National Nurses Union News and Information

Frequently Asked Questions

As the process of building this new organization continues, the MNA Board of Directors is providing answers to frequently asked questions to help keep you informed. Below are the questions that have been asked most often, including some that have been emailed to us since the announcement of UAN/NNOC. As we get new questions, we will add to the list below, and we will also modify our answers as more concrete information is available. To send a question, email MNA Director of Public Communications at

Q. What is the process to create this union going forward?

A.The next step in the process is for members from the MNA Board to work with the leadership from the other participating organizations to begin the work of fleshing out the details, which include modifying the existing UAN constitution and structure to accommodate the CNA/NNOC and MNA unification and culture.  Once this has been worked out, the MNA Board will craft and present to the membership a proposal, which would then be voted on and ratified by the MNA membership at our annual business meeting at the MNA Convention in October.   The UAN and CNA/NNOC memberships will also need to have this agreement ratified by their membership for a new national to be founded. 


Q. What happens to the MNA?

A.The MNA would be an affiliate member of the national organization.  As an affiliate member, the MNA’s current structure and bylaws, etc. will remain intact. There may be greater roles for MNA as new members are organized, not only in Massachusetts, but beyond our borders in surrounding states who are not affiliates.


Q. What is the timeline?

A.Each organization has its business meeting/convention scheduled prior to November of 2009.  It is the goal of the organizations to see that the recommended proposals are voted on no later than November. The UAN would be the first organization to vote on adopting constitutional changes to unify and accommodate the CNA/NNOC and the MNA. CNA/NNOC and MNA voting would then follow.


Q. What about dues?

A.The board is now engaging in discussions to determine what they believe to be the appropriate dues structure and formula that would incorporate the MNA and the new national organization. The new dues structure will be part of any vote taken by our membership.


Q. Will provisions be made in the agreement to Affiliate with the UAN/AFL CIO to insure any future per cap fee increases would require ratification and approval of MNA membership either at the business meeting or by mail ballot each and every time they are proposed and before they are implemented?

A.The board is now engaging in discussions to determine what they believe to be the appropriate dues structure and formula that would incorporate the MNA and the new national organization.

All three bodies – MNA, CNA/NNOC and UAN have requirements now that require a vote by their membership to change their dues. However, CNA/NNOC and UAN incorporate dues structures that are based either on a percentage of base salary (2.2 percent with a cap for CNA) or an inflation factor (2.5 percent for UAN). For both organizations, members’ dues adjust annually based on their respective formulas and do not require a vote for those adjustments. But, if those organizations wish to change the percentages/formulas, then their respective membership bodies would need to vote to approve those changes.

Again, at this point the Board is reviewing all options and the mechanism for approving and adjusting dues will be part of the proposal brought forward for debate and a vote by our members.


Q. Will provisions of the agreement specify that a simple majority of the voting membership at the business meeting or mail ballot be required to break our affiliation and end our financial obligation to the UAN/AFL-CIO?

A.Under the current UAN bylaws, which may or may not be modified in this area to create UAN-NNOC certification, individual affiliates process for disaffiliation is controlled by their own local bylaws. At present, MNA has no bylaws dictating this specific area. This is an area the Board will look to address.

Our previous experience with ANA may be influential given the affiliation was codified in bylaw making it then a 2/3 requirement to disaffiliate. It would seem that experience was not desirable and likely will influence the Board to present a different approach to MNA members.


Q. Will provisions be made to insure that members cannot be disciplined for proposing a removal of MNA from the UAN/AFL-CIO by the MNA BOD of the UAN AFL-CIO for charges of dual unionism?

A.In short, the answer is yes; we would seek to ensure MNA is able to dictate its own future without an act of censorship or discipline to its members for doing so.


Q. Will provisions be made for a mechanism to petition for a withdrawal vote before the membership of MNA by mail ballot that does not require the approval of the MNA BOD or the governing BOD of UAN/AFL-CIO?

A.Yes, withdrawal would not require approval of UAN-NNOC under our proposals.  As far as how MNA can seek withdrawal, the Board is looking into on how to address this as part of its proposal before the membership.


Q. Will MNA continue to hold the certifications for the bargaining units before the NLRB or will they be held by UAN?

A.MNA holds, and will continue to hold, the certification for the MNA bargaining units.  There is discussion to allow for areas of national certification, i.e., at present UAN has VA national bargaining capacity.


Q. How can you receive further information?

A.As the process unfolds and we have greater details, we will continue to post this information on our web site.  We encourage you to email questions to the MNA Division of Communications in order that we may address your questions and give you feedback in a coordinated and helpful manner.  For more information email David Schildmeier at  

Lastly, it has been a century in waiting for the arrival of the first ever, and largest, staff nurse run national nurses union and movement.  You, as MNA members, will have the opportunity to create that long awaited history.  This day could not have arrived without your vision and leadership.

Thank you.