St. Louis RN had her union busted by the CNA!

I have felt the wrath of CNA in St. Louis, and I feel horrible for the healthcare workers in Ohio.
The federal government set up rules/laws in the 1930’s that protected workers. Those laws are ineffective today because of the multi-million dollar law firms that focus strictly on keeping companies union-free. Currently workers are struggling in this era of internet and world-wide corporations that have limitless bank accounts.  These companies use every technique known to man to confuse, manipulate and coerce employees. Average Joe American Worker doesn’t stand a chance of having a fair election process as set up by the government. A process whereby the employees can seek out information about unionizing without strong arm techniques by the employer or fear of retribution if the employee votes to unionize. Those days are long over.

SEIU has sought out creative ways of assuring that workers have the ability to have fair elections, by setting ground rules with employers whose employees sought out the SEIU to represent them. These agreements with employer are NOT agreements about representation or negotiations; they are simply ground rules for the election process!!!

What the CNA has done in St. Louis at my hospital (which is now union free thanks to their interference), in Ohio recently and at countless other healthcare facilities across the nation is to assist the companies/law firms in their ANTI-UNION campaign. CNA has become one of the greatest ANTI-UNION organizations in the country. What an oxymoron for an organization that claims to be union.

Also to blame is the AFL-CIO, which the CNA is affiliated with. Again, an organization that is supposed to assist and protect workers is turning a blind eye to the anti-union actions of its affiliate-CNA and in turn, is turning its back on American workers. The AFL-CIO should be ashamed of itself for calling itself a labor organization.

Every worker in American, union or not should be outraged at the actions of the CNA and the AFL-CIO. All Labor unions across the country need to watch their backs. You may be the next target of the CNA just for the sole purpose of retribution for the SEIU’s efforts to represent healthcare workers, a group of workers that the CNA feels entitled to represent in whole. Who knows, they may branch out and start representing Carpenters, or State employees, or teachers. Who is next?

Every worker in America, union or not should be outraged at the actions of the CNA and the AFL-CIO. Whether you believe in unions or not, we should ALL support the freedom of choice. The healthcare workers in Ohio were robbed of their freedom of choice and something should be done about the rogue actions of the CNA.

Stop the CNA now. Contact the AFL-CIO and the CNA and let them know that enough is enough!!!!!

