2009 News

The Time is NOW for a National RN Union

08.15.2009

As working registered nurses across America, we face the same challenges every day: how to advocate for our patients in the face of bare bones staffing and inadequate resources. That’s why America’s leading RN organizations, including the MNA, have joined forces to form the United American Nurses-National Nurses Organizing Committee (UAN/NOCC). We are building a structure to become the national voice for RNs or, as the media and our opponents call us, the “RN Super Union.” We are working together to make sure that as RNs we have the presence, the power and tools we need to take our rightful place as the key coordinators of patient care.

As you consider your vote to approve the MNA’s affiliation with UAN-NNOC and the dues structure to support it, it is important to understand the reasons and rationale for its creation. Below we have attempted to outline the key reasons for the historic national RN movement.

We are at a unique moment in history for health care specifically and for the labor movement in general.

There has never been a more pivotal moment in history to form a national nurses union made up exclusively of direct care nurses.

  • With the Employee Free Choice Act and other labor reforms finally seriously on the political agenda, now is the time for nurses to have a powerful voice to shape that debate. And once passed, the opportunity to organize large numbers of nurses will never be greater.
  • From a political perspective, we have a Democratic Congress and White House, the party that has historically been the most sensitive to the role of unions and the needs of workers. If and when we raise our voice, this party is the one most likely to hear it and to respond. However, our voice needs to be LOUD and STRONG, and this national nurses union gives us exactly the voice we need!
  • Health care reform and the future of health care is the primary issue on Capitol Hill, and right now the voice of nursing is being ignored while the voices of the industry (the insurers, physicians, hospital executives, pharmaceutical companies) are controlling the debate. We need a unified and powerful organization to force nursing’s positions onto the agenda, and to protect against solutions being proposed by our opponents.

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