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National Nurses United (NNU)

The National Nurses United union is comprised of several affiliate unions: the California Nurses Association-National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA-NNOC), the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) and the United American Nurses (UAN).

In the fall of 2009, the MNA, UAN and CNA - NNOC members voted to join the newly formed National Nurses Union (NNU). This new development leads to a number of questions: How well will these different groups work together? How well will they represent their members? Is the NNU just another nationalization of the CNA?

In just a few years, NNU has been at the center of "radical" causes and antagonistic behaviors. The Union's commitment to its member seems to have taken a back seat to its national and international agendas on the Financial Transaction Tax. However, when the NNU does act locally, their strategy appears to be to strike often, and strike hard. In fact, the Union carried out a number of strikes at hospitals all over the country, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and California.

NNU has tried to address many of the biggest challenges in healthcare industry with its "Resolution on National Contract Standards," stating that it will "achieve and defend" such collective bargaining standards that contain, "…specific RN-to-patient ratios and contract language to enforce staffing ratios,…" and "will not sign concessionary agreements…" that include "...takeaways in compensation, health benefits, retirement plans or work hours or schedules."

Unfortunately for the nurses at 14 Twin Cities hospitals, that national resolution did not hold firm. After months of intense negotiations between the hospitals and NNU affiliate Minnesota Nurses Association and a one-day strike involving 12,000 nurses, a majority of nurses voted to ratify a contract with lower pay raises than they had originally sought and nothing concerning their demands for nurse to patient ratios.

Before you hire NNU to represent you, ask yourself: Do you really want NNU speaking for you?

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