On January 29, 2007, the SEIU announced that, later this year, it will form a national health care union from its current members. The plan is to combine the hospital workers division with the home health and nursing home workers division, to create "SEIU Healthcare." The Union believes uniting into one union will better position them to win comprehensive health care reform. Dennis Rivera, current president of 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, will head up the new union.
The SEIU is taking a different approach with registered nurses. SEIU is engaged in discussions with other nurses' organizations about partnering with them. SEIU currently represents about 84,000 RNs, while AFL-CIO-affiliated unions represent more than double that amount, the California Nurses Association represents about 70,000 and 1.2 million RNs are non-union. The AFL-CIO last year created "RNs Working Together" to coordinate organizing and bargaining. The Nurse Alliance of SEIU similarly was formed to address industry changes, including rapidly increasing costs and care provider consolidations. While the SEIU historically has maintained that RNs should be a part of a union including all health care workers, it has re-examined that position and now is willing for the RNs to be in a separate union as long as they coordinate their bargaining with the non-RN union.