patient advocacy and RN power. My hospital was organized in 2000 and our employer spent over 2 million on the fight against it. When an employer is happy to have a union, you can bet that a pretty dirty deal has been cut. When CNA/NNOC wins an organizing agreement, it is usually because we've developed enough bargaining power within a chain to force it. And as mentioned above, it still requires us to win the support of a substantial number of nurses.

SEIU has a habit of making these kinds of deals: They've made deals that promised no strikes, deals that promised no grievances, deals that promised to support the employer's legislative agenda, etc. Andy Stern seems bent on becoming the Bosses' favorite "union leader".

When I was a member of SEIU/1199W in Wisconsin, I was asked to help organize RNs in non-union hospitals. I was apalled at the attitude of the SEIU staff.

In the "organizing training" I was told never to use the words "power, struggle, union, fight, or employer" when talking to my felow RNs. Instead we should say, "voice, dialogue, partnership, place at the table, and hospital administration". We were told that you can't make the hospitals focus on patient care, so the best you could hope for was a partnership or "place at the table". What an underestimation of RN power!

Rather than have a real conversation with RNs about solidarity, advocacy and collective power, we were supposed to "dumb it down" so RNs wouldn't "get scared away".

Well SEIU, it was your parternalistic attitude, and dismissal of RNs as a "women's profession" that "scared me away" from SEIU!

Hello! RNs are the heart of health care. Hospitals can't exist without RNs. We're the last line of defense for our patients. When our hospitals endanger patients, we have the obligation to collectively advocate for our patients. Partnering with hospital chains as they hurt our patients is not an option.

There's something to be said for a union that represents only RNs. It seems like NNOC speaks to my experience. If there was a CNA/NNOC hospital in WI, I'd take a job there in a second!

Jan from WI, Thankyou!! I also had a similar experience with the SEIU 1199 in WI.I found the organizers lazy and unmotivated.

http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:CK34dR1vMJ0J:www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php%3Fstory%3D20060703002725189+seiu+1199+worthless&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us

When The Union Is The Boss

Monday, July 03 2006 @ 12:27 AM PDT

Contributed by: Rangzen

Views: 1,970 Late in the summer of 2005, as I geared up for my post-college graduation job search, a group of labor unions broke away from the AFL-CIO to form the Change to Win Federation. While media commentary generally portrayed the split as detrimental to working-class interests -- as if commentators actually cared about such matters -- I instead saw flashes of hope and a renewed commitment to reinvigorating a fading labor movement.

When the Union Is the Boss

by Kevin Funk, MR Zine

I. Meeting North America's "Fastest-Growing Union"

Late in the summer of 2005, as I geared up for my post-college graduation job search, a group of labor unions broke away from the AFL-CIO to form the Change to Win Federation. While media commentary generally portrayed the split as detrimental to working-class interests -- as if commentators actually cared about such matters -- I instead saw flashes of hope and a renewed commitment to reinvigorating a fading labor movement.

Wanting my place on the ground floor of this struggle, I applied for a job as a union organizer with Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a founding member of the Federation and a union with a reputation for leading the charge to organize low-wage workers. Idealism in hand, I happily accepted an offer from District 1199WV/KY/OH, whose expansive region covers the states of Ohio and West Virginia, as well as parts of Kentucky.

On my first day of work, a typically crisp fall day in September, I entered an SEIU District that triumphantly wore a badge of success. Covering mostly low-wage health care workers, 1199 professes to have one of the fastest growth rates of union membership within SEIU, which itself claims the title of the country's "fastest-growing union." [*1]

Fellow organizers and higher-ups within the union alike, displaying a striking unity of message that would later give me pause, frequently bandied about the idea that it was the most hardcore SEIU District; "while organizers at other locals around the country have off every weekend," an organizer or leader would commonly say, "WE only have off every other weekend."

And if the spirit of hard work and devotion was present in union employee attitudes, it also manifested itself in the battles that 1199 was choosing to fight. With grand hopes of becoming a powerhouse in Ohio state politics and rapidly approaching November elections, 1199 was employing several dozen organizers statewide to work in support of mayoral candidates in Cincinnati, Toledo, and Youngstown, and was also the major player behind a ballot initiative in Springfield.

