Exploration of national union affiliation, retiree health benefits also given green light
From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
November/December 2008 Edition
During the MNA’s annual business meeting, held during this year’s convention in Burlington on Oct. 2, MNA members voted on several key items of new business that aim to position the MNA as the premier nurses union in the nation.
Following is a summary of those key items.
Voting by secret mail ballot
The MNA membership voted to allow eligible members (i.e., those who meet certain criteria and who follow specific rules) to vote on dues-related business at future conventions via a secret mail ballot.
Specifically, the MNA dues and regional annual dues “will be determined by a majority of members voting in a secret ballot at the annual business meeting” and by “those eligible and voting by supplemental secret mail ballot.”
An “eligible member” is one who is unable to attend convention—and therefore is unable to participate in the secret ballot vote at the business meeting—due to their work schedule or religious observances. Those eligible individuals can obtain a supplemental mail ballot from the MNA by sending the organization a written letter of request no later than seven days prior to the annual business meeting.
As always, any proposed change in dues will be communicated to the membership within 30 days prior to the business meeting. Similar to the process of the last dues proposal, for any future dues proposals the MNA will hold at least one hearing in each Region to present the rationale for a dues change and will answer questions from members. Members will be allowed to attend any regional hearing on a proposed change.
The MNA membership also voted to pass a motion that requests the organization, under the direction of the MNA’s Board of Directors, to explore the possibility of the MNA being part of an independent, national nurses union.
“In the challenging times for patients and nurses,” expressed Jane Connelly, RN and the member who set forth the motion, “the voice of organized nurses cannot remain fractured.
Connelly went on to say that the MNA leadership should “be the architects of an independent national nurses union run by and for nurses, which would represent the majority of the nation’s unionized nurses.”
An MNA taskforce is being formed to explore these possibilities/opportunities. The goal is to bring such an opportunity back to the MNA membership for a vote in 2009.
Medical insurance for retirees
A large portion of the MNA’s membership is approaching retirement and is busy preparing for this exciting, although somewhat daunting, next phase of their lives. As part of this preparation, members are thinking about their long-term health benefits—or lack thereof depending on a person’s individual situation.
With this in mind, the MNA membership overwhelming voted in favor of a motion that will empower the MNA to create a task force charged with studying the feasibility of offering retiree medical insurance at a group rate.
The MNA is currently looking for volunteers to help with this task force. If you have an interest, an expertise or an idea that might help the task force in its goal to bring medical insurance to MNA retirees, please contact Robin Gannon at 781.821.4625 x724 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org