Karen Prade, RN

St. John’s Mercy Medical Center

St. Louis, MO


California Ratios, the real story

1983: SEIU Negotiates First Collective Bargaining Agreement with Staffing Ratios at San Francisco General.  In 1983, SEIU negotiated minimum staffing requirements for nurses at San Francisco General that have been improved over the last two decades. Today the SEIU contract requires 1:3.7 in med-surg. 1993: No CNA contract includes staffing ratios. (*to this day I don’t believe CNA has any contractual ratios, and if they do somewhere, it’s not outside CA*.)  CNA negotiates a deal with Wilson Administration on regulations on acuity-based staffing.  After not winning staffing ratios at the bargaining table, in the Legislature or in the regulatory process, CNA negotiated on unenforceable regulations that require hospitals to have incomprehensible acuity systems. 1993: SEIU sponsors the staffing ratio bill, SB1079 by Senator Diane Watson, to require staffing ratios in all hospitals, calling for 1:3 on day shifts and 1:4 on night shifts in med-surg and pediatrics, and 1:2 in stepdown and telemetry.  SB1079 also calls for ratios in outpatient settings, home health, and urgent care. 1999: AB394 by Assembly member Sheila Kuehl is introduced calling for 1:6 in med-surg, 1:3 in pediatrics, 1;3 in step-down, and 1:4 in telemetry. SEIU works to improve the measure by including all licensed nurses as appropriate. CNA does NOT OBJECT… they agree! January, 2000: SEIU Nurse Alliance submits first staffing ratio proposal calling for 1:4 in med-surg, 1:3 in pediatrics, 1:3 in step-down, and 1:3 in telemetry. Working as a professional organization, SEIU Nurse Alliance convened representative committees of its nurses to develop the first staffing ratio proposal submitted to the Department of Health Services.  The committees were convened by unit and included nurses from Northern and Southern California, from public and private hospitals, from Kaiser and non-Kaiser facilities and recommendations were compiled into a 43-page proposal that documented justification for the proposed ratios. August 2000: California Healthcare Association, the hospital association, submits staffing ratio proposal calling for 1:10 in med-surg, 1:6 in pediatrics, 1:6 in step-down and 1:10 in telemetry.  The hospital association submits a one-page proposal with no justification for ratios that would endanger patients (up to 1:16…). 2000-2001: SEIU organizes against CHA proposal to endanger patients, submits hundreds of letters protesting. Nurses throughout California are outraged that those responsible for running hospitals want to make staffing even worse than it already is. March, 2001: After months of delays CNA submits its 1st staffing ratio proposal (*anyone seeing a pattern here? COPY, MISINTERPRET, and TRASH — that’s “progressive”? That’s crap*), fifteen months after SEIU, and a year after the Hospital Association, and months after UNAC. CNA calls for 1:3 in med-surg, 1:3 in pediatrics, 1:3 in step-down, and 1:3 in telemetry.     Spring, 2001: Kaiser Permanente endorses SEIU/UNAC proposal. Kaiser Permanente, the largest health care system in California and one of the largest in the United States, joined SEIU and its other labor partners in endorsing nurse to patient ratios of 1:4 in med-surg, 1:3 in pediatrics, 1:3 in step-down, and 1:3 in telemetry. Kaiser affirms its commitment to quality health care and states its belief that better staffing is the best way to solve the nursing shortage. THESE RATIOS BECOME ENSHRINED IN ANOTHER CONTRACT, See Kaiser Sunset, who had 1:4 on med-surg in a cba long before legislation got us anywhere near those. NOTE: that’s 2 SEIU contracts with ratios and CNA=0 by 2001. 2001: California Department of Health Services surveys over 90 of 450 general acute care hospitals to determine staffing in all units on all shifts.  Although inspections are technically unannounced, all hospitals are told they will occur.  Even with notice, only about 70% of hospitals are staffed at 1:6 or better in med-surg and only about half are staffed at 1:5 or better. January 22, 2002: Governor Davis announces first-ever nurse to patient ratios, proposing 1:6 in med-surg, going to 1:5 in med-surg in 2004 or 2005,  1:4 in pediatrics, 1:4 in stepdown, and 1:5 in telemetry. CNA lauds ratios as “good, defensible ratios”.  “This is the most sweeping health care reform that we’ve seen,” said Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Assn., one of the unions that represent registered nurses. (LAT 1/23/02)All of this said by DeMoro knowing that at that time “licensed nurses” were considered to be RNs & LPNs, although the understanding that “licensed nurses” would be interpreted as RN ONLY came later and after an initial disagreement, all the nurses unions agreed to go with that definition. SEIU Locals denounce 1:6 as inadequate, not good enough for patients and not good enough to attract nurses to nursing. Kaiser restates their commitment to move to 1:4 voluntarily. Sal Rosselli, president of the SEIU’s largest healthcare local in CA, said the state’s nurses would have gotten a better deal under the Kaiser model. “Why the CNA would accept 6 to 1 absolutely shocks me,” he said. Kaiser spokesman Terry Lightfoot said that regardless of what Davis decided, Kaiser would stick with a plan to reach the 1-to-4 ratio “as soon as possible.” (SF Chron 1/23/02) Well we all know what happened after this — CNA rewrote history by claiming to have conceptualized, developed, and single-handedly won ratios in CA in a shockingly arrogant Karl Rove style move. SEIU’s only role, according to CNA, was to do nothing and try and stop ratios or worse, just watering them down. In addition to that, Kaiser is an example of awful labor management partnerships. Yeah. SEIU’s awful evil tactics equal 1) Union Elections for Workers, and 2) Standard Setting Improvements. Again — the CNA / NNOC 2-step (1. Criticize it and Destroy it because it’s not yours and 2) Steal it and Do it yourself because YOU HAVE NO BETTER IDEA. It would be one thing if it were just talk and armchair revolution bs — but now you guys are messing with real people’s lives. It Must Stop.

major blogger angry at CNA!

Matt Stoller of has proven himself to be an intelligent and thoughtful journalist.  He didn’t buy the hype, researched and spoke to an actual RN who was part of the revolutionary effort in Ohio that was destroyed by the CNA.  Check out the story at

An Open Letter to CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro

Dear Rose Ann DeMoro,ohiocna.jpg

It’s hard for us to imagine how someone who calls herself a labor leader could purposely do what you have done to us and our families. You don’t know any of us. You have never been to our homes or met our children. You have never visited us on our shifts, or walked in our shoes. You don’t know a thing about the struggle that brought us to the verge of our dream to have a union. And yet without talking to a single one of us you send your bullying staff to come in and spread terrible lies for no other reason than to destroy what we worked so hard to build.

For three years we have worked with SEIU members, leaders and staff to form our union. We sent letters to hospital officials and mobilized community support for fair organizing rules. SEIU has supported and encouraged us through some very hard times, and helped us stand up for ourselves. We are caregivers–registered nurses and respiratory therapists, dietary and housekeeping staff, lab techs and other employees. SEIU helped us understand how we could do more by speaking with one voice and standing together for our families and our patients. SEIU respected our intelligence and our ability to make our own decisions.

You say you stand for democracy. But then you come in with a goal of destroying our campaign without ever asking us what we think about SEIU and our agreement for fair election ground rules–ground rules we now understand you have made use of many times in California.

You say you stand for justice. But then you deny us our opportunity for a fair vote free of misleading propaganda and scare tactics.

Our efforts to unite for better jobs and health care were not a secret. At any time during those three years you could have come and presented your union, compared yourself to SEIU, and asked us to make a choice. But you didn’t. So it is obvious to us that your sole intention was to destroy what we have built. What kind of organization sets out to destroy the efforts of the very people you claim to stand for, and then tries to pretend it’s a moral cause?

Here in Ohio, union organizers and representatives don’t behave the way yours do. They show respect for hard-working people. We have read all the words about how you try to justify this, but when compared to the needs of our families and the needs of our patients, they show a complete disregard for basic fairness and decency. You have brought harm to thousands of workers and families in Ohio, and you should be ashamed of what you have done.


Michaela Silver, RCP

Springfield Regional Medical Center

Springfield, OH