The Minnesota Nurses Association has voted to pull its membership of 20,000 nurses out of the American Nurses Association, following six other states that have recently pulled out of the national professional organization.
Linda Slattengren, president of the St. Paul, Minn.-based association, said the decision to pull out of the ANA effective Oct. 13 was driven by member concerns that the national group was not fully supportive of organized labor. In particular, Minnesota nurses became concerned after the ANA did not affiliate with the national labor union, United American Nurses, after a previous agreement expired in June. Minnesota nurses also felt the ANA didnt support its legislative priorities, including disagreements on staffing legislation, Slattengren said.
Minnesota is the seventh state nurses group to withdraw membership from the ANA, following California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan and Pennsylvania, the Minnesota group said. I would say its a significant message that ANA with their latest actions is not supportive of labor, Slattengren said.
Although Minnesota nurses support ANA officials rights to determine their own priorities, the state group decided to stop paying nearly $1 million in annual membership dues because of its concerns.
ANA officials said the Minnesota association didnt follow ANA rules requiring the state group to take a vote of at least two-thirds of its membership before it could legally withdraw from the national group. The American Nurses Association is disappointed to see the Minnesota Nurses Associations plans to divide the ANA and MNA, the group said in a written statement.
The UAN was created as the ANAs labor arm in 1999 and received its charter from AFL-CIO in 2001. In 2003, the national union gained legal autonomy from the ANA but operated under an affiliation agreement until this June, when the contract expired without renewal. In September, UAN delegates voted to strike all references to the ANA from its bylaws and eliminate a requirement that state associations had to be members of the ANA in order to be in the union, though the union is still affiliated with the AFL-CIO.