National Federation of Nurses to Wisconsin Lawmakers: STOP Anti-Union Legislation That Puts Patients' Lives in Jeopardy

Mar 02, 2011, 13:21 ET from National Federation of Nurses

MADISON, Wis., March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- For the safety of nurses and their patients, National Federation of Nurses (NFN) pleads with Madison lawmakers to defeat legislation that would strip public employees of their right to collectively bargain for fair and equitable workplace conditions.

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"This is a matter of life or death. If nurses cannot come together for safe equipment and working conditions, than we're not only talking about nurses leaving the job, we're talking about patients' lives at risk," said Barbara Crane, RN, president of NFN.

Collectively bargaining allows nurses to advocate for protections that directly affect patient safety and care. This includes making sure nurses aren't assigned to too many patients at once or forced to work long, overtime hours that lead to burn out and make them unable to affectively do their jobs.

Representing the voice of nurses and in solidarity with other public servants, Crane spoke to thousands in the Capitol to say that in addition to crippling our health care system, this is an attack on the middle class and our nation's democratic principles.

"We want to stand with our brothers and sisters for what we consider the genocide of the middle class of this country," Crane said. "As a nurse, I know what a code looks like, and a code red is happening at ground zero in Wisconsin, and it's got to stop now!"

Click here to view a powerful clip.

Republican lawmakers contend that this legislation is necessary to reduce the state's budget deficit. To do their part in finding a solution, public employees offered concessions in wage freezes and other measures.  

"Workers came to the table ready to help but that wasn't enough for Walker. He wants to take this opportunity to undo years of progress in the labor movement and put an end to unions for good," said Crane. "This is clear political payback."

Similar legislation is being discussed in Ohio. NFN member, the Ohio Nurses Association, says one-third of its membership would be directly affected.

"This is not Wisconsin's issue. This is the nation's issue. If passed here, it will be the death of American workers' voices everywhere. We must come together now to kill this bill once and for all."

About National Federation of Nurses

National Federation of Nurses (NFN) is a leading national labor union and collaborative voice

for registered nurses. Founded in 2008 to provide a unique, more inclusive option for nurses and model for national unions, NFN's work is driven by the priorities of its members—nurses associations and the individual nurses they represent. NFN takes action at the local, state and national level to improve working conditions for nurses and achieve better patient outcomes. The ultimate goal is to create a strong and stable nursing workforce, and, thereby, improve health care delivery in the United States.

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Contact: Kiernan Doherty; 503-517-3726;

SOURCE National Federation of Nurses