CANTON, MASS. – The Massachusetts Nurses Association membership has voted today in favor of a dues increase to support the organization’s affiliation with the new national nurses union. The dues vote followed an overwhelming vote by the membership on Oct. 1, 2009 to endorse the MNA’s affiliation with National Nurses United, what will be the largest nurses union in U.S. history.
As dictated by MNA bylaws, the vote for the dues change was conducted by a supplemental mail ballot, which followed an in-person vote held at the MNA convention on Oct. 1, 2009. The secret mail ballot was conducted over a 30-day period following the MNA convention. The counting of the ballots was overseen by Labor Connections, a firm that specializes in the monitoring and certifying union voting procedures.
National Nurses United (NNU), unifying the 23,000-member MNA with the 86,000-member California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC) and the 45,000 member United American Nurses, is scheduled to hold its founding convention December 7 and 8 in Phoenix, AZ. The new union will be comprised of more than 150,000 front-line direct care nurses working in 22 states.
“With the formation of National Nurses United, we have a historic opportunity to create the largest union and most influential collective voice of registered nurses at a time when that voice is sorely needed,” said MNA president Donna Kelly-Williams. “The MNA is proud to be a founding member of this new national movement of direct care RNs. We understand that this is a unique moment for nurses, a once in a lifetime opportunity to dramatically improve the lives of all nurses and patients and to transform the face of health care.
The goals of the new national union include a commitment to:
- Win national RN staffing standards and an end to mandatory overtime nationally.
- Obtain organized power and influence for our profession, like teachers, firefighters, and police have done.
- Build a national retirement pension for nurses.
- Create one national progressive voice for healthcare reform, protection and advancement of safe nursing practice.
- Strengthen contract standards nationally for nurses that already have union contracts.
- Reach out to organize the millions of nurses in America who have been waiting for the opportunity to be part of a union.
- Take back our profession so that every RN can advocate for patients without fear of retribution.
At its annual meeting the MNA membership voted by more than a three to one margin in favor of the affiliation with the NNU, and passed all related motions supporting the organization’s participation in the new union. The CNA/NNOC voted unanimously in September to endorse affiliation, and the UAN is expected to complete its vote on Nov. 30.