1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn news director

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On February 23, eight unions representing RNs announced they were forming the first AFL-CIO "industry coordinating committee," called RNs Working Together, to increase their strength and resources for organizing, lobbying, and bargaining. The new alliance includes the American Federation of Government Employees, the American Federation of Teachers, Communications Workers of America, the Office and Professional Employees International Union, the United American Nurses (UAN), the United Auto Workers, the United Nurses of America-American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the United Steelworkers. It will have its own staff and budget and will serve as a center for sharing resources. The unions will still have their own organizing and bargaining activities, but they'll use their collective strength to address issues that affect all nurses and patients and help bring change to a "broken" health care system.


Cheryl Johnson, president of the UAN, said, "By pooling resources, we increase our ability to help nurses be advocates-for themselves and their patients."


The first issue the new alliance is addressing is currently before the National Labor Relations Board: whether charge nurses should be considered supervisors. If such a ruling were to go forward, charge nurses could be barred from participating in collective bargaining.