It was this ballot initiative that most dominated 1199's agenda. Faced with the dilemma of how to grow exponentially as a union at a time when most organizing was being done by conducting long, slow, and expensive piecemeal, hospital-by-hospital campaigns, 1199 set its sights on what it saw as the bigger picture, and one with a potential payout to be won in a few fell swoops: passing ballot initiatives to establish "Hospital Accountability Commissions" in cities throughout Ohio in order to prohibit the state's largest health system, Catholic Healthcare Partners, from interfering in future statewide organizing efforts.

District 1199 was, indeed, talking the progressive talk -- not only in its expressed desire to unionize systemically-underpaid healthcare employees throughout Ohio, but also in its aim to establish a regulatory mechanism for a hospital system that receives sizable taxpayer subsidies and nevertheless mercilessly sues countless patients who are unable to pay for overpriced services.

On the surface, then, 1199 was striking the pose of a forward-thinking, progressive-to-the-bone organization, one firmly entrenched on the front line of a battle for working-class survival against modern-day robber barons.

Yet while this initial impression retains kernels of truth, I also began to discover a different union reality from inside, one characterized by an often subtle yet convoluted net of deceit, fear-mongering, incompetence, and, in fact, union-busting.

II. Deceiving the Public for Its Own Good

Perhaps my first encounter with 1199's seedy underbelly occurred when former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards was to speak in Springfield to rally "Yes" votes for the then-upcoming referendum on the SEIU-backed Hospital Accountability Commission.

Officials in 1199 hoped for (and later claimed to have attracted) a crowd of 1,000 for the event, seeing the presence of a major politician in a minor market during a non-presidential election year as a means to create a stir in the normally sleepy Rust Belt city of 65,000.

As I soon found out, however, there was a disquieting number of outsiders doing the stirring.

In the course of my duties in guiding attendees from a downtown parking lot to the nearby rally site, I watched as bus after out-of-town SEIU bus poured its riders into the lot adjacent to a Springfield library for their attendance at the rally. The end result of this transfer was that perhaps half of the crowd consisted of either 1199 employees like me -- almost all drawn from a college campus instead of the rank-n-file -- or representatives from workplaces organized under 1199, who were bussed into Springfield from a meeting in nearby Columbus. Thus, what 1199 leadership spun as a strong display of organic community support masked the fact that half of those in attendance were not even from Springfield.

To attempt to conceal this from the press -- a ballsy move given the lengthy row of out-of-town busses parked conspicuously only a few blocks from the rally location -- 1199 higher-ups instructed staffers and representatives to simply ignore the media or to say that we were indeed from Springfield, when in fact some had never even set foot there prior to that afternoon.

Yet this was merely one -- and amongst the more benign -- of the instances in which 1199, under the auspices of the Springfield Fair Care Coalition, either deceived or concealed motives from the same people whom the union was supposedly seeking to help [*2] -- the net result of which created a significant, and fatal, backlash.

The Coalition, backed and dominated by SEIU, was selling the idea of a Hospital Accountability Commission to the people of Springfield primarily as a means to assure that Catholic Healthcare Partners, which operates both of the hospitals in Springfield, would be held responsible to community standards in light of the large tax breaks the company receives. Feeding on popular discontent with the hospitals' liberal policy of suing patient debtors, as well as a recent and controversial decision to merge the two hospitals into a downtown location, the Coalition sought to portray itself as an altruistic community group whose sole goal was to ensure that the hospitals did their job and served the needs of the people of Springfield, especially those of the poor and working class.

This was the message pumped into the city by advertising campaigns, billboards, mailings, and, most importantly, by 1199 organizers such as myself, who were in constant contact with any reachable resident of Springfield through repeated rounds of phone calls and house visits.

Yet in the course of spreading this message to the people of Springfield, union leadership directly ordered us to misrepresent our positions and refer to ourselves as "volunteers with the Springfield Fair Care Coalition." There was nothing "voluntary" about it -- it was both a mandatory part of the job and a task for which SEIU was compensating us as normal. Not "volunteering" for the Coalition would have earned me, or anyone else, a one-way ticket to the unemployment lines.

