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California Governor’s Race: Meg Whitman vs. the Nurses Union

In her gubernatorial campaign, California billionaire Meg Whitman fancies herself a turnaround artist, not unlike CEOs who take on failing companies and put them in the black. In her analysis of why the nation's most populous state and the world's 12th largest economy has a chronically dysfunctional government, one villain stands out: public-employee unions. —Time, 07/20/10 More »

Nurses Welcome Religious Leaders’ Spotlight on Ascension Health Abuses

Leaders of the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) and its national union, National Nurses United (NNU), expressed their appreciation today to Interfaith Worker Justice for its new report, "Ascension Health: A Fall from Grace." (The report can be found online at www.iwj.org.) —Michigan Nurses Association, 07/16/10 More »

Nurses rally outside home of GOP nominee Whitman

Hundreds of unionized nurses wearing scrubs held a raucous rally Thursday outside the Silicon Valley home of GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman to protest her proposals for the state, which they say will hurt working people. Dozens of police officers descended on the leafy streets surrounding Whitman's two-story colonial home in Atherton. An estimated 1,100 protesters chanted "We're going to beat back the Whitman attack" as an airplane paid for by the nurses union circled overhead, trailing a banner that read, "Nurses say no to Whitman." —Associated Press, 07/15/10 More »

Atherton police prepare for nurse rally at Meg Whitman’s home

Atherton police are bracing for the town's quiet streets to be flooded today with hundreds of nurses for a rally outside the home of Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. The California Nurses Association says the noontime rally — which is expected to draw up to 1,000 nurses to the former eBay executive's house on Edge Road near Menlo-Atherton High School — is a "response to a decision by candidate Whitman to mount an offensive attack directly against the" union. —San Jose Mercury News, 07/15/10 More »

eMeg to the ER stat

Here’s another thing we don’t understand: Why Meg Whitman keeps picking fights with the California Nurses’ Association. Having already erected a new web site exclusively dedicated to brawling with the nurses’ union, and sent a personal letter to every member of the CNA, Her Megness announced yesterday that she is “forming an advisory board of nurses to advise her on issues during the campaign.” —Calbuzz, 07/14/10 More »

Arbitrator Rules in Favor of Cooley Dickinson RNs

Arbitrator Rules in Favor of Cooley Dickinson RNs

In a victory for registered nurses at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, an independent arbitrator has ruled that the hospital violated the nurses’ union contract last January when it froze the Defined Benefit Pension Plan. The arbitrator has ordered the hospital to promptly unfreeze the defined benefit pension plan for the nurses, restore the contribution to the plan retroactive to the date on which the Hospital froze the plan, and to continue to fund the plan going forward. —Massachusetts Nurses Association, 07/14/10 More »

Mass. Labor Relations Commission Issues Unfair Labor Practice Complaint Against Cambridge Hospital

Mass. Labor Relations Commission Issues Unfair Labor Practice Complaint Against Cambridge Hospital

The State Labor Relations Commission (SLRC) today issued a formal complaint against Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), citing the organization for bargaining in bad faith and depriving nurses of their union rights following CHA’s decision to prematurely cease negotiations, declare impasse and unilaterally slash nurses’ retiree health benefits. The SLRC will be scheduling hearings on the complaint issued against CHA. —Massachusetts Nurses Association, 07/13/10 More »

Nurses unionize to improve patient care

America's nurses are on the march — literally and figuratively. Consider just two recent developments: In Minnesota, 12,000 nurses from 14 hospitals walked off the job for a day last month, the largest such action in U.S. history, in a bid to improve staffing levels and to secure standardized nurse-patient ratios. In Texas, almost 2,000 nurses at five hospitals voted to form unions in a two-week period ending in June. This was particularly notable because Texas has the third largest number of RNs in the country — after California and New York — but previously only one private hospital in Texas was organized. —Washington Times, 07/12/10 More »

Union chief makes nurses a political force

Rose Ann DeMoro, a former supermarket cashier from the suburbs of St. Louis who has risen to become one of America’s most powerful labor leaders, recalls that her tough but saintly mother had two maxims. One: “Keep reaching.” Two: “If someone hits you, and you don’t hit ’em back, you’re going to get it when you get home.” DeMoro, executive director of the 86,000 member California Nurses Association and the 155,000-member National Nurses United, says she has faithfully lived by the first — and never had to worry much about the second. —San Francisco Chronicle, 07/11/10 More »

