While California Nurses Association was piling up more than $175,000,000.00 in profits and assets, member dues have more than tripled. California Nurses Association needs union leaders who represent the interests of our rank-and-file members—not their own, at the expense members and our monthly dues.
In June 2014, the Modesto Bee published an op-ed by a nurse at Memorial Medical Center during CNA’s attempts to unionize the nurses at Memorial Medical Center. The op-ed criticized CNA for “[pressuring] nurses and [spreading] misinformation” about Memorial Medical Center in order to obtain votes and political support. The op-ed also stated that CNA’s techniques could be “underhanded and deceitful,” citing CNA’s dishonesty about staffing ratios and patient safety as well as illegally approaching nurses in the hospital to gain support for the union.
“At this very moment, there is an internal debate taking place inside Memorial Medical Center on whether or not to unionize. As registered nurses at Memorial, many of us believe that unionizing with the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United is not in the best interest of our nurses, our hospital or our patients.”
The Nurse Unchained, a blog about “one nurse’s opinion on all things nursing,” has frequently criticized CNA during the union’s attempts to organize nurses at the Pasadena-based Huntington Memorial Hospital. The blog accuses CNA of ignoring the nurses who don’t want CNA to represent them, especially after the majority of Huntington nurses voted to not be represented by CNA in April 2015.
In May 2015, the Torrance Daily Breeze published an op-ed by a nurse at the Torrance-based Providence Little Company of Mary, which criticized CNA for bullying nurses. The op-ed stated CNA uses a “façade” of caring for patient safety and nurses to “peddle a heavily one-sided political agenda.” Additionally, the op-end stated the author felt “silenced,” and that CNA used “divisive rhetoric [and] tones of intimidation,” when attempting to dissuade nurses from crossing a picket-line.
In March 2017, a Washington state newspaper profiled a nurse who said RoseAnn DeMoro’s union is ‘making her dream job a nightmare’. “According to Sarah, one pro-union nurse told her that the “longevity” of her career at Holy Cross was at risk if she continued to stand against the union, a clear threat. Other times, Sarah overheard co-workers conspiring against her when they thought she had left the room. She heard them say they hoped to catch her making a mistake to use against her.”
In addition to raising member dues, California Nurses Association has also taken a number of positions that were counter to the needs of our membership, or the public health. By taking these positions, CNA put the union agenda paramount to other concerns.
CNA opposed bills to allow the administration of anti-seizure medication to students. These bills would have provided necessary health benefits to our union members and the public.
CNA opposed Assembly Bill 2348 that would have allowed nurses to dispense hormonal birth control under a physician’s orders. In opposing this bill, CNA attempted to prevent women from obtaining birth control.
CNA opposed Senate Bill 1318 which encouraged nurses who come into contact with patients in hospitals to get annual flu vaccinations. Not only was this position counter to the health of union members working in hospitals, but also to the patients they attend to.
Negotiations with Reno’s Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center resulted in a loss of nursing jobs because CNA refused to budge in contract negotiations.
In 2006, CNA opposed Proposition 86 which would have raised taxes on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack to fund emergency care in California hospitals.
It is a basic woman’s reproductive health issue. I am deeply disappointed that the opposition comes from a female-dominated health care profession, at a time when we are experiencing attacks in public policy settings on women’s health choices.
— AD-54 Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell said of her bill, AB 2348.