News & Events

Members Vote to Approve Five-Year Plan and Modified Dues Funding at Annual Business Meeting in Boston

After more than three hours of intense debate and discussion among the membership gathered at the annual business meeting of the Massachusetts Nurses Association in Boston, a vote was cast in favor of a five-year plan with a modified dues increase. The plan and funding to support the plan is designed to position the MNA as the voice on health care in Massachusetts, as well as a model of professional and union activism.

The debate focused on the details of a dues increase needed to fund the vision for the organization put forth by the Board of Directors, which was based on the input of the members. It has been ten years since the last increase in MNA dues. Below is a table detailing the proposed dues increase, along with the final version passed by the membership following a series of amendments presented by the members.

Proposed Dues Increase

  1. Dues increase to $55/mo in Jan. 2005    
  2. Dues increase to $65/mo in July 2006    
  3. Annual cost of living increase of 3% beginning in Jan. 2008

Approved Dues Increase

  1. Dues increase to $45/mo in Jan. 2005; Dues increase to $50/mo on June 30, 2005
  2. Dues increase to $65/mo in July 2006
  3. Cost living increase deleted

"We were pleased that the membership endorsed the vision laid out by the Board of Directors and that they recognized the need to provide the funding to support that vision," said Karen Higgins, RN and president of the MNA. "There was a healthy debate over how to structure a dues increase that in the end meets the needs of the membership. It is now up the organization to implement and follow through with the vision we have put forth."

Higgins added that with the modifications to the dues proposal, the timeline for implementation of the five-year plan will need to be reworked based on the timing of the changes in dues. The Board will reconfigure the plan accordingly.

In addition to the five-year plan and dues increase, Higgins emphasized an earlier decision by the Board to convene a task force to explore the idea of lesser dues for members working minimal hours, and/or nurses who are not members of a collective bargaining unit. The task force will meet over the coming months to explore options for alternative dues structures for these situations, which will then be considered by the Board and brought before the membership at the 2005 annual business meeting. Anyone interested in participating on this task force should contact Julie Pinkham via e-mail at

The five-year plan approved by the membership includes the following goals and objectives: 

  • Winning final passage of RN staffing legislation.
  •  Enhancing service, effectiveness, support and internal organizing of local bargaining units by establishing a high staff-to-bargaining unit ratio, recognizing the continuous nature of the work in this health care environment.
  •  Fostering strong leadership within the bargaining units through the creation of a first-rate Leadership Institute, featuring ongoing and comprehensive continuing education.
  • Expanding the power of unionized nurses by "organizing the unorganized" in Massachusetts and throughout New England , thus adding clout, not only in local contract negotiations, but also by expanding our powerbase within the greater labor movement, on Beacon Hill and on Capitol Hill.
  • As the nursing community ages, the MNA is committed to protecting the long-term security of its members through an intensive program that provides the organizational resources needed to secure long-overdue retiree health and pension benefits for nurses.
  • Protecting the health and safety of nurses through continued expansion and development of the MNA’s Occupational Health and Safety Department, including expanded continuing education programming, online education, local bargaining unit education and support, and support for regional and national initiatives.
  • Creating a statewide force of nurses involved in the political process on health care issues, including increased grassroots organizing on the regional level and efforts to build strong alliances and coalitions with non-nurse communities, labor and political organizations.
  • Establishing a real political presence in New England and in Washington, D.C. through further development of regional and national nursing organizations, i.e. the American Association of Registered Nurses and the New England Nurses Association.
  • Making the MNA the primary resource for improving and protecting nursing practice through increased education, outreach and MNA-generated research to underpin MNA positions and concerns.
  • Improving and amplifying MNA’s internal and external communications through expansion of its local, regional and national media relations program, and expansion of MNA’s Web site.