SOVA Reports on Global Nurses Solidarity Assembly

September 20, 2019

VFP's Save Our VA Activist Skip Delano Speaks at Global Nurses Solidarity Assembly in San Francisco

Nurses, labor leaders, and activists from across the globe, including representatives from 25 countries, gathered at the Global Nurses Solidarity Assembly, Sept.12-15, in San Francisco, Calif. The event was organized by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC), an affiliate of National Nurses United (NNU), the largest union and professional organization of registered nurses in the United States.

"We live in a world where working people are under attack, where our health systems are threatened by corporations and privatization. But these forces are not inevitable; we have the power to create and transform our world. When we work together in solidarity as a global movement of nurses, there is nothing we cannot achieve," said Bonnie Castillo, RN, CNA/NNOC and NNU executive director. 

The assembly included global nurse leaders from 25 countries. Global Nurses United, a federation of 31 premiere nurse and health care worker unions in 28 nations who fight against austerity, privatization, and attacks on public health, is releasing its latest video Global Nurses United: In Solidarity at the assembly. The link of this video may be shared or embedded and the file may be downloaded from this link.

NNU, which represents VA nurses at 23 VA hospitals across the United States, organized a Break Out Session about privatization of VA healthcare and the rights of VA workers. 

Attack on the Veterans Health Administration and the Rights of Its VA Workers – Course Description: The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is one of the most successful and effective health care systems in the United States; serving the diverse needs of millions of patients with the most complex health concerns and injuries in the country. This CE course course (1.5 CEUs) takes an in depth look into the reasons that the VA has historically functioned more effectively than most private hospitals by most measures and why this success is currently threatened by health care profiteers and corporate politicians who seek to divert billions of tax dollars into the for-profit health care system by privatizing VA hospitals. The class will address what is at stake for nurses and veterans in fighting back against the attack on the VA; including protecting the rights of workers, preventing the profit motive from undermining care, and maintaining the quality and impact of the only U.S. health system that has proven to be prepared to meet the special needs of veterans while also advancing medical breakthroughs, research and benefited the health of all Americans. Discussion will focus on the role that nurses, as patients and advocates, can play in preserving the VA and in doing so uphold the high standards of clinical care received by veterans including protecting workers rights on the job.  Moderator: Speakers: Irma Westmoreland, VA nurse; Speakers: Suzanne Gordon, Author and Journalist; Alexander McCoy, Veteran Representing COMMON DEFENSE; Skip Delano, Representing VFP's Save Our VA Campaign; James Young, Brooklyn VA Nurse.  

Two veterans active in the Stop Privatization Campaign – Vietnam veteran Skip Delano, representing VFP's Save Our VA Action Team in NYC and Marine veteran Alex McCoy, representing COMMON DEFENSE -- spoke about their own experiences with VA healthcare and efforts to turn back plans to send millions of veterans to private sector and Urgent Care doctors. The Breakout Session was held three times to allow more nurses to attend which nearly 150 nurses did.

Plenary presentations featuring international panels of speakers include:

  • Global Health, Global Justice
  • Nurses Fight to Win International Health Care Justice in the 21st Century
  • Racial Injustice--Our National Disease, Our Challenge for Change
  • Workplace Democracy and Working Class Power
  • Insurgent Feminism: Workers of the World Unite for Gender Equity
  • Advocacy without Borders: Fighting Inhumane Immigration Policy
  • The Global Climate Emergency--The Fight for Environmental Justice

Participating unions:


  • Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation
  • New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association


  • Botswana Nurses Union


  • Federação Nacional dos Enfermeiros


  • Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
  • Manitoba Nurses Union
  • Registered Nurses Union Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Saskatchewan Union of Nurses
  • United Nurses of Alberta


  • Federación Nacional de Asociaciones de Enfermereas y Enfermeros de Chile


  • Curaçaose Bond van Werknemers in Verplegende en Verzorgende Instellingen (CBV,Curaçao)

Dominican Republic:

  • Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Enfermeria


  • Panhellenic Federation of Nursing Staff


  • Sindicato Nacional de los Trabajadores de Salud de Guatemala


  • Asociación Nacional de Enfermeras y Enfermeros Auxiliares de Honduras (ANEEAH)


  • United Nurses Association


  • Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation


  • Japan Federation of Medical Worker's Unions


  • Kenya National Union of Nurses


  • Asociación Paraguaya de Enfermería


  • Federación de Enfermeras del Ministério de Salud del Perú


  • Filipino Nurses United


  • Sindicato dos Enfermeiros Portugueses (SEP)


  • Rwanda Nurses and Midwives Union

South Korea:

  • Korean Health and Medical Workers Union


  • Taiwan Nurses Union


  • Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union

United States:

  • National Nurses United


  • Sindicato Unico de Enfermeria del Uruguay