National Nurses United

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National Nurses United is controlled by Democratic Socialists of America.

Leadership, 2018

1018 NNU CVN Deborah Zenei Jean BTS9859.jpg

RNs and NNU Co-Presidents (left to right): Deborah Burger, Zenei Cortez, and Jean Ross.

Medicare for All launch

With wide backing from unions and citizens groups, and majority public support, the Congressional Progressive Caucus formally unveiled its comprehensive Medicare For All legislation.

Surrounded by more than 100 backers at a Feb. 27 outdoor Capitol Hill press conference, from National Nurses United (NNU), the Center for Popular Democracy and Our Revolution, a parade of lawmakers, led by caucus co-chair Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., pitched the fight over the new legislation, HR1384, in human, justice and financial terms.

They said it would save people money they now pay on health insurers’ co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, save businesses money they fork over to the insurers for declining coverage for their workers, and save U.S. health care spending by letting doctors and nurses treat patients before their conditions worsen.

“Thirty people die every day in America because they lack health care coverage,” said one backer, Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. After 150 hearings and events NNU held nationwide, the union concluded “people across this country want real reform, now,” said union Executive Director Bonnie Castillo.

“For all the people suffering from illness in the U.S., this (legislation) is for you,” Jayapal said.

The measure has more than 100 House co-sponsors already. Besides NNU, initial union backers include the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Teachers (AFT), the Labor Campaign for Single Payer, the Amalgamated Transit Union, the Postal Workers and the Flight Attendants-CWA.

Other union backers include the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees-Teamsters, the Theatrical and State Employees, the Professional and Technical Engineers, the National Union of Healthcare Workers, the New York State Nurses Association, the Service Employees, the United Electrical Workers and, for the first time ever, the Machinists.

“We know we must take this on now,” AFT President Randi Weingarten declared at the press conference. “Health care costs have become an issue in every collective bargaining agreement for two decades – and an issue in the recent teachers’ strikes.”[1]

Endorsements

California leaders

May 2017, top registered nurse leaders of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC) have been re-elected to new three-year terms spearheading one of the most prominent nurses and health care and social advocacy organizations in the U.S.

CNA/NNOC Co-Presidents RNs Deborah Burger, Zenei Cortez, Cokie Giles, and Malinda Markowitz, and Treasurer Martha Kuhl all won re-election to new terms. Incumbent board member Cathy Kennedy, RN was elected to her first term as CNA/NNOC Secretary, replacing the retiring Margie Keenan, RN. All will take office at the upcoming CNA/NNOC convention in San Francisco in September

CNA/NNOC is the largest affiliate of National Nurses United, the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the U.S. NNU has 150,000 members, including 100,000 CNA/NNOC members in California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Texas, Washington DC, West Virginia and other locations.

CNA/NNOC Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro sent her congratulations to the election winners, calling the results “a strong mandate for the incredible accomplishments and direction of this organization, and the social change, patient advocacy program they have advanced—for an improved and expanded Medicare for all/single payer health care, and economic, social, and environmental justice.

Other RN election winners who will serve on the incoming CNA/NNOC board of directors are:

Martese Chism, Fong Chuu, Debbie Cuaresma, Kathy Dennis, Kathy Donohue, Maureen Dugan, Amy Erb, Amy Glass, Jennifer Holm, Carol Koelle, Diane Koorsones, Marissa Lee, Gina Macalino, Diane McClure, Allison Miller, Stephanie Patten, Sandy Redding, Katy Roemer, Jane Sandoval, Sherrie Stoddard, Dahlia Tayag, Dolores Trujillo, Valerie Verity-Mock, Rida Villanueva, Michelle Vo, David Welch, and Irma Westmoreland.

Eight of the RNs are newly elected to their positions, an important part of the regeneration of leadership in CNA/NNOC, noted DeMoro. “Our returning leaders are committed to working closely with the new members to assure a short learning curve that is essential to assuring no break in continuity in the critical work of our organization.”[2]

References