The obfuscation of SEIU's role in the campaign, however, extended far beyond how we introduced ourselves at people's front doors. Rarely in any facet of this communications deluge was the union mentioned, rarer still was the ultimate goal of the entire campaign: the unionization of hospital employees.

When it did become common knowledge that this was the goal of the Coalition, many Springfield residents rightfully felt deceived. As I heard several times during house visits, many people were not opposed to unionization per se (though some indeed were), but they were clearly incensed at being subjected to a campaign fed to them on slogans of "accountability," while the Coalition was obscuring from them its ultimate purpose. [*3]

On November 7, 2005, Springfield voters rejected the establishment of a Hospital Accountability Commission. [*4]

While extrapolating specific causal factors in this defeat is indeed a Herculean task, the eventual recognition by many Springfield residents of the fact that SEIU was pursuing a hidden agenda surely played a significant role, as did the oft-expressed perception that the constancy of SEIU mailings, house visits, and phone calls bordered on harassment.

Whether this loss can be attributed to mere tactical errors or 1199's sheer arrogance, the end result is the same: the people of Springfield are still suffering at the hands of an inhuman, corporate health care machine. Yet either cause for this botched opportunity begs for profound soul-searching amongst 1199 decision-makers.

III. Hierarchy Is Okay in the Name of Your Preferred Social Class

While the people of Springfield were preparing to vote on a matter whose core purpose the Springfield Fair Care Coalition was carefully shielding from the public eye, elements within 1199 were submitting its very own organizers, such as myself, to an even more sustained propaganda campaign.

Before being hired, I had wondered if 1199 staffers were organized in any form into their own union. After all, it struck me as the height of common sense that we, who were cashing paychecks supposedly in the service of empowering workers to have a greater voice in their own places of employment, would have the very same rights for ourselves.

I was wrong.

Not only was there a complete lack of representation for 1199 employees, but even broaching the idea in public was a ground for castigation from the leadership and stern glances of disapproval from the well-oiled de facto politburo, composed of organizers who were around long enough to become veterans by proving sufficiently loyal in toeing the "company line" in instances such as these.

One organizer, a recently-hired African-American male who at a staff meeting raised questions about 1199's lack of both a union and an outlet for diversity-related issues, was thereafter reassigned to Akron for a solo project. A more senior organizer unsympathetically described it as a "bad sign" for the relocated organizer to be forced into working alone so soon after being hired, a "bad sign" in this case being a euphemism for "a way to shut him up."

At the height of its display of arbitrary power, 1199 leadership called nearly all of us organizers, who were going door-to-door to speak to registered voters in Springfield, to an emergency meeting 45 minutes away at District headquarters in Columbus. Having been given no prior indication as to the content of the meeting, the other organizers and I arrived at the meeting, only to be subjected to a nearly hour-long tongue-lashing by the union leadership for a supposed lack of discipline in the midst of a major campaign season. Despite our 70-hour work weeks, as well as our having worked, at times. more than two weeks without a single day or weekend off, the union bosses castigated us for not being sufficiently focused on winning the upcoming round of elections.

One staffer commented in the course of the meeting that workers represented by the union were being paid poverty wages "to wipe people's asses for a living" -- the comment made to make any criticism of union policy seem like a whining of spoiled bourgeois children. If you are unwilling to submit entirely to 1199 dogma and march in lockstep with company dictates, you are not dedicated to the working class.

At the core of those dictates was the idea that 1199 employees should not be unionized, justified by the argument that their boss is not their class enemy like in a normal place of employment, but instead is technically the workers whose wages allow the union to function. Thus, union employees can make no claim to having distinct interests from leadership, as they are all united in a common front under the power of the workers. Therefore, the idea of a union for union employees was, in this view, at best a distraction from the real task of organizing workers, at worst a ploy by slacking, reactionary, and uncommitted organizers to find a way to work shorter hours for higher pay.

As it played itself out in real-life scenarios, this belief turned into the basis for a comical yet tragic informal system designed to extract unrelenting loyalty from the organizers.

One organizer, upon replying with a "boo" to management's decree that we would be losing an expected and rare weekend break, found himself pulled out of the group to be scolded by more senior organizers.

