Nursing Unions Continue to Consolidate

Continuing a trend among unions working to organize nurses, the Hawai'i Nursing Association (HNA) announced on February 16, 2010 that it has joined the Office and Professional Employees International Union, AFL-CIO (OPEIU). In the fall of 2009, the HNA voted to disaffiliate from the United American Nurses (UAN), just prior to UAN’s merger with the California Nurses Association and the National Nurses Organizing Committee, and the formation of the National Nurses United (NNU-NNOC). The steps leading up to the formation of the NNU-NNOC is addressed in more detail in “Major Merger of Nursing Unions to Shake Up Health Care.”

This merger further illustrates the focus by several unions on organizing nurses. In particular, within the past few years, OPEIU merged with the Pennsylvania Nurses Association and has continued to organize nurses in Pennsylvania and beyond. In the process, OPEIU formed “OPIEU Healthcare,” which has continued to grow since its formation. Health care employers continue to feel the effects of disputes between the various unions seeking to organize nurses, from disruptions in the workplace to picketing by one or more of the nursing unions, and more. OPEIU’s affiliation with HNA likely indicates additional resources dedicated by OPEIU to organize nurses in other areas of the country, and reflects a broader strategy among unions to tap deeper resources for organizing health care employees.

This entry was written by H. Tor Christensen.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.