Authors

  1. Mason, Diana J. PhD, RN, FAAN, editor-in-chief

Article Content

The National Labor Assembly (NLA) of the United American Nurses (UAN), the independent labor union affiliated with the ANA and a member of the AFL-CIO, made history by passing its first constitution in Minneapolis on June 24. New York delegate Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez was a member of the committee that drafted the constitution. She told delegates that the UAN's aim was to be "the premier union for nurses."

 

President Cheryl Johnson described the UAN's journey, from its beginnings in 1998 to becoming the largest organization devoted to collective bargaining for nurses. She noted that the vast majority of nurses don't belong to unions, despite the fact that unionized nurses earn more than nonunion nurses and are less likely to face mandatory overtime in their workplaces. Johnson urged the NLA delegates to "stand up and talk" to citizensabout the "unacceptable risks they face in the health care system" because of unsafe staffing and poor working conditions.

 

Hawaii chaos.

Many participants made repeated reference to a situation in Hawaii where, they claim, the California Nurses Association has infiltrated the Hawaii Nurses Association (HNA) and its collective bargaining organization and has attempted to pressure the association to leave the ANA as part of a multi-state campaign to take over collective bargaining organizations. In July, however, the HNA house of delegates voted overwhelmingly against disaffiliating from the ANA (eight in favor, 134 against, eight abstentions).

 

Strike support.

The NLA delegates contributed more than $1,200, and the UAN contributed $5,000 to support striking nurses at Akron General Medical Center in Ohio. The strike began a week before the convention and ended shortly thereafter.

 

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