Nurses Unions Failing To Deliver As Promised

by | Jul 28, 2022 | Healthcare, SEIU, States

Ongoing unrest still prevails in this industry. Staffing issues, budgetary shortfalls, safety concerns, and dwindling Covid-19 funds guarantee that there is no immediate workplace relief in sight. To that end, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D. issued an advisory report filled with recommendations to help healthcare workers fight widespread burnout, which could further cripple hospital systems within five years.

Murthy’s guidance includes beefing up staffing numbers, which is easier said than done with hospitals turning to contract labor to fill gaps. There is no legally binding aspect to the report, but unions including the SEIU will undoubtedly point toward the report while negotiating future contracts and putting workers into strike mode.

Here’s a few union-related developments of note:

  • Planned Parenthood locations (in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and the Dakotas), voted to unionize, adding 28 clinics and over 400 workers to the SEIU roster.
  • Over 200 Mayo Clinic Nurses in Minnesota voted to remove their union, the Minnesota Nurses Association, after seven decades of representation.
  • Nurses at Maine Medical Center (in Portland) could soon decertify their union, and this case is notable due to the short duration of representation by Maine State Nurses Association. Nurses voted for the union in April 2021, and 15 months later, the nurses could boot the union after it failed to reach a contract.
  • Nurse strikes continue to pop up throughout the industry due to nurses absorbing the brunt of pandemic stress in hospital systems. It also cannot be overstated how the job’s physical/emotional demands take their toll on nurses’ mental health. In California, Kaiser Permanente nurses in Los Angeles and Shasta Regional Medical Center nurses in Redding continue to wage periodic strikes to ask management to adopt best practices for staffing and safety.

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