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    Sacramento Business Journal Interview: John Borsos, Secretary-Treasurer, NUHW

    Kathy Robertson.Senior staff writer
    Sacramento Business Journal

    John Borsos hopes labor history is about to repeat itself.

    Secretary-treasurer at the National Union of Healthcare Workers, Borsos wrote his doctoral thesis on how a sharp decline for the labor movement in the 1920s gave way to an upsurge in strike activity and organizing in the 1930s.

    Organized labor has taken hits in recent years, as unionized industries face steep competitive challenges and public-sector unions face fights to retain collective bargaining rights amid state budget deficits. Now the economy is on an upswing, and unions are angling to nab a bigger share of the American dream for their members.

    Second-in-command at the National Union for Healthcare Workers, Borsos sees 2013 as a pivotal year for the scrappy start-up run by labor heavyweight Sal Rosselli . The decks appear cleared for a re-run of the largest ever private-sector union election in California. NUHW has 10,000 members; success could quadruple that number.

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    Nurse Talk: RN DeAnn McEwen National Nurses United and NUHW Step Up

    Listen at NurseTalk Podcast

    A visit with RN DeAnn McEwen, , Co-President of the California Nurses Association, about a recent press release announcing the largest nurses union in the U.S., National Nurses United and its affiliation with the National Union of Healthcare Workers to step up their work to protect patients, uphold standards, fight employer attacks, blast efforts to roll back patient ratios, and erode contract protections. Find out why and why you should be interested.


    Healthcare Finance News: Two California labor unions join forces

    Two California labor unions join forces

    January 08, 2013 | Stephanie Bouchard, Managing Editor, Healthcare Finance News

    Two labor unions in California are formalizing what has been a longstanding informal relationship. The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) and the California Nurses Association (CNA) announced last week a legal affiliation that is for now a strategic alliance rather than a merger.

    The 10,000-member NUHW and 85,000-member CNA will maintain separate constitutions and autonomous internal governance structures but will act like one union on agreed upon projects, legislative goals, organizing campaigns and contract campaigns, said Sal Rosselli, president of NUHW.

    The affiliation with NUHW at this point does not impact CNA’s affiliation with National Nurses United, Rosselli added, but it does mean that the potential affiliation between NUHW and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) will not happen. NUHW and IAM formed a partnership last year that had the potential to develop into a formal affiliation. While that affiliation will not happen now, Rosselli said, IAM still supports NUHW’s goals.

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    Huff Post: Health Care Worker Unions Team Up In California 

    Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post

    Two major health care worker unions entered into a formal affiliation in California on Thursday, arguing that they could better fight concessions sought by hospitals and health care companies in contract talks if they joined forces.

    The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) and the California Nurses Association (CNA) will now jointly fight what they describe as declining workplace standards in the industry, officials with the two unions told The Huffington Post. The NUHW, which was created four years ago after a split with another union and now includes 10,000 members, has found a significantly larger partner in the politically powerful CNA, which represents 85,000 nurses in the state.

    “Some of us in both organizations, for decades, we have had this goal to form a national health care union,” said Sal Rosselli, president of NUHW. “This affiliation, we believe, will make it come to be.”

    The affiliation comes at a time when the two unions have been engaged in high-profile fights with the health care companies Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health, as well as public spats with another union, the Service Employee International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU). NUHW and the nurses association have accused SEIU of being too friendly with the industry and too conciliatory to employers during contract talks.

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    San Jose Mercury News: NUHW affiliates with powerful California Nurses Association


    OAKLAND — In a move expected to shake up health care labor battles statewide, the powerful California Nurses Association announced Thursday that it will affiliate with the National Union of Healthcare Workers in fights with major health systems over wages, benefits and patient care issues.

    CNA also agreed to use its 85,000 members and considerable resources to help NUHW in its campaign to defeat a large rival, the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, in an upcoming election for the right to represent 43,500 Kaiser Permanente service and technical workers.

    That election, which may happen this spring, will be a repeat of a 2010 election, which was the largest union election in the private sector in nearly 70 years. At that time, Kaiser workers voted to remain in SEIU.

    “This is an affiliation whose time has come,” said NUHW President Sal Rosselli during an Oakland news conference with CNA leaders. “When we win this Kaiser election, it will be a game changer.”

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    Sac Bee: Health union alliance could threaten larger rival

    Two health care unions are joining forces in a move that could threaten a powerful rival’s dominance and fuel a new round of labor tensions.

