Tag Archives: nurse advocacy


SEIU RNs throughout California and the nation have seen the light and had enough. They have been signing up by the thousands to join their RN colleagues in the CNA/NNOC.

Last December, RNs at Saint Mary’s in Reno voted overwhelmingly for CNA/NNOC representation, rejecting SEIU’s last minute attempt to derail the election. RNs at the St. Rose Dominican Hospitals in Las Vegas are voting in May to switch from SEIU to CNA.

Check out this video about how SEIU really operates as Las Vegas RNs and service employees speak from their hearts. (SEIU members appearing in this video are not actors and were not paid or coaxed.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

This is not at all surprising.  RNs and RN issues have received even less support from SEIU since the SEIU reorganization last year. Imagine this: LA County is SEIU’s largest RN unit in the nation, but only one LA County RN was chosen to be a delegate to the SEIU convention! even though many LA County RNs ran for delegate positions!

SEIU claims to represent 1.9 million members, of which actual RN membership is less than 2%. CNA/NNOC/AFL-CIO is the largest professional RN union in the country, with over 80,000 RN members in all 50 states. Our Board of Directors and convention are 100% RNs, directly elected by our all-RN membership.

The heart of the matter lies in the fact that SEIU International has created a harmful company union structure where the “union” partners with management to the detriment of their members. This is especially dangerous and harmful when they represent health care workers who work in unsafe conditions and with contract clauses that cause nurses to go against their ethical and legal obligations to be the patient’s advocate.

The unfortunate outcomes harm patients as well as caregivers as detailed in a recent SF Weekly article.  The article is a must read from start to finish, but I have to quote here the alarming part about the tragic death of Mary Hochman, a night nurse and SEIU member who worked at Beverley La Cumbre, a Santa Barbara nursing home:

(Read the full story here http://www.sfweekly.com/2008-0…

According to news accounts, Hochman walked onto a beach and shot herself in the heart after a months-long dispute with her employer. Her problems began when she tried to report that a nurse’s aide had hit an 81-year-old man with dementia. According to Contra Costa Times reporter Carolyn McMillan, Hochman said in a sworn affidavit that she was told to cover up the information. Cover it up!

“If a nurse cannot protect her patients, I do not want to be a nurse,” Hochman wrote in her suicide note. “This has taken all hope away from me.”

Hochman’s note, along with a journal detailing instances where she was told to cover up incidents of abuse and neglect, helped spur a federal raid on the nursing home. A subsequent investigation revealed patients suffering beatings and maggot-infested bedsores, culminating in a $2 million settlement against Beverly relating to preventable deaths. The investigation also spawned a dozen civil suits, according to press reports.

SEIU had lobbied to ensure that a bill before the California legislature didn’t include provisions supported by patients’ rights groups that would have set standards guaranteeing high-quality care. The union added hundreds of nursing home workers to its ranks. But the labor contracts that resulted included a scandalous, horrifying detail: The union was discouraged from informing regulators, or the press, in cases of bad patient care.

CNA/NNOC is proud of our record in fighting for RNs and safe patient care; from winning the first-in-the nation RN-to-patient ratios, to fighting Governor Schwarzenegger’s attacks on our ratios as well as his attacks on the Board of Registered Nurses, to building a national nurse’s movement, to fighting for the highest standards nationally for RNs and patients.

Building a national nurses movement isn’t always going to be easy, but it will all be worth it when we change the face of health care in this country.

Visit our website www.calnurses.org  for more information.

Please also visit www.ServingEmployersInsteadofUs.org  to hear how SEIU is serving employers rather than their nurses and other members.