KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

California Nurses Association, National Union of Healthcare Workers Join Forces

The move could change the scope of labor battles statewide and renew a rivalry between the nurses organization and the Service Employees International Union, according to media reports.

The Associated Press: 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 (Hananel, 1/3).

San Jose Mercury News: National Union Of Healthcare Workers Affiliates With Powerful California Nurses Association
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 (Kleffman, 1/3).

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