More systematically, senior organizers would broach the topic of having a union with newer employees, trying to both gain information as to the stance of the individuals in question, as well as to plant within them the idea that forming a union would be detrimental to the very same workers that the union was supposedly trying to help. Those deemed "trouble-makers," if not inspired to leave by the cultish tint of it all, were left to contend with a mind-numbing workweek and unsympathetic management.

It is excruciating enough, after all, to spend nearly all waking hours in a windowless basement making the same 30 second phone call over and over again to Springfield voters in the course of conducting surveys, even more so to have one's loyalty directly questioned at every turn by management and sycophantic co-workers alike. [*5]

It is in this way that the system perpetuates itself. Members of the unruly mob, unwilling to tolerate witch-hunts and being treated like schoolchildren, move to greener pastures; left behind is an ever-increasing sect of idealistic youth turned into automatons.

One might find it difficult to imagine how the workers represented by SEIU benefit from this arrangement.

IV. A Call for a Democratic Labor Movement

It is, indeed, a serious act of both hubris and hypocrisy to publicly espouse a commitment to "workers' power" while denying it to the union's very own employees. A simple application of principle, after all, would hold that the employees of a union should be represented within their own union. While its opponents in the SEIU power structure paint such an effort as a mere ploy by lazy, uncommitted employees interested in nothing more than fattening their pockets -- eerily similar to how bosses whom we supposedly oppose intimidate their employees -- it is instead an effort to gain desperately needed worker representation in decision-making, in matters financial and otherwise, and to ensure that workers have an avenue for the resolution of grievances.

Denying the universality of such a principle -- that workers deserve representation no matter for whom they work and indeed possess the competence to manage their own affairs -- not only defies any possible conception of common sense, but surely condemns the labor movement to be built on nothing but flimsy propaganda slogans to be tossed around for external purposes yet callously discarded for internal matters.

Yet the conservative nature of the labor hierarchy in general stands directly in the way of these democratic reforms. In the course of brief attempts by me and a few other organizers to explore the possibility of an outside union organizing 1199 employees, we were turned down by even the most "progressive" outfits, generally for the mere fear of "damaging relations" with SEIU at the national level.[*6] Any pretense of caring about principle was thus crudely cast aside so as not to upset camaraderie within the ranks of the labor oligarchy.

It is an oligarchy which has often been guilty of undermining the vitality (and, indeed, numerical strength) of organized labor as a whole, its conservatism in tactical considerations and unrepresentative structure a clear hindrance to true union democracy and sound decision-making.[*7] From frequent collaboration with management at the expense of workers in the United States, to support for anti-democratic forces in Latin America and the Caribbean through the Solidarity Center, labor movement leaders have done little to justify their usurpation of power from those to whom it rightfully belongs: the workers themselves.

The formation of a true "Change to Win" would require recognition of this fact and an obligatory dismantling of the structures that allow a select few to rule from above. Then, and only then, could a true labor movement thrive, free from reactionary, power-hungry, and anti-democratic leadership, free to be true community representatives and struggle for the rights of workers everywhere.

HobbesRN

Specializes in Emergency room. Has 36 years experience.

As an RN from OH, employed by CHP and an active member of SEIU, I have a unique perspective on the events of the past few days. I find the UNINVITED actions of the CNA and NNOC appalling and unprofessional. Their behavior has deprived not only 3,000 RN's of representation and a voice at the table, but they've also deprived 5,000 non-RN employees of the ability to have a voice in their own working conditions. I lived and worked through our own efforts to organize. CHP has been abjectly anti-union. While we were organizing, they spent thousands on 'union busters', pulled employees into mandatory meetings to use scare tactics to discourage organization and were found guilty of dozens of ULP's. Judging from these past behaviours, it's doubtful that CHP embraced an agreement with SEIU to allow democratic elections or 'hand-selected' SEIU as their union of choice. It's been my experience that CHP and SEIU have a very contentious relationship. SEIU has spent countless man-hours and resources investigating CHP practices and their 'non-profit' status. This agreement was the result of all that work.

I'm also a member of ONA--and, I've come to know that their allegiances do not lie with the rank and file RN's. Case in point--a pending bill before the Ohio Legislature which is a collusion between ONA and the Ohio Hospital Association. It's a weak bill that favors the hospitals--not patients or nurses.

