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heard a report on a contract provision negotiated by the union with the American Cable and Radio Corp. which guarantees about 1,500 A.C. and R. employees that there will be no layoffs or pay reduction as a result of automation or merger. The only reduction of the work force permitted would occur through attrition. Those assigned lower rated jobs are guaranteed their previous rates of pay.

The United Federation of Postal Clerks, recently formed by the merger of three postal unions with memberships totaling 130,000, took in the 30,000-member National Postal Transport Association on July 1 after a referendum in that organization ratified merger by 3 to 1.

Early in July, Federal District Court Judge Edward A. Tamm ordered the Bakery and Confectionery Workers' Union (Ind.) to hold a special convention for election of officers on September 25. The court continued its supervision of the union under the case which was originally brought to oust James G. Cross, who has since resigned. James Landriscina is serving as provisional president.

THE MEETING of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, held June 26-29 at Unity House, Pa., adopted a progress report from the reactivated committee searching for a plan for settlement of jurisdictional disputes and assigned a special subcommittee to analyze and make recommendations on a memorandum on civil rights presented by A. Philip Randolph, president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Dealing with one longfestering jurisdictional struggle, the Council found the Sheet Metal Workers to have violated the "no-raiding" provisions of the AFL-CIO constitution and ordered the union to stop trying to gain representation at the Carrier Corp. plant at Syracuse, N.Y. The Sheet Metal Workers lost a close election at Carrier to the Steelworkers in January 1960. The Steelworkers struck the plant 3 months later, but they have not yet negotiated a contract and most of the workers have returned to their jobs.

The Executive Council issued another ultimatum to AFL and CIO organizations which have not merged, threatening revocation of charters of those groups which have not amalgamated by October 1. New Jersey is the only remaining State with separate statewide groups, but a number

of communities in New Jersey and other States still have dual organizations.

Abandoning the 22-year-old organizing campaign among California farm workers, AFL-CIO President George Meany said that the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee had obtained a peak of 3,500 members from a potential of about 250,000. Other AFL-CIO unions will welcome AWOC members and the Teamsters are also organizing farm workers in California. Meanwhile, farm organizations have contributed $100,000 to help organize the Agricultural Insurance Exchange to insure farmers for 75 percent of losses from strikes occurring during harvesting.

LEGISLATION to increase minimum social security benefits from $33 to $40 a month August 1, 1961, was signed by President Kennedy on June 30. Other provisions lowered the age at which men may retire to 62 (with a reduced annuity), shortened the employment required to qualify for benefits, raised widows' benefits from 75 percent to 82.5 percent of an insured worker's retirement, and increased the earnings permitted a retired person before his benefits are reduced. To finance these changes and other liberalizations of the law, social security taxes will go up in several steps, reaching a maximum of 4% percent on January 1, 1968.

On June 19, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a union holding a union shop contract clause under the Railway Labor Act cannot spend a member's dues for political activities to which he objects, but it refused to uphold an injunction against enforcement of the clause. The U.S. Supreme Court, basing its holding on the legislative history of the Railway Labor Act, determined that the aim of the law was to require employees to share the cost of collective bargaining. The Court said it failed to find any suggestion that Congress also meant to provide unions with the means to force. employees, over their objections, to support political causes which they oppose. Justice Frankfurter, in dissenting, said that "An inference that Congress legislated regarding expenditure control in contradiction to prevailing practices ought to be better founded than on complete silence." Justice Black, who also dissented, would have held that the activity carried on under the union shop clause in this case violated the First Amendment.


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Nursing Profession


THE REGISTERED GRADUATE NURSE is turning increasingly to her professional association for assistance in improving her economic status. In 1946, the American Nurses Association (ANA) de@veloped a long-range, comprehensive program of collective action designed to attract and retain nurses in the profession and improve their working conditions. To implement this economic security a program, as it is called, the association has formulated procedures and techniques for acting as the representative of nurses, at their specific request, in matters affecting the terms and conditions of their employment.


This article briefly reviews the development of one aspect of the economic security program, - collective bargaining. It also examines the principal policies of the ANA relating to collective bargaining, the conduct and the subject matter of - negotiations, and the current status of collective - bargaining for nurses. Lastly, an effort is made to evaluate the program.