Combative nurses’ union takes on Meg Whitman

The California Nurses Association has taken on powerful people before, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislators from both major parties, and has scored resounding wins. In each showdown, the 86,000-person union made full use of its key advantage – the appeal of its members' professions – while pressing hard for policies that benefited nurses. —Sacramento Bee, 07/04/10 More »

Whitman goes toe-to-toe with nurses union

The nurses group wants Brown as the next governor, but Whitman is reaching out directly to individual nurses. Meg Whitman is trying her hand at a manner of union busting – and her degree of success will help determine whether she's elected governor in November. —Orange County Register, 07/02/10 More »

Meg Whitman Spins and Spends: Mrs. Harsh Faces A Harsh Reality

With campaigning disappearing and becoming irrelevant as we head into the 4th of July weekend, something remarkable has taken place in the race to replace term-limited Arnold Schwarzenegger as California's governor. We're now essentially one-fifth of the way through the general election. Billionaire Republican wannabe governor Meg Whitman has spent a record-shattering $100 million. Jerry Brown has spent virtually nothing. Yet Whitman's campaign has failed to change anything in the overall dynamic of the race. —Huffington Post, 07/01/10 More »

Single Payer, Universal Health Care Bill Passes Key Assembly Committee

The Assembly Health Committee today approved the California Universal Health Care Act, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). The bill guarantees all Californians comprehensive, universal health care while containing ballooning health care costs and improving the quality of care and delivery of health services statewide. —California Chronicle, 06/30/10 More »

Medicare changes could shortchange vulnerable hospitals

The findings, researchers say, raise the possibility that the so-called "pay-for-performance" initiative could inadvertently worsen existing healthcare disparities. Pay-for-performance reimbursement plans essentially reward hospitals and doctors for meeting certain treatment goals established in medical guidelines. For example, guidelines state that heart attack patients should be given aspirin and drugs called beta-blockers when they are admitted to and discharged from the hospital; centers that better meet that goal would get greater reimbursements. —Reuters, 06/29/10 More »

Nurses union begins ads attacking Whitman

The California Nurses Association said the incident shows how disconnected the GOP gubernatorial nominee is from working people. At a news conference outside its Oakland headquarters that was attended by 150 nurses in red scrubs, the union unveiled a new ad campaign - "Nurses Won't Be Pushed Around" - and released posters showing a heavily jeweled hand adorned with rings that was meant to represent the billionaire candidate. —San Francisco Chronicle, 06/25/10 More »

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Remember back in December 2004 when California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told nurses protesting staffing cuts that they were “special interests,” who “don’t like me in Sacramento because I kick their butt?” The California Nurses Association (CNA) then sued the Governor, and helped defeat all of his ballot measures in the November 2005 special election. —Beyond Chron, 06/24/10 More »

Whitman dismisses uproar about alleged shoving incident with EBay employee

In a radio interview, the Republican said the altercation was a verbal dispute and characterizes the media interest in the story as the 'fascination of the chattering class. After a week of silence, Meg Whitman has spoken out about a report that she shoved a subordinate when she was chief executive of EBay, characterizing the altercation as a verbal dispute and dismissing the uproar about it as "a fascination of the chattering class." —Los Angeles TImes, 06/23/10 More »

Nurses, Tenet have tentative deal on 3-year pact

Registered nurses at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center and Tenet Healthcare Corp. reached their first tentative agreement for a new three-year contract. The National Nurses Organizing Committee-Texas, the organizing arm of National Nurses United, represents about 300 registered nurses at the hospital. —Houston Chronicle, 06/22/10 More »

Nurses provide prescription for union revival

The last 35 years have been disastrous for American unions. The percentage of the workforce represented by unions has declined from about 30% to barely 10%. As the unionized island in the center of the workforce has shrunk, every element of labor relations affected by unions - job security, promotions and lay-off, job descriptions, wages and benefits (pensions, vacations, health care, etc.), grievance procedures, attention to safety - has slid away from workers. There has been a similar deterioration in union influence in electoral politics and public debate about key issues. —Twin Cities Daily Planet, 06/21/10 More »

Valley Regional RNs vote to unionize

Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville was the latest domino to fall in a drive by the National Nurses Organizing Committee-Texas to unionize registered nurses at Hospital Corporation of America-owned facilities in a handful of Texas cities. —Brownsville Herald, 06/20/10 More »

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