I'm proud to be a member of SEIU. It's been my experience that they are a socially responsible organization that works to improve the working conditions of their members, thereby improving services provided to the communities served.

CNA and NNOC's actions are blatantly 'union-busting'. Since when is NO union better than ANY union?

since when is no union better than any union?

ah, the problem lies in your choice of question. why should rns have to choose between seiu acting as a company union vs. "no union" when there are unions out there that actually reject seiu's partnership nonsense and build genuine, collective rn power? in this case, the choice was limited because when the employer files for an election, no proof of support from rns is required and other unions are blocked from getting on the ballot.

fyi: feigning militance while trying to cut a partnership deal in the background is seiu's mo.

the tactic goes like this:

seiu to the employer: our campaign of negative publicity is hurting you. if you partner with us we'll campaign for you rather than against you.

employer: what else is in it for me?

seiu: unlike other unions like nnoc, we'll keep nurses quiet by signing a gag clause. we'll sign an agreement banning strikes. we'll negoatiate a contract with you now, so that you know what you're getting up front. if you get into trouble with jcaho or regulatory bodies, we'll help you wiggle out."

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003601276_seiu05m.html

a union that is actively working against the interests of patients and rns isn't a union, it's a vehicle for oppression. instead of just being locked in a cell, now you're locked up in a cell wearinga ga and handcuffs.

RN Power Ohio

Specializes in Med/Surg/Tele, Hem/Onc, BMT. Has 15 years experience.

When I was a member of SEIU/1199W in Wisconsin, I was asked to help organize RNs in non-union hospitals. I was apalled at the attitude of the SEIU staff.

In the "organizing training" I was told never to use the words "power, struggle, union, fight, or employer" when talking to my felow RNs. Instead we should say, "voice, dialogue, partnership, place at the table, and hospital administration".

Did they tell you to stalk nurses who were speaking out- follow them into grocery stores, make such a scene that you get kicked out of your hotel, blow cigar smoke in nurses faces, curse at them and make a scene?

This is what the SEIU did in this campaign.

When an NNOC nurse got arrested for using her voice to expose a sham the hospital provided proof "that NNOC was a menace"- the proof???

PICTURES OF SEIU ORGANIZERS!!

HobbesRN

Specializes in Emergency room. Has 36 years experience.

ah, the problem lies in your choice of question. why should rns have to choose between seiu acting as a company union vs. "no union" when there are unions out there that actually reject seiu's partnership nonsense and build genuine, collective rn power? in this case, the choice was limited because when the employer files for an election, no proof of support from rns is required and other unions are blocked from getting on the ballot.

fyi: feigning militance while trying to cut a partnership deal in the background is seiu's mo.

the tactic goes like this:

seiu to the employer: our campaign of negative publicity is hurting you. if you partner with us we'll campaign for you rather than against you.

employer: what else is in it for me?

seiu: unlike other unions like nnoc, we'll keep nurses quiet by signing a gag clause. we'll sign an agreement banning strikes. we'll negoatiate a contract with you now, so that you know what you're getting up front. if you get into trouble with jcaho or regulatory bodies, we'll help you wiggle out."

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003601276_seiu05m.html

a union that is actively working against the interests of patients and rns isn't a union, it's a vehicle for oppression. instead of just being locked in a cell, now you're locked up in a cell wearinga ga and handcuffs.

i have a problem with your response in that it's a generalization. in this instance, the cna is acting not as a union but as a union-buster. that's the 'union' having issue with seiu. elections conducted by the nlrb are not multiple choice ballots--there's not a choice between 'a' 'b' or 'c' union. it's a 'yes' or 'no' vote to union representation.

i'm assuming your quotes are speculative--that you weren't witness to any of those conversations. the fact of the matter is that cna's union busting activities have deprived almost 8,000 people, including 3000 rn's, of the opportunity to make their own choice. there is no speculation there. it is never a good thing when people are deprived of their right to choose for themselves. cna has not offered any viable options to those employees---especially the non-rn employees. they have only been disruptive, misleading and destructive.

we are currently under our third contract negotiated with seiu's guidance. it's a good contract--each one has gotten better and better. and, the next contract will be even better than this one. we are our union. it's our contract---and seiu helps us hold chp accountable. they have helped educate us in the bargaining process. we have a voice now---and we have much more than we had 10 years ago, before we had a union. it's been very gratifying to hear some of my co-workers who were not on the union bandwagon with us 10 years ago now say, 'i wouldn't work here without a union.' we have made significant positive changes and we have a system in place that enables us deal with the dynamics of healthcare today. we have plans to make even more improvements---which we couldn't do without a union, without seiu.

these statements are not speculation, but, rather, knowledge gleaned from personal experience in my dealings with both seiu and chp.