As the number of technical and professional workers increases, we may see other professional associations assuming many, if not all, of the functions normally ascribed to a labor organization. If so, white-collar unionism may develop through professional organizations unaffiliated with a national labor federation. In meeting both the economic and professional needs of their members, these groups may well become the prototype of white-collar unionism.

Historical Development

The economic security program was a logical extension of the purposes for which the ANA was

organized in 1896. One of the original objectives of the association was to "promote the usefulness and honor, the financial and other interests of the nursing profession." It was recognized that satisfactory working conditions are essential to the rendering of quality nursing service. Prior to the establishment of the economic security program, however, the techniques and procedures used by nurses to improve their working conditions consisted mainly of making ineffective recommendations to employers. There was a tendency among nurses, still fairly prevalent, to view as somewhat unethical any forthright effort to obtain higher salaries, better working conditions, and improved personal status within the employment relationship.

During the 1930's, the deterioration of employment conditions of nurses required some kind of action. In 1937, apparently fearful of inroads by the burgeoning unions, the ANA recommended that nurses not become members of unions at that time. It maintained that "in their professional associations nurses have the instruments best fitted and equipped to improve every phase of their working and professional lives." Therefore, more effective use of existing professional associations was required to solve the problems of nurses and nursing. In 1938, the ANA urged the State nurses associations to assume responsibility in their communities for standards of nursing care and employment conditions of nurses. The State groups were to provide assistance to their affiliated district nurses associations in studying and acting on these problems. The national association, in turn, was to recommend appropriate policies on these problems and make information regarding them available to the States for dissemination to the district groups. Several of the State nurses associations attempted to follow through on these policies, but with little success.


World War II accentuated the economic problems of professional nurses especially in booming industrial areas. The California State Nurses Association had adopted a basic salary schedule for general staff nurses in 1941, but the hospitals

*Associate Professor of Industrial Relations and Assistant to the Director, Labor and Industrial Relations Center, Michigan State University.

1 Manual for an Economic Security Program, 2d. ed. (New York, ANA, 1956), p. 1.

2 Editorial, "Nurse Membership in Unions," American Journal of Nursing, July 1937, pp. 766-767.

3 "Digest of Minutes, Board of Directors, American Nurses Association," American Journal of Nursing, March 1938, pp. 329-330.

were unwilling to raise salaries to this scale. The wage freeze order of October 3, 1942, by President Roosevelt added another obstacle to improving salaries. The need for guidance at the national level was becoming more apparent. The General Staff Nurses Section at the 1942 ANA convention adopted a resolution urging the ANA and the National League of Nursing Education to take the leadership in the development and adoption of salary schedules and personnel standards for general staff nurses."


When the California State Hospital Association failed to accept the proposed minimum standards for general staff nurses, the State nurses association in 1943 polled its members on whether they wished their association "to take dynamic action in the economic interests of its membership." " With the members' overwhelming support, the State group applied to the National War Labor Board (NWLB) for assistance, acting "in full dignity as a professional organization and not as a labor union." In September 1943, the NWLB approved the standard salary rates for all staff nurses sought by the nurses association.


Having demonstrated the efficacy of group action, the California State Nurses Association became the collective bargaining agent for those nurses who so desired, negotiating its first agreement in 1946.8 The successful California experience prompted the ANA to discuss the possibility of developing collective bargaining procedures and techniques as its official policies. As the biennial convention was approaching in 1946, the subject of collective bargaining occupied a prominent place on the agenda. An editorial in the

Editorial, "Private Duty Nurses Plan Staff Replacement," American Journal of Nursing, March 1942, p. 295.

"The Biennial," American Journal of Nursing, July 1942, p. 762. Editorial, "Long on Funds-Short on Personnel," American Journal of Nursing, July 1943, p. 618.

7 Ibid.

'Manual for an Economic Security Program, op. cit., p. 2.

• W. C. Scott, "Shall Professional Nurses Associations Become Collective Bargaining Agents for Their Members?" American Journal of Nursing, March 1944, pp. 231-232. Mr. Scott, the ANA attorney, discussed for the board of directors the changes in bylaws which would be required if the State nurses association became the bargaining agent for its members. He also reported on the collective bargaining activities of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

10 Editorial, "Employment Conditions for Registered Nurses," American Journal of Nursing, July 1946, p. 437.

11 Raymond Rich Associates, "Report on the Structure of Organized Nursing," American Journal of Nursing, October 1946, pp. 659–660.

