ANA Employees To Take Strike Vote Today!
The American Nurses Association, which purports to be an effective national union for nurses through its union arm – The United American Nurses – seems to be having trouble managing its own affairs. The unionized staff of the ANA today announced their intention to vote to strike. It appears the ANA does not practice what it preaches, which is precisely why the Massachusetts Nurses Association is seeking to disaffiliate from the ANA Federation in March. While the ANA is treating its own employees with disrespect, it has spent thousands of dollars on lawyers and outside consultants to conduct a malicious campaign to slander the Massachusetts Nurses Association and use the lowest form of gutter tactics to stop the MNA from leaving the ANA. It is becoming increasingly clear that the ANA acts more like the managers and administrators unionized nurses do battle with every day than the national union they claim to be.
Below is a press release from the union representing the staff of the American Nurses Association.
For Immediate Release
February 14, 2001
Contact: Christine Byrams, 240.988.5870
STRIKE SEEMS IMMINENT AT ANA
Employees Frustrated as Negotiations Fail
Washington, DC—After 10 days of contract negotiations, American Nurses Association (ANA) employees are prepared to strike as a last resort to get management to take their demands seriously. ANA is the national voice for 2.6 million registered nurses and houses the largest labor union for registered nurses – United American Nurses. With the current employee contract ending on February 14, negotiations have been slow and management has been resistant to several proposals brought forth by Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild/Association Staff Union (WBNG-ASU) representatives. Employees are asking for fair opportunities for advancement, fair compensation and improvements in their benefits package.
"It’s ironic that ANA portrays itself as a strong advocate for improved working conditions for nurses – yet they are ignoring the problems within their own workplace," said WBNG/ASU President Christine Byrams. "We want ANA to be as committed to its employees as it is to the nurses they represent."
ANA employees formed a union in 1994, the Association Staff Union (ASU), in order to address internal workplace concerns. WBNG-ASU has had to file unfair labor practices to try to force management to process grievances and provide information on the millions of dollars ANA has spent subcontracting out bargaining unit work. ASU recently joined the WBNG in order to obtain greater support and bargaining power. WBNG-ASU represents over 120 employees at ANA.
Major points still on the negotiating table include:
- Promoting from within. Employees are asking ANA to promote and hire internal staff rather than seeking outside candidates when an internal employee is qualified.
- Hiring contractors. Employees are asking ANA to utilize internal talents rather than hiring contractors and paying them double or more over employee compensation.
- Increased benefits. The ANA workforce is primarily female, yet employees receive only two weeks maternity leave. The employees’ request for six weeks paid maternity leave continues to be denied. Additionally, ANA which prides itself on insuring the health and safety of nurses and patients, offers no short-term disability. Even when employees are willing to pay, management says it’s too expensive and too much of an administrative burden.
- Pay raises. ANA has given management a 4 percent wage increase plus bonuses while offering employees only 3.25 percent – with no cost of living increase or longevity steps. Employees are asking that ANA fairly compensate all employees – not just management.
Ironically, ANA encourages collective bargaining activities through its national labor arm, United American Nurses. However, when ANA employees participate in collective bargaining to improve their overall work environment, they are met with resistance. If a contract agreement is not reached by February 14, employees will take a vote on whether to strike.
"Employees are extremely frustrated and have voiced to union representatives that they will support a strike," said Sheila Roit, RN. "If we can’t get the respect we deserve at the bargaining table, our management leaves us no other option than to let them fend for themselves."