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Inactive Constituent Association Details & Clarification

JUNE 27, 2012 - Many ONA members recently received a letter from ONA identifying the constituent association (CA) you are a member of as inactive. The following information will help you understand the implications of that letter. 

First, please understand that a CA and a bargaining unit (BU) are two separate and different entities. They are not one and the same. CAs include both union and non-union (Professional Association) members. The letter addresses the inactive status of your CA not your BU.

Second, ONA CAs, formerly called districts, are geographic areas in which all ONA members participate. ONA members are elected to the ONA House of Delegates from CAs. Thus, nurses from different practice settings have the opportunity to serve in the highest policy making body of the association.

Other functions that the CAs serve are to bring together nurses from a variety of backgrounds and practice settings, provide for community service activities, conduct forums on nursing practice and health care issues, promote the visibility of ONA and of the nursing profession, recruit new members, mentor and provide leadership development for nursing students, participate in political action, communicate with nurses and provide educational opportunities for all nurses.

Third, ONA members typically join the CA where they work or live, although some areas of the state do not have a CA. Members in those areas belong to the "At-Large CA” which provides them a vehicle for election to the House of Delegates.

The letter you received is notification that your CA is inactive, not your BU. ONA does not have record of the CA’s elected officers, CA bylaws and no evidence of CA meetings being held. Because of these omissions, the Board declared your CA as inactive. The following options are available to you as a member of your CA:

  • 1.  If a BU resides within the borders of the inactive CA, a petition for recognition as a CA-Bargaining Unit (BU) or delivery of an unanimous written request by the bargaining unit’s executive team to be recognized as a CA-Bargaining Unit (CA-BU); or
  • 2.  Provide a written plan by the inactive CA to reach active status within three (3) months (by September 25, 2013); or
  • 3.  Be reassigned to the At-Large CA.

I hope this explanation and clarification helps with your concerns. Please contact Kathy Gannett if you have further questions or email at

Constituent Association Updates

June 26, 2013 - This week letters went out to all members in good standing who are a member of a constituent association (CA) identified as being out of compliance, or inactive, with the ONA Bylaws.  The CAs have been given a deadline of three months (September 26, 2013) to reach active status, petition for recognition as a CA-BU (a bargaining unit that is recognized as a constituent association), or be reassigned as a member of the At-Large CA. The following CAs were identified as inactive: 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 22, 24, and 26.

With the changes in ONA Bylaws made during the 2012 House of Delegates, all CAs (formerly known as districts) must be in compliance to remain in an active status. Article VIII outlines these requirements.

CA 2 is Now Mid-Columbia Medical Center CA-BU

Constituent Association 2 petitioned the Board of Directors to become a new CA-BU and it was approved at the last board meeting on June 14, 2013. They are now recognized as Mid-Columbia Medical Center (MCMC) CA-BU with all members of the BU (excluding opt-outs, potentials, and fair share payers) becoming a member of the new CA-BU for all matters related to the House of Delegates.

CA-BU Options

There were four bargaining units identified (Good Shepherd, Lake District, Providence Hood River and Mercy Medical) who are located in the At-Large CA and have the option of petitioning the Board of Directors to become a CA-BU. All members in good standing in each of the four BUs were sent letters outlining these options.

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