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Saint Mary's Reno RNs Choose CNA/NNOC in Landslide 64 Percent Vote for 500 RNs
Date:12/7/2007

Nevada Breakthrough for Fastest Growing Union

RENO, Nev., Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Registered nurses at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center in Reno Thursday night voted by over 64 percent to join the nation's fastest growing union, the California Nurses Association/ National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC).

Saint Mary's RNs will hold a press conference today on the election results.

It was the first victory for CNA/NNOC in Nevada -- but, said CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro, "it will be the harbinger of more victories to come in the state where there is a booming interest in CNA/NNOC achievements."

The final count was 252 to 141 in the secret ballot election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. CNA/NNOC will represent 500 RNs at the hospital.

With the Saint Mary's win, CNA/NNOC has now grown by more than 350 percent in the past decade, and won elections for 24,500 RNs at 72 hospitals since 2001.

Press Conference with Saint Mary's RNs

Friday, December 7, 11 a.m.

Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center, South Entrance,

6th St. between West and Arlington

Nevada becomes the fourth state, joining California, Illinois, and Maine, where CNA/NNOC represents RNs in collective bargaining. Overall, CNA/NNOC has more than 75,000 members in all 50 states.

"We are rolling across the nation with a patient advocacy agenda that is a beacon to nurses from coast to coast," said DeMoro Thursday night. "We expect the Nevada nurses to be a model for nurses in other states who will very soon also be voting for representation by CNA/NNOC."

"For the nurses and patients at Saint Mary's, this is a monumental night, with a breakthrough that will make this a better hospital for patients and for the Reno community," said Malinda Markowitz, RN on behalf of the CNA/NNOC Council of Presidents.

"We are excited to welcome the Saint Mary's RNs into the CNA/NNOC family and to our joint commitment to improving the quality of patient care and achieving a just healthcare system for all," Markowitz said.

Saint Mary's RNs now also join 10,000 of their colleagues at 25 other Catholic Healthcare West hospitals who are already members of CNA/NNOC and have experienced dramatic gains in patient care conditions and RN standards.

"We are thrilled that we are going to be negotiating to improve quality of patient care at Saint Mary's," said Amy Barats, an Emergency Room RN. "Safe patient care is our number one concern and nurses now have the collective bargaining power to make changes necessary."

"Retaining nurses to stay at Saint Mary's is the key to quality of patient care," said Intensive Care Unit RN Kevin Redner, RN. "Nurses are hoping for a productive and expeditious bargaining process from CHW who has many years of bargaining relationship with CNA/NNOC represented facilities and has contracts in place to pattern after."

To achieve the victory, the nurses also had to overcome active interference by the Service Employees Intl. Union (SEIU) which intervened in the election with virtually no support, tried to delay the election with bogus charges, and then encouraged RNs to vote against representation. Finally SEIU pulled its name off the ballot.

Strengthening their ability to act as patient advocates, improved patient care protection standards, compensation, and benefits that help recruit and retain skilled RNs were key factors for the Saint Mary's RNs in voting for CNA/NNOC.

"We are ecstatic to bring the national nurses' movement to Nevada," said Jill Furillo, RN, CNA/NNOC's CHW Director. "The nurses will win a fair agreement for their work, and patients throughout the state will gain because RNs will finally have a voice in health care policy both at the facility and at the state level."

CNA/NNOC negotiated a groundbreaking contract for thousands of CHW RNs this past summer. That agreement includes landmark patient protections, such as inclusion of the California's mandated RN-to-patient ratio law in the contract, as well as a clause that new technology will aid -- not impede -- the RNs clinical judgment at the bedside.

CHW in California has also agreed to provisions that help recruit and retain nurses, including strong retirement protection and paid healthcare benefits for RNs, spouses, and their dependents.


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SOURCE California Nurses Association
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