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Service Employee Union's Latest Attack on RNs Parrots McCain's Attack on Obama's Health Plan
Date:6/5/2008

the moment SEIU is actively campaigning to raid the New York State Nurses Association, other RN unions, the Puerto Rico Federation of Teachers, and other unions.

"SEIU's goal is to cannibalize all professional nurses' unions," said DeMoro, "while it is undermining the power of RNs to be patient advocates and colluding with employers against the interests of nurses and patients."

"For SEIU to represent any RNs is an injury and insult to all RNs," Markowitz said.

SEIU is a non-RN union -- only 1 percent of its members are RNs -- and has been steadily reducing representation for its remaining RNs, DeMoro noted.

Just this week at its national convention, SEIU adopted a plan to end workplace representation and force RNs and other members to phone call centers when they need help.

As one SEIU member told the New York Times, "sometimes you can't get through to these centers. It's like talking to an ATM." During debate on the resolution, several delegates expressed concerns about the centers, particularly those that handle calls for several locals. "I never dreamed outsourcing would be a good idea," one delegate said, adding, "we aren't a corporation," the Bureau of National Affairs reported today.

To obtain sweetheart deals with employers, SEIU has "routinely sacrificed patients," DeMoro noted. She cited, for example, an agreement with California nursing home operators under which SEIU agreed to back legislation impeding patients' rights to sue over nursing home abuses and oppose reforms to require better staffing for patient safety. SEIU also joined with the New York hospital industry to endorse the closure of hospitals and nursing homes.

On healthcare reform, CNA/NNOC's position "to demand genuine reform has been repeatedly directed by CNA/NNOC members in convention and other forums," said Markowitz, "because nurses daily witness the pain and suffering of our patients at the hands of the private insurance-run healthcare s
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SOURCE California Nurses Association
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