The last 20 years have been a time of steady decline for union membership in the healthcare industry.
In 1990, around 8.2% of all physicians and surgeons belonged to some union. By 2020, that percentage had dropped to 7.2%. Union membership among nursing and personal care facilities came in even lower, with just 5.7% of the population belonging to a union.
Source: Bureau of National Affairs (BNA PLUS)
Because of this decline, unions have been trying harder than ever to attract new dues-paying members. Union organizing teams and in-house employee organizers have been known to use nursing concerns such as patient care and staffing ratios just to get their foot in the door. Once there, they typically make high pressure sales pitches with unrealistic promises – all in an effort to solicit new members. However, there are no guarantees that the union organizers can deliver on their promises.
Many CNA members also have grown disaffected with the Union. In fact, CNA members have filed 7 decertification election petitions with the National Labor Relations Board since 2010. A decertification election petition is the formal process where employees oust an unwanted union.
Unions, including the CNA, have not been very successful when it comes to winning new members via a secret-ballot process, so now they are trying a different route - a political route. Unions spend millions of dollars each year in political contributions, hoping to change the law and make it easier for them to get new members and their money.
Since 2014, the CNA has spent more than $18 million on political causes.
You may be wondering where the CNA gets that money. The answer is simple: From the dues and fees the CNA collects from its members. What’s more, the CNA members who pay dues and fees to the Union may not know or agree with how the Union spends their money.
Source: 2014-2020 CNA LM-2 Reports