Do not let the Massachusetts Nurses Association fool you. They are not a professional nursing organization. They are a trade union; nothing more, nothing less.
The Massachusetts Nurses Association may tell you that it is a professional organization, but ask yourself if an organization interested in the nursing profession and quality patient care would engage in the following conduct.
Recent Unprofessional Actions by the MNA
- MNA Black and Blue Day at UMass Medical Center
The MNA asks the nurses it represents at UMass Medical Center to wear black and blue scrubs to work every Wednesday symbolizing what the MNA calls the beating management is giving nurses through their alleged dangerous staffing practices and onerous contract proposals. How would you feel interacting with your patients if you and your colleagues were pressured to dress like this every Wednesday?
- MNA Distributes Leaflets Claiming Quincy Medical Center is Unsafe
In January, the MNA had nurses it represents at Quincy Medical Center handing out leaflets at MBTA stations claiming the hospital was staffed at a bare bones level that may compromise nurses’ ability to provide safe patient care. Would you be comfortable handing leaflets to strangers claiming that you and your colleagues do not provide safe care?
- MNA Held Rallies About Unsafe Staffing at Holy Family Hospital and Merrimack Valley Hospital
The MNA is planning rallies at Holy Family Hospital and Merrimack Valley Hospital to highlight their “serious concerns” about the quality of care provided at these hospitals. How would you feel about attending a rally where you and your colleagues told the community that you do not provide quality care?
- MNA Sponsors Community Forum Criticizing Baystate Franklin Medical Center
In March, the MNA sponsored a community forum where it claimed that there has been “an erosion” of best nursing practices and services at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. This public criticism of the hospital led at least one employee to write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper noting that the MNA’s public bashing of the hospital was hurting employees and the members of the community who wanted to receive care at the hospital. How would you like to be in a position where the MNA pit employees against one another?
The MNA has publicly criticized the quality of care at South Shore Hospital:
The MNA has stated, “The fact that South Shore Hospital was Magnet designated last year is sufficient to illustrate the meaninglessness of the label. South Shore is host to very serious problems of understaffing, long waits, dangerous conditions for patients, nurse turnover and dissatisfaction.”
The MNA has had its members publicly criticize the hospitals where they work:
- "The present situation with insufficient staffing and support is forcing us to be in a climate of unsafe nursing practice. We, as employees, are overburdened, overwhelmed, and exhausted. Morale is plummeting because the charge to provide safe patient care has become an impossible mission and our voices have fallen on deaf ears,” stated an MNA-represented nurse talking about MetroWest Medical Center.
- “We are here to tell you if UMass management has its way, there may not be a nurse at your bedside when you need one. Their desire to boost profits by cutting your care could ultimately cost your life,” stated an MNA-represented nurse talking about UMass Medical Center.
- “Baystate is attacking the union because they do not want nurses standing up for their patients. We know Baystate wants to run these units the same way they do all their other units, with divisiveness, fear and intimidation,” stated an MNA-represented nurse talking about Baystate Franklin Medical Center.
- The MNA began representing the nurses at Holy Family Hospital in July 2011. They have been negotiating with the hospital since December 2011 and still don't have a contract. On December 10, 2012, the MNA held a candlelight vigil outside Holy Family Hospital, where one of the Holy Family nurses said, “Yet, management continues to push the envelope when it comes to staffing, and patient safety is regularly jeopardized as a result." Would you want to be quoted as saying something like that as part of a campaign to pressure the hospital to agree to contract proposals it does not think are in the best interests of the hospital or its patients?
Other examples of unprofessional conduct:
- The MNA has organized flash mobs in hospital lobbies where patients and their families are present.
- The MNA encourages picketing by nurses which often involves nurses shouting anti-hospital slogans through a bullhorn while their colleagues, many with their children in tow, march around the hospital joining in the chant.
- In December 2012, nurses represented by the MNA picketed for 12 days at UMass Memorial Medical Center singing Christmas carol parodies criticizing the hospital and saying it was not a safe place to receive care.
- The MNA has opposed the adoption of a clinical ladder program.
- The MNA has had its members publicly criticize the quality of care at the hospitals where they work.
- The MNA opposes the Magnet Recognition Program.
- The MNA withdrew from the American Nurses Association, a professional organization committed to advancing the nursing profession, because the ANA worked too collaboratively with management.
How else do we know the MNA is not a professional organization?
- The MNA has said that 95% of the union dues it charges its members cover the union’s costs for collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment.
- The MNA spends over $1 million a year on political and lobbying activities (that does not leave much money for activities fostering nursing practice).