Three nursing unions merge, forming 150,000-member organization

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Three major nursing unions have announced they will merge to form one massive union to strengthen their voice in the debate over healthcare reform, according to news reports.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association, the California Nurses Association and United American Nurses made the announcement Wednesday. The new union will contain roughly 150,000 members across the country, and will be affiliated with the AFL-CIO. The group, which will be called the United American Nurses-National Nurses Organizing Committee, will seek to help organize the 85% of RNs who are not in unions, and attempt to pass minimum nurse-to-patient ratio laws, reports the Sacramento Bee.

Meanwhile, the Service Employees International Union, which itself represents more than 1 million healthcare workers, is embroiled in a civil war raging at Unite HERE, a major representative of textile and service workers. SEIU president Andy Stern suggests the quarreling factions resolve their differences by joining the SEIU, a move that would expand SEIU membership to more than 2.5 million, according to Politico.com.

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