12 "The ANA Economic Security Program," American Journal of Nursing, February 1947, p. 70.

1 Manual for an Economic Security Program, op. cit., p. 1.

official publication of the ANA pointed out: "Collective bargaining is not to be confused with labor unionism. Collective bargaining is used by many organizations other than labor unions." 10 A report considered at the convention recommended that organized nursing assume the responsibility for advancing the social and economic security of nurses rather than leave it to organizations outside nursing."1

The convention unanimously adopted the economic security program. The program has two objectives: "(1) to secure for nurses, through their professional associations, protection and improvement of their economic security-reasonable and satisfactory conditions of employment; and (2) . . to assure the public that professional nursing service of high quality and in sufficient quantity, will be available for the sick of the country." 12

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Major Collective Bargaining Policies

The program required direction and assistance from the ANA. The association developed policies to serve as guidelines for the State associations in the conduct of collective bargaining and established an economic security unit to provide needed assistance to the States. The following policies are examined briefly because they reflect the attitude of professional nurses toward collective bargaining: (1) the conduct of the program itself; (2) the membership policy; (3) the no-strike pledge; and (4) the neutral positions of nurses in labor disputes.

In adopting this program, the ANA affirmed that "the several State and district associations are qualified to act and should act as the exclusive agents of their respective memberships in the important fields of economic security and collective bargaining." 13 It also urged all State and district! nurses associations to "push such a program vigorously and expeditiously." The programs were to be conducted by the State associations with the ANA serving as a guide, interpreter, and, clearing house, as well as a source of moral support. The State nurses associations were charged with the responsibility for the program because they had "the resources, objectivity, prestige, and unified knowledge necessary to carry on a successful economic security program"; the district nurses associations were too limited in resources and their

t boundaries too arbitrarily defined. Criteria were flater established for evaluating the State programs in relation to the official ANA policy.14

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In 1948, the ANA advised the State nurses I associations against the establishment of economic security programs for nurses jointly with State i hospital associations. The rationale was that "Currently accepted principles of democratic employee organizations . require the spokesman and agent to maintain a properly responsible relationship with . . . groups represented and to abstain from any collusive relationships with the employer. Also in 1948, the ANA advised the State associations against drafting or extending agreements with employers of nurses * without proper authorization from the nurses involved. The reasons advanced were: (1) such agreements were not likely to be held legally valid or enforcible if tested, and (2) such agreements were against "accepted principles of democratic employee organization and legal rules governing agencies proposing to act as spokesman . & employed persons or groups.

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While the State associations were to have responsibility for the program, the right and authorbity to establish minimum standards of employment for their memberships were vested in the State sections of general duty nurses, public health nurses, occupational health nurses, etc. These groups, being close to the plane of action, were I best qualified to determine the conditions of employment under which they would exercise their particular nursing skills. The board of directors of the State associations, however, had to approve these standards before they became official and the local units were responsible for implementing them.

The membership policy enunciated in 1946 proclaimed that "Since it is the established policy of other groups, including unions, to permit membership in only one collective bargaining group, the association believes such policy to be sound for the State and district nurses associations."" Subsequently, the ANA maintained that State associations should discourage nurses' membership in other organizations when the activities of such organizations were directly in competition with the economic security program of the State association.18 Membership in both types of organizations was, however, not prohibited.

Recognizing that the nursing profession and employers of nurses share responsibility for providing adequate nursing service to the public, the ANA adopted the no-strike policy in 1950. It reaffirmed its belief that the professional nurses' responsibilities required "voluntary relinquishment of the exercise of the right to strike and of the use of any other measures wherever they may be inconsistent with the professional nurses' responsibilities to patients; and . . . its conviction that this voluntary relinquishment of measures ordinarily available to employees in their efforts to improve working conditions imposes on employers an increased obligation to recognize and deal justly with nurses through their authorized representatives in all matters affecting their employment conditions." 19

The "nurses in dispute" policy 20 was adopted in 1950 to provide a guide to individual nurses for "their proper conduct during employer-employee negotiations or disputes in their places of work." Because professional nurses have direct legal and ethical obligations to patients, they "should maintain a scrupulously neutral position in regard to labor-management relations between their employers and non-nurse employees.... They should neither refuse, as partisans of the non-nurse employees, or fail to carry out their proper and necessary nursing duties, nor, as partisans of management, accept the assignment of duties normally discharged by non-nurse personnel unless a clear and present danger to patients exists.” Thus, while nurses are to occupy a neutral position, the "doctrine of personal responsibility" takes precedence should the occasion demand it. The professional nurse is expected always to give primary consideration to the welfare of the patient.