From HobbesRN

"Elections conducted by the NLRB are not multiple choice ballots--there's not a choice between 'a' 'b' or 'c' union. It's a 'yes' or 'no' vote to union representation.

I'm assuming your quotes are speculative--that you weren't witness to any of those conversations. The fact of the matter is that CNA's union busting activities have deprived almost 8,000 people, including 3000 RN's, of the opportunity to make their own choice."

One correction here, and one question:

1. NLRB elections - real ones, where there is actual organizing and actual support among the workers - sometimes are multiple choice. If two unions are able to show support among the workers, two unons can be on the ballot. The bosses and the SEIU colluded to create a rush process - no campaigning, no discussion and no chance for another union to intervene. The Bush-appointed, anti-worker NLRB joined in the collusion by scheduling the election only ten days after it was announced.

2. How exactly did CNA/NNOC deprive these workers of a choice? There have been numerous times - most recently a few months ago at St Mary's in Reno - when SEIU has tried to block CNA/NNOC organizing campaigns with false attacks. They don't succeed because CNA/NNOC has done the work and taken the time to build actual support among the nurses. If SEIU had done their organizing work and built a strong base among the nurses, CNA/NNOC'S attack would have just rolled off and amounted to nothing. But since they hadn't, the nurses were being asked to vote for something they didn't understand and had no chance to ask questions about. If the election had been a legitimate election with real support, a few fliers asking questions about it would not have derailed it. The fact that exposing it to the light of day stopped it pretty much tells you it was a process that wouldn't bear exposure.

Any rational nurse knows that "union choice" is unhelpful. Having more than one union on the ballot makes it more difficult for nurses to have any union at all, because a majority must still vote for one union to be union. For example, 70% of nurses could vote union, but if they were split between union A and union B, nurses would still be non-union.

Arguments about union choice are nonsensical in the case of the CNA's union busting in Ohio, because there was only one union on the ballot. The choice was SEIU or no union. All CNA needed to be on the ballot was one card at each of the affected hospitals; they had zero because in the whole three years these nurses had been organizing, CNA had not approached any of these nurses about choosing it over SEIU.

As for the argument that CNA should not have been able to derail the election campaign if there was true support, I find that bogus as well. I have looked at their flier online, and it is clearly a product of much effort and expense. It is nastier than anything I have ever seen from hospital management in terms of anti-union assertions. I am confident than cNA did everything they could think of to divide and confuse these nurses. How were the CHP nurses supposed to be prepared to defend against union-busting by another union? Who could ever have imagined such a tactic? And by an organization that represents ZERO union nurses in this state? I wonder how many out of state organizers CNA sent into these hospitals? 30? More?

Any rational nurse knows that "union choice" is unhelpful.

Wow, you and CHP certainly support the same position! Now you're back to defending CHP getting to handpick SEIU as their union of choice. It disheartens me to hear an RN argue that our fellow RNs can't assess two unions on a ballot and make an educated, informed decision about which union they want to be a part of. Do you believe that RNs are that easy to confuse? SEIU and the CHP tried to rush this election through so that RNs wouldn't have time to adequately research the implications for themselves.

As soon as light was shed on the process, CHP and SEIU obviously realized that they couldn't pull it off, so they cancelled the election (oops, RNs got information, now we can't let them vote).

Guess what! If RNs are going to successfully negotiate staffing language and patient care protections into their first contract and build organization in their hospitals to defend patients and RN practice, face off against the healthcare industry to win legislation that improves staffing, etc., we're going to have to be strong enough that we don't fall apart every time the someone puts out a leaflet that challenges our position.

Why do RNs need to be protected from a leaflet that is critical of the practices of the union that they're being rushed to join? Oh that's right, too much data and we might get confused and actually vote in our own interests!

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.