Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Christine Emerson
Observer Staff Writer 

National Nurses Union Threatens to Strike

NNU paid $1 million to support Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders


Members on October 5, 2011 marching to Foley Square in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

The National Nurses United union, the largest nurses union in the country, is threatening one- to seven-day walkouts in eight hospitals in three states at the end of June. Cited are understaffing issues and consequent reduction in patient care.

The states with scheduled walkouts are Minnesota, Massachusetts, and California. 1,300 registered nurses plan a four-day strike at Kaiser Permanente's flagship hospital, Los Angeles Medical Center. Short staffing and lack of adequate break time are the stated reasons for the walkout.

At another hospital under threat of a strike, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, RNs complain of understaffing and a reduction in health coverage. BWH nurse Maureen Tapper says, "Many of our patients struggle to breathe. These patients and families need emotional as well as physical support. The reduction in nurse staffing severely impacts the care the patients so greatly need. Nurses are struggling to provide the best possible quality care in a safe environment. This decrease in staffing by the hospital places both patients and nurses at risk. Our patients deserve better."

Writing in The New York Times on January 28, 2016, Nicholas Confessore reported that, "According to Federal Election Commission records [NNU's] "super PAC" has spent close to $1 million on ads and other support for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The NNU spending was classified as, "Expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate."


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