OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 10 The Pennsylvania Association ofStaff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) is joining the nation's largestunion of registered nurses, the California Nurses Association/National NursesOrganizing Committee (AFL-CIO), leaders of both organizations announced today.
With the affiliation, CNA/NNOC will now represent more than 80,000 RNs inall 50 states. PASNAP has some 5,100 members.
CNA/NNOC and PASNAP have been two of the fastest growing unions in theU.S. with a stellar growth record. In the past decade, CNA/NNOC has grown bymore than 370 percent. Since 2001, CNA/NNOC has gained more than 30,000 newmembers. PASNAP has a similar record of growth, boosting its membership by 40percent this decade.
"By joining forces with CNA and the National Nurses Organizing Committee,Pennsylvania nurses will benefit from the resources and expertise of the mostdynamic and effective professional nurse unions in the nation," said PASNAPPresident Patty Eakin, RN. "When the collective voice of nurses isstrengthened, the main beneficiaries are patients and their families."
"We are thrilled to welcome the dynamic members of PASNAP into our growingmovement of direct care RNs," said Zenei Cortez, RN, member of the CNA/NNOCCouncil of Presidents.
"We have a long and proud history and a close working relationship withPASNAP, and a shared mission on the most fundamental issues for RNs," saidCortez. This mission includes "increasing the power of bedside nurses,promoting the health and well-being of patients against the erosion of patientprotections, strengthening RN standards, winning RN-to-patient ratios, andtransforming our healthcare system."
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney also greeted the news. "The AFL-CIO isdelighted to welcome the PASNAP nurses into the AFL-CIO through theiraffiliation with CNA/NNOC."
"With such deep problems in health care and such tremendous challengesfacing working people, there is no more important time for nurses to unite fora stronger voice. The joining together of these two aggressive unions forregistered nurses is great news," Sweeney said.
'Unite All Nurses Into One Powerful Organization'
"Our unity is a strong signal to nurses in Pennsylvania and other nursesacross the nation of the opportunity for growth, a stronger voice in theworkplace and the public arena. All nurses should be united in one powerfulorganization," said CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro.
Eakin emphasized that the affiliation presents exciting new avenues forPennsylvania RNs. "PASNAP increases its opportunities to improve the workinglives of nurses and the care they deliver to patients by affiliating withCNA/NNOC as it has successfully fought for nurses and won vital patient safetymeasures such as California's nurse to patient ratio law."
California's landmark RN-to-patient ratio law was enacted in 1999, and hasled to major improvements in patient safety and working conditions for RNs,Cortez noted. The final stage of the law's phase in occurred January 1, 2008.CNA/NNOC members have introduced similar measures in Arizona, Illinois, Maine,Ohio, and Texas. PASNAP is also promoting a ratio law.
"Every day, nurses work hard to save lives. We should never work short-staffed because it inevitably means that we cannot safely deliver care," saidEakin, citing the Pennsylvania bill, HB 171, sponsored by Tim Solobay,"mirroring the bill that CNA fought to make law in California."
"Now that the facts have been established that California's safe staffingbill has helped reverse the nursing shortage in California, Pennsylvaniansshould have to wait no more. What has been won in California should be won inPennsylvania and nationwide for the sake of safe patient care," Eakin added.
Both organizations are also active in the national campaign for HR 676,which wou