Can you tell me about starting a union?

  1. 2 My hospital is going through some major changes to include a complete turnover of management. Nurses are leaving due to unhappiness and unsafe conditions. Would a union help if I could help start one and how can I get one started?
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  3. Visit  nrsjnet profile page

    About nrsjnet

    nrsjnet has '5' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'ICU,ER, Telemetry, Diagnostic Imaging'. From 'oregon'; Joined Jun '11; Posts: 5; Likes: 7.

    15 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    2
    I would contact the union that supports a local facility or contact the NNU "National Nurses United" National Nurses United
    icuRNmaggie and laborer like this.
  5. Visit  nrsjnet profile page
    1
    Can the hospital possibly target and retaliate on those who try and get a union started?
    icuRNmaggie likes this.
  6. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    5
    Legally, technically? NO. Will they? Most likely.... Yes.
    icuRNmaggie, imintrouble, laborer, and 2 others like this.
  7. Visit  nrsjnet profile page
    3
    So it is safe to assume that trying to make one happen can make someone a target and they would possibly find reasons... I've been warned about this. It would take the entire hospital to support it? Very discouraging really.
    icuRNmaggie, imintrouble, and lindarn like this.
  8. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    3
    very discouraging.......call them talk to a rep. But that is the sad truth.
    icuRNmaggie, imintrouble, and lindarn like this.
  9. Visit  KelRN215 profile page
    2
    Oregon Nurses Association

    Contact the Oregon Nurses' Association. They will have someone who is a "director of organizing" (or whatever that person's title is in Oregon). Organizing is a long and tedious process...and it's HARD. There are some people who are dead-set against unions and some people who just, in general, have no knowledge of what having one would do for them. I looked into it at my old hospital and met with the organizing nurse at my state's nurses' union but ended up leaving the hospital before we could see the idea through to fruition.
    lindarn and laborer like this.
  10. Visit  KevinKares profile page
    5
    I have personal experience in meeting with a member of the California Nurses Association. This was a few years befor the NNOC was started and I believe the AFL/CIO was joined with CNA to form the NNOC. This organizer was a former AFL/CIO organizer for 20 years. He was a nice guy and seemed sympathetic-but powerless.It was rather depressing talking to him because what he essentially said was "It is all up to you." He told us it was a word of mouth thing between nurses in a hospital. You talk secretly to your nurse friends and when you think you have 51% of the nurses in the hospital to vote yes to the union- you come out in the open and ask for a vote. It was all up to the nurses with no help whatsever from the union. And yes, you will get fired and blacklisted. Happened to 3 of the people at the meeting with me about 3 months later. They were too vocal. Hospitals are very anti union, as they should be. I read in CNA literature that a hospital will spend 4 thousand dollars a nurse to stop the union. You can't get a nurse on a visa to even say the word union 'cause they don't want to be sent home. Of course, it is illegal to fire someone for organizing but you see what happens. The hospital will fire you for not checking one of the little boxes. Anyone out there feel free to correct any of this if I am wrong. It has been a few years. With so many dissatisfied nurses around the country, as perusing some of these forums on AllNurses will atest, it is strange that we can't get organized to help us get some say so in the decision making process for the nurse at the bedside. But, I am afraid that until we do get organized, we will continue to get pushed around. What is best for the patient is my focus. Just my 2 cents. k
    icuRNmaggie, herring_RN, nurse2033, and 2 others like this.
  11. Visit  laborer profile page
    1
    ... " Hospitals are very anti-union , as they should be "... :***::***:
    herring_RN likes this.
  12. Visit  kmcguirern profile page
    2
    Obviously, no facility or hospital is going to want unionized nurses. I was working in a hospital several years ago that this very same topic came up. The nurses were overworked and under paid. A few of them got together and decided to contact a union representative. They came into the facility ,I'm assuming, although I never saw them or had a chance to speak with them. Management immediately started going floor to floor telling the nurses all the reasons a union would be so horrible for us. I was never told any positives, or handed a pamphlet to read or anything. Management was even somewhat threatening at times about it. Each floor voted, and in order to get the union to pass, every floor had to have a majority yes vote. Every floor voted no except the E.R. which is where the idea originated. I sometimes wonder if it would have made a difference if the union representative would have had a chance to talk to us and let us ask questions. We voted no because we were afraid we'd lose our job. Now, I'm wondering the same thing you are. Obviously, something needs done with our hospitals and nursing homes. I don't think anyone that doesn't work as a nurse can understand how much we are responsible for. It's becoming impossible to our job. Too many Pt's. and way too much to do. Do you think if we formed a union it would help? It would have to be a National Nurses Union, because if just 1 hospital did it, they would just force us to strike then hire non-union nurses to work. What are the chances of an entire State of Nurses to go Union? I think we are all so fed up that it just might work!
    icuRNmaggie and lindarn like this.
  13. Visit  kmcguirern profile page
    0
    Question: I've seen 2 comments so far stating that Hospitals are anti-union, as they should be. Could someone explain to me why they should be? I know they are for their own good, but what other reasons do you know of. Does anyone think they should not become union and why?
  14. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    3
    Quote from KevinKares
    I have personal experience in meeting with a member of the California Nurses Association. This was a few years before the NNOC was started and I believe the AFL/CIO was joined with CNA to form the NNOC. This organizer was a former AFL/CIO organizer for 20 years. He was a nice guy and seemed sympathetic-but powerless.It was rather depressing talking to him because what he essentially said was "It is all up to you." He told us it was a word of mouth thing between nurses in a hospital. You talk secretly to your nurse friends and when you think you have 51% of the nurses in the hospital to vote yes to the union- you come out in the open and ask for a vote. It was all up to the nurses with no help whatsoever from the union. And yes, you will get fired and blacklisted. Happened to 3 of the people at the meeting with me about 3 months later. They were too vocal. Hospitals are very anti union, as they should be. I read in CNA literature that a hospital will spend 4 thousand dollars a nurse to stop the union. You can't get a nurse on a visa to even say the word union 'cause they don't want to be sent home. Of course, it is illegal to fire someone for organizing but you see what happens. The hospital will fire you for not checking one of the little boxes. Anyone out there feel free to correct any of this if I am wrong. It has been a few years. With so many dissatisfied nurses around the country, as perusing some of these forums on AllNurses will attest, it is strange that we can't get organized to help us get some say so in the decision making process for the nurse at the bedside. But, I am afraid that until we do get organized, we will continue to get pushed around. What is best for the patient is my focus. Just my 2 cents. k
    Every single word you say is true. I've seen it time and time again. They bring in "HR consultants" Union busters....for thousands upon thousands of dollars. The sit around in meetings (the administration) making lists of the "malcontents" and "Union leaders" and discuss ways to terminate them.......believe me HR is NOT your friend. They explain in detail how to terminate someone with the proper paper trail to keep you out of court.
    Management immediately started going floor to floor telling the nurses all the reasons a union would be so horrible for us. I was never told any positives, or handed a pamphlet to read or anything. Management was even somewhat threatening at times about it. Each floor voted, and in order to get the union to pass, every floor had to have a majority yes vote. Every floor voted no except the E.R. which is where the idea originated. I sometimes wonder if it would have made a difference if the union representative would have had a chance to talk to us and let us ask questions. We voted no because we were afraid we'd lose our job
    I agree that we need to organize like the police and firefighters have.....Nation wide. That is the NNU .....National Nurses United
    National Nurses United, with close to 185,000 members in every state, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history.
    NNU was founded in 2009 unifying three of the most active, progressive organizations in the U.S.—and the major voices of unionized nurses—in the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, United American Nurses, and Massachusetts Nurses Association.