The Conduct of Collective Bargaining

With these policies as guidelines, the ANA has developed a unique approach to collective bargaining. The State associations are responsible for the program; therefore, the ANA itself neither

14 Criteria for the Evaluation of State Programs in Relation to Official National Policy," American Journal of Nursing, October 1949, pp. 656-657. 15 Manual for an Economic Security Program, op. cit., p. 2. 16 Ibid.

17 "The Biennial," American Journal of Nursing, November 1946, p. 728. 18 Statement Clarifying ANA Dual Membership Policy (ANA, Dec. 12, 1956).

19 Manual for an Economic Security Program, op. cit., p. 4.

20 Nurses in Dispute Policy (New York, ANA, May 4, 1959, mimeographed).

engages in any collective bargaining nor establishes minimum employment standards. Currently, 48 of the 54 jurisdictions affiliated with the ANA have officially adopted the economic security program.21 The board of directors of the State association is directly responsible for the overall administration of the program, of which its executive secretary is the chief administrator. In several of the larger States, full-time staff members are assigned to it.

The State associations, with one exception (discussed later), negotiate with employers when authorized to do so by the nurses involved. Every effort is made to get 100-percent authorization from the nurses so as to strengthen their bargaining position. The State associations do not negotiate with State hospital associations but do have agreements with local hospital councils. The State nurses associations perform a variety of other functions in connection with the economic security program. Of particular significance to the collective bargaining process is the assistance given the several sections in preparing their statewide minimum standards, organizing local units, and maintaining close liaison with the district associations.

Under the ANA approach, the district nurses associations do not negotiate agreements; yet there is one district which has one agreement covering two employers. The district group's responsibilities are primarily to stimulate and maintain membership interest in the program, identify problem areas in the district, promote organization of local units, and channel requests for assistance to the State office.

The State section is considered "the heart of the program" because it formulates the specific minimum employment standards of its members. After a study of the members' economic needs and general welfare, committees of the various sections develop standards which include, among other things, basic salary, hours of work, holidays, vacations, and professional development. These are reviewed and revised periodically. In 1960, 46 State sections of both general duty and private duty nurses and 42 sections of public health nurses had formulated standards for their respective groups.

The local units are viewed as the key to a successful economic security program. According to the ANA, they are "essential if the program is to

achieve its objectives." 22 A local unit is defined as an organization of professional nurses employed at the same level by a common employer; for example, an institution. The unit is the action. arm of the State nurses association, though the State group, as indicated, negotiates with employers for written agreements. The local unit provides the instrument for establishing conditions of employment, handling grievances, and administering the agreement. It serves as a channel of communications between the nurse on the job and the State association. Although the ANA ascribes an important role to the local unit, all States do not use this arrangement. As of March 1961, 28 States reported local units in operation.

The Current Status of Agreements

In June 1960, ANA records showed 75 agreements in effect involving 115 institutions and covering approximately 8,000 professional nurses. Six State associations had negotiated 74 of these and a district association, the other one. About eight-tenths of the agreements covered nongovernmental employers, and about nine-tenths were with a single employer. Five of the multiemployer agreements applied to almost two-fifths of the total number of institutions and approximately five-eighths of the nurses covered.

The number of nurses covered by each agreement varied considerably, from less than 10 to 2,500. Nearly three-fourths of the agreements covered fewer than 50 nurses, and about oneeighth involved 100 or more. Because almost all the institutions covered were hospitals, the size of the bargaining unit can best be delineated by the number of beds. About two-fifths of the hospitals had less than 99 beds and almost threetenths had 200 or more, with the proportion of hospitals covered being highest among the larger

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21 The associations which have not taken action are the Canal Zone, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Virginia, and the Virgin Islands. The most recent State to formally adopt the program was Texas.

Except as otherwise indicated, the material in this and the following section is based on information obtained from the ANA.

22 The Local Unit-Key to Your Economic Security Program (New York, ANA).

23 Information about hospital size was obtained from Hospitals, Guide Issue (Chicago, American Hospital Association, Aug. 1, 1960).

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