    The 85,000-member California Nurses Association is forging an alliance with the 10,000-member National Union of Healthcare Workers to form a new union made up entirely of health sector workers.

    The alliance announced Thursday renews a bitter rivalry between the nurses’ union and the powerful 2 million-member Service Employees International Union, the nation’s dominant health care union and a major force in Democratic politics.

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    Labor Notes: California Nurses and NUHW Join Forces against Kaiser

    Steve Early, Labor Notes

    Two of U.S. labor’s biggest recent strikes against concessions were conducted by the California Nurses Association and the National Union of Healthcare Workers. Their target each time was Kaiser Permanente, the giant California health care chain that has made $6 billion in profits since 2009 but still wants job cuts and givebacks.

    Today CNA and NUHW took their collaboration further and announced NUHW’s formal affiliation with CNA. It seemed an obvious alliance, because, as CNA Co-president Deborah Burger noted at a press conference in Oakland, many of the union activists in the room have “been working together for decades” against common employers.

    But officially joining forces took years and some detours to achieve—including, at one point, CNA’s abandonment of the newly formed NUHW in 2009, followed by the latter’s attempted hook-up with the Machinists, an AFL-CIO union with little connection to California health care.

    The most immediate impact of today’s affiliation will be critical help from CNA in NUHW’s ongoing drive to oust the Service Employees (SEIU) as the representative of 43,000 service and technical workers at Kaiser Permanente. It is likely to culminate in a second National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)-run decertification election later this year.

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    La Opinion: Enfermeras de California se unen a sindicato nacional

    Los sindicatos California Nurse Association (CNA) y National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) anunciaron ayer su fusión bajo una sola entidad legal y una ofensiva nacional para sindicalizar bajo una sola bandera, a todos los trabajadores de servicios de salud.

    La nueva entidad que se llama NUHW-CNA inicia con una afiliación combinada de 95,000 empleados de salud, gran parte de éstos son enfermeras de California.

    Una de sus primeras actividades públicas en conjunto será una elección en donde tratarán de convencer a 43,000 trabajadores de Kaiser Permanente, que actualmente son representados por SEIU, de que sus derechos serán mejor representados si cambian de sindicato.

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    Counterpunch: An Alliance in Healthcare

    by CAL WINSLOW, Counterpunch

    In a giant step forward for California healthcare workers, two of the nation’s most militant unions have joined forces in the battle against Kaiser Permanente, the giant California based healthcare corporation. It is a battle of enormous proportion, one with implications for the entire industry, almost certainly beyond.

    The alliance joins the California Nurses Association (CNA) with the new National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW); it was formally announced January 3, at CNA headquarters in Oakland, CA. It comes in the face of a set of interrelated challenges, each crucial, first of all of healthcare workers of course, but equally important for patients, for workers nationwide, for us all.

    “This is an affiliation whose time has come,” NUHW president Sal Rosselli told the assembly of healthcare workers, union staff and members of the press. “Employer attacks are on the rise, nowhere more so than at Kaiser Permanente. NUHW members at Kaiser, with RN co-workers from CNA have already engaged in repeated statewide strikes to stand their ground against threatened reductions to wages, benefits and job protections that other unions at Kaiser have already agreed to in spite of four years of record profits for Kaiser.”

    Other unions? Here, already, the plot thickens, for this alliance is not just to battle Kaiser; it is also to fight Kaiser’s incumbent union, the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) California affiliate, United Healthcare Worker West (UHW). Zenei Cortez, RN, who chairs CNA’s Kaiser bargaining team, also CNA co-president, explained, “Uniting together, CNA and NUHW are taking a huge step forward in achieving our joint goal of upholding standards for workers and patients.” She made it quite clear, however, that the fight was also with SEIU’s UHW. “We will have to fight Dave Regan /UHW’s imported, thug extraordinaire president/ as well. We will fight Reagan and his cronies, it is disheartening to say that he has undermined our fight, but we will fight him every step of the way.”

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    KQED: Healthcare Unions in California Join Forces

    by Mina Kim | January 4, 2013 — 1:46 PM, KQED

    Officials with the California Nurses Association and National Union of Healthcare Workers announced their affiliation Thursday, to seek better workplace conditions for healthcare employees.  

    CNA co-president Deborah Burger said nurses’ abilities to negotiate contracts has been undercut by the Service Employees International Union,and its chummy relationship with employers like Kaiser Permanente.

    “SEIU California is sort of the concession factory,” Burger said. “And we know that once you give up a benefit it doesn’t come back.”

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