    Combining the unparalleled record of accomplishments for nurses and patients embodied in the proud history of those nurses associations, which for some span more than 100 years, the establishment of NNU brought to life the dream of a powerful, national movement of direct care RNs.

    At its founding convention in December, 2009, NNU adopted a call for action premised on the principles intended to counter the national assault by the healthcare industry on patient care conditions and standards for nurses, and to promote a unified vision of collective action for nurses
    But we as a profession cannot even agree on an entry level for education......how are we going to agree to organize nation wide. I was never a huge union fan.......until the last few years as the profession of nursing is slipping away and their treatment by hospitals deteriorates to what it is right now....and it will get worse.

    Just think........how many nurses in a non union facility have a pension (like police and firefighters) that allows you to retire at a decent age after humping your behind caring for every other person on the planet that includes benefits such as insurance...and I don't mean the 401K that the hospitals don't contribute to any more...or contributes such a small amount that it is negligible.

    How many of us are at the whim of the administrators that when we get sick we are dumped on the street with no disability insurance, no pension, no insurance and join the masses of the uninsured and the under insured that everyone complains is draining the system.....our employers are the biggest offenders of the problem they claim is driving the broke.......as they pay another bonus to the CEO...Disgusting.

    We should be mad.....we should be very mad.
    herring_RN, brandy1017, and lindarn like this.
  15. Visit  KevinKares profile page
    1
    Hey, Laborer, I meant that it will cost them money and they won't be able to buy more hospital chains. They warn the new employees at our hospital on their orientation. they tell them" If you don't like it here then go somewhere else" and the guy who gives the speech is or says he is an ex union dude for 20 years. No, I have no sympathy for hospitals. I worked at this particular hospital for the last ten years and was well liked and one of the senior nurses, did all the specialties, took the sickest. They need a wakeup call. We were told by the CNA that once we call for a union vote that the hospital was not allowed to change policy until it was over and if the union got in then no changes unless approved by the union board. The big cheese made a big show of coming around and jotting all of our wishes on her blackberry and all we got was ONE PCT for a 40 bed ICU!!!! And she, the PCT left 6 months later!!!! Now that I don't work there, I'd like to organize it. Can't fire me now. k
    lindarn likes this.


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