August 21, 2009
PROUD AND STRONG
Dear MNA Colleague,
To join a new national nurses union or not to join a new national nurses union - that is the question members of the MNA will be debating at our upcoming convention.
Your Bargaining Committee has chosen to stand in opposition to joining the new national union because we believe our biggest strength is our independence. We are proud of the accomplishments of our union, especially since we disaffiliated from the American Nurses Association. That decision, to leave the confines of that national association, put MNA members in a position of power and sparked an era of tremendous change for staff nurses. For the first time in history we were in control of our own destiny and we haven’t looked back since.
We believe keeping our autonomy is vital. There is nothing a national nurses union can do for us that we cannot do on our own. What it will do is divert precious financial resources away from our union and that is unacceptable to us at this time. Any monies collected by the MNA must stay in Massachusetts and support our bargaining units which will allow us to choose the agenda we alone believe is right. No compromises! Presently we can partner with any group that shares our philosophy on any issue and it doesn’t cost millions of dollars to do it. We completely agree that a strong unified voice is effective and will lend ours to any cause we deem worthy on a local and national level.
In addition to voting on the new national union, MNA members will be asked to vote on a new dues structure. This structure will encompass all of the dues required by MNA members to fund the state, national and AFL-CIO dues. Already written into the agreement, the national dues will automatically be increased by 2.5% every year without members’ input. This should not be the way our union does business with any entity. We should not be automatically required to do anything!
As for the dues increase itself, we believe it unfairly burdens BWH nurses. We hear you loud and clear! The vast majority of nurses in our bargaining unit will pay more in dues, which could be as high as a 20% increase. As the largest bargaining unit in the MNA we already generate over 2 million dollars per year in dues revenue for our union. We do not support BWH members paying more than other nurses across the state. A flat dues rate is fair and equitable, a principal our union is founded upon.
Let your voice be heard by attending the business meeting on Thursday October 1, 2009 at the Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster, MA. The meeting begins at 2:00 pm. There is no need to pre-register. Any MNA member in good standing is entitled to participate in this process.
If you are unable to attend due to work or religious reasons, please request a mail-in ballot by September 21, 2009 by using the enclosed form. If you are working ANY part of October 1st including on call, an extra shift or OT, you are eligible to use the mail-in ballot process. Please read the enclosed information carefully to cast your vote if you are unable to attend.
Your participation in your union is vital. Vote to keep MNA independent, proud and strong.
MNA/BWH Bargaining Committee
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