Don Griesheimer

WBNG ANA Unit Petitions ANA for Values

Don Griesheimer
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Dear Dr. Loressa Cole,

On behalf of the Bargaining Unit of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, the below signed union members urge the ANA Enterprise leadership to honor the values they have espoused. We encourage leadership to view the union and these negotiations as an opportunity to understand what is important to employees and improve employee retention. The increased turnover is a major threat to the future success of our Enterprise. According to Employee Benefit News, it “costs employers 33% of a worker's annual salary to hire a replacement if that worker leaves.”[i] This is a very significant cost which is compounded by the loss of institutional knowledge and longstanding relationships between employees and members, vendors, or outside experts. It is in the best interest of the Enterprise to retain employees.

As a nursing organization, we promote the use of evidence-based practice in nursing practice. We ask leadership to apply this principle to management practices when making decisions about the future of our Enterprise. Rather than thinking of what will save the Enterprise money in the short term, consider what will be in keeping with the ANA values and is most likely to produce positive results. For example:

  • Wage increases for all.
  • Job security protection.
  • No cuts to 401K plan.
  • No cuts in health benefit coverage.

The leadership has spent a great deal of time, energy, and money developing and attempting to build the values of trust, empowerment, respect, creativity, excellence, and joy into the Enterprise culture. We ask that these values be in evidence during negotiations, not just in negotiations themselves but in the terms proposed. Do the terms you suggest show trust and respect for your employees? Will they empower workers to be creative? Will they allow employees to take joy in their work? We all know that the Enterprise is in a difficult financial situation. The things we work to preserve despite difficulty are the things we truly value. If we, as an Enterprise, set these values aside when honoring them may cost too much, do we truly value trust, empowerment, respect, creativity, excellence, and joy?

The livelihoods and futures of the bargaining unit members rely on the continued success of the American Nurses Association Enterprise. Trust that we are all working toward the same goal and will do our best to ensure that ANA survives the current financial difficulty to continue serving nurses around the country. However, we are not willing to let ANA’s values be left behind in the process.


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