New York, NY (September 30, 2013) -- The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), AFL-CIO, announces its affiliation of the Florida Nurses Association/Labor & Employment Relations Council, which represents more than 5,000 Registered Nurses and professional health care employees.
The Labor & Employment Relations Council (LERC) is the labor relations arm of the Florida Nurses Association (FNA), which is governed by the Presidents of the various bargaining units represented by FNA – Wuesthoff Medical Center, University of Florida Health - Shands, Florida State University and the State of Florida Professional Health Care Unit.
“Professional nursing associations throughout the country are recognizing the strength that comes with affiliation with OPEIU and the labor movement,” said OPEIU International President Michael Goodwin. “This partnership between the OPEIU and FNA will make OPEIU an even more effective representative of the nursing profession, and provide FNA with the ability to better serve its members through collective bargaining.
“The OPEIU Nurses Council, of which FNA will be a member, will promote best practices regarding patient care, nurses personal safety concerns and staffing levels in the workplace, particularly as we navigate the changing healthcare system under the Affordable Care Act, to ensure that our members are able to provide the highest quality care to their patients,” continued Goodwin.
“This affiliation is a vote of confidence in OPEIU and its ability to best represent nursing professionals,” Goodwin said. “In addition to the OPEIU Nurses Council that comprises representatives from all our nursing Local Unions, we also have elected two nurses to the OPEIU Executive Council. Thus, the needs of our nurse professionals are represented at the highest levels of the organization.”
The affiliation agreement maintains the organization’s autonomy and structure, and provides substantial resources for growth and development of the FNA membership. FNA will continue its membership in the American Nurses Association (ANA).
“Sincere appreciation is given to FNA’s Executive Director, Willa Fuller, R.N.; the FNA Director of Labor Relations, Jeanie Demshar, Esq.; and FNA Labor Counsel, Don Slesnick, who were instrumental in facilitating this affiliation,” said Goodwin.
The addition of the FNA brings the OPEIU nursing professionals to more than 11,000 members, including the Hawai’i Nurses Association (HNA); OPEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania; and Registered Nurses at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas and Mt. Clemens Hospital in Mt. Clemens, Michigan.
The Florida Nurses Association has more than a century of history representing nurses, regardless of specialty or area of practice. It speaks on behalf of nursing in Tallahassee as well as before many regulatory bodies, partnering with other organizations that share its vision to create a unified nursing advocacy program for nurses in Florida. It is a constituent of the American Nurses Association. LERC is the labor relations arm of the FNA.
The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), AFL-CIO, represents more than 105,000 members in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. OPEIU represents nurses throughout the United States under the umbrella of the OPEIU Nurses Council and recently affiliated the 4,000-member Hawai’i Nurses Association (HNA).