National Nurses United

Registered Nurse May 2008

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LETTER FROM THE COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS you know how, when we were settling the country, they always told the pioneers to "Go west"? Well, here at CNA/NNOC, we're doing it in reverse. In our quest to expand RN representation and build the nurses' movement across the United States, we're starting from California and heading east! We're happy to report that, recently, we've won two major organizing victories – a huge, historic vote in Houston, Texas and another one in Las Vegas, Nev. In Texas, registered nurses with Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center voted to join CNA/NNOC, becoming the first collective bargaining unit in the whole state of RNs working in private-sector hospitals. This is a phenomenal victory, achieved in an extremely anti-union state and political climate. You can read all about it in the news section. In Nevada, hundreds of nurses working for St. Rose Dominican Hospitals near Las Vegas basically booted out their current union, Service Employees International Union Local 1107, in favor of joining CNA/NNOC. After only a couple short months of organizing, we won the most votes in a May 7 election there. Because labor rules require us to win the majority plus one, we may have to hold a runoff election there even though we won the plurality. But this vote is really symbolic of how unhappy RNs are with SEIU representation. These nurses are just the front line of an anticipated wave of nurse defections from SEIU. In April, University of California RNs won an incredible legal victory that affirmed public employees' right to go on strike and bargain over better staffing and other patient care REGISTERED NURSE,™ (ISSN 1932-8966) The Journal of Patient Advocacy, May 2008 Volume 104/4 is published by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. It provides news of organizational activities and reports on developments of concern to all registered nurses across the nation. It also carries general coverage and commentary on matters of nursing practice, community and public health, and healthcare policy. It is published monthly except for combined issues in January and February, and July and August. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, California. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Registered Nurse, 2000 ™ Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. To send a media release or announcement, fax (510) 6630629. Registered Nurse™ is carried on the CNA/NNOC website at issues. This is a major decision that affects all public employees and protects one of the most effective tools of last-resort of nurses in advocating for themselves and patients. In our features section, learn about how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are creating a whole generation of veterans who suffer from traumatic brain injuries and how ill equipped we are to deal with this crisis. It's just another facet of the healthcare crisis and about our urgent need to enact reform that provides a single, high standard of care to everyone, no matter what. The first step on the checklist toward that goal is to get private health insurance companies out of the picture. That's why we're organizing a huge protest in San Francisco on June 19 of the health insurance industry, to coincide with the industry's annual convention. Check our back cover for details on how to participate, and please come out and speak up about how we need to prioritize patients, not profits. Deborah Burger, RN | Geri Jenkins, RN Malinda Markowitz, RN | Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN CNA/NNOC Council of Presidents For permission to reprint articles, write to Editorial Office. To subscribe, send $40 ($45 foreign) to Subscription Department. California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee also produces California Nurse, which it will ™ continue to publish periodically. PLEASE CONTACT US WITH YOUR STORY IDEAS They can be about practice or management trends you've observed, or simply something new you've encountered in the profession. They can be about one nurse, unit, or hospital, or about the wider landscape of healthcare policy from an RN's perspective. They can be humorous, or a matter of life and death. If you're a writer and would like to contribute an article, please let us know. Our contact information is in the masthead. executive editor Rose Ann DeMoro editor Lucia Hwang associate editor Erika Larson graphic design Jonathan Wieder communications director Charles Idelson contributors Hedy Dumpel, RN, JD Donna Smith photography Jaclyn Higgs, Lauren Reid

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