Should we welcome this union to Boston?

A powerful New York healthcare union with a $20 million annual organizing budget and a quarter of a million members is poised to merge with a Boston local and intends to launch a major organizing drive at the city’s top teaching hospitals.

So says the Boston Globe (Union looks to organize at Hub’s top hospitals).

Like other organizations, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has found health care to be a growth market. Apparently this group has done well in New York by teaming up with hospital leaders to push for extra funding.

I hope the union won’t push for restrictive work rules and arbitrary staffing ratios that retard quality improvement. I’ve criticized Massachusetts nurses for this in the past.

It would be a shame for great initiatives like those of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to be thwarted by traditional union tactics.

Does anyone know of SEIU’s record in this regard?

August 31, 2005

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