Defend RNs Right to Unionize, and Advocate for our Patients - page 2

300 Nurses from across the country converge in Chicago Tuesday to Defend RNs Right to Unionize, and Advocate for our Patients... Read More

  1. by   Freedom42
    Quote from wtbcrna
    If you would take the time to go back and look at the problems that unions have caused in the U.S. as well as helped you would understand where that comment comes from. At what point is there enough benefits...? There are thousands of out of work people because their unions basically put them out of job. I am for cutting any CEOs salary, but over a large hospital system with thousands of nurses how far do really think that will go?
    If you don't care if the hospital system goes bankrupt why not just go find a new job now, and what will happen to your pension if the hospital goes bankrupt?
    And there you have it. If you want job security and a decent wage, you don't care about whether your hospital goes bankrupt. You've got an attitude problem. You're greedy.

    Wtbcrna, you've offered us a lot of vague comments about why unions are bad, including that unions will give nurses a "bad image" for going on strike "too much." Care to back that up? How often do nurses' unions go on strike in this country? And when they do, how long do those strikes last? I'd be interested to see what you can find to support that claim. I'd also like to know what union puts nurses out of jobs.

    I'm also curious as to whether the doctors at your hospital have personal service contracts. Why do you think that is?
  2. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from Freedom42
    And there you have it. If you want job security and a decent wage, you don't care about whether your hospital goes bankrupt. You've got an attitude problem. You're greedy.

    Wtbcrna, you've offered us a lot of vague comments about why unions are bad, including that unions will give nurses a "bad image" for going on strike "too much." Care to back that up? How often do nurses' unions go on strike in this country? And when they do, how long do those strikes last? I'd be interested to see what you can find to support that claim. I'd also like to know what union puts nurses out of jobs.

    I'm also curious as to whether the doctors at your hospital have personal service contracts. Why do you think that is?

    There are dozens of articles on the internet r/t nurses striking some lasting a couple of weeks to one in Appalachians lasting months. I couldn't find an exact number from any source stating how many nursing stikes there have been.

    I don't think any nursing union has caused any nurses to lose their jobs yet (at least I hope not). Unions have lost autoworkers and factory workers their jobs by the thousands. Do you really think that nursing unions are that much different? The nursing unions are using the exact same tactics as other unions to get what they want. Do you not think that the AHA won't lobby for more foreign nurses to come in to work for cheaper/non-union wages?

    We consider ourselves professionals/public servants, but how many police officers, fire fighters, and physicians have gone on strike as much as we have lately? How long do you think we can maintain public support and continue to strike like this?

    Let me elaborate on my background: I am an AD USAF nurse. My view is from the outside looking in (although I do occassionaly work prn when possible). I worry more about the public's perception of our nursing profession when all you see in the media is nurses' striking. Don't get me wrong there is some very valid reasons out there at some of these hospitals for striking, but we are not contracting these unions to come in one time to do a job and then leave. We are keeping these unions around, and that in my opinion is what will lead to problems. Unions need to justify their existence and to do that there needs to be strife/strikes etc.

    Pros and Cons to unions: http://labor.about.com/od/unions/a/unionization_2.htm
    Last edit by wtbcrna on Feb 22, '08 : Reason: added link
  3. by   Freedom42
    Quote from wtbcrna
    There are dozens of articles on the internet r/t nurses striking some lasting a couple of weeks to one in Appalachians lasting months. I couldn't find an exact number from any source stating how many nursing stikes there have been.

    I don't think any nursing union has caused any nurses to lose their jobs yet (at least I hope not). Unions have lost autoworkers and factory workers their jobs by the thousands. Do you really think that nursing unions are that much different? The nursing unions are using the exact same tactics as other unions to get what they want. Do you not think that the AHA won't lobby for more foreign nurses to come in to work for cheaper/non-union wages?

    We consider ourselves professionals/public servants, but how many police officers, fire fighters, and physicians have gone on strike as much as we have lately? How long do you think we can maintain public support and continue to strike like this?

    Let me elaborate on my background: I am an AD USAF nurse. My view is from the outside looking in (although I do occassionaly work prn when possible). I worry more about the public's perception of our nursing profession when all you see in the media is nurses' striking. Don't get me wrong there is some very valid reasons out there at some of these hospitals for striking, but we are not contracting these unions to come in one time to do a job and then leave. We are keeping these unions around, and that in my opinion is what will lead to problems. Unions need to justify their existence and to do that there needs to be strife/strikes etc.

    Pros and Cons to unions: http://labor.about.com/od/unions/a/unionization_2.htm
    I think it's a safe bet that you couldn't find out how often nurses' unions go on strike because it's uncommon. Yes, you can find dozens of articles on strikes -- if you want to go back over the past century. And while the strike in Appalachia was an exception, I've been able to find little evidence of what few strikes there have been lasting more than a few days, if that.

    It's interesting that you say "unions have lost autoworkers and factory workers their jobs by the thousands." Come again? By doing what? Demanding a decent wage and benefits? Even GM -- the single largest buyer of health care insurance in this country -- doesn't blame the unions. It blames this country's lack of a national health plan for the fact that it has to add nearly $3,000 to the sticker price of every car. Why do you think Toyota decided to build its latest plant in Canada, where it will deal with unionized workers? Because the health care is already provided.

    Do I think that nursing unions are that much different? I hope not. I see nothing wrong with expecting a decent wage, guaranteed benefits and fair treatment in exchange for my labor. Nursing isn't a sacrifice. It's a job.

    And finally, I find it amusing -- at best -- that you bolster your anti-union argument by asking if I don't think the AHA will lobby for more foreign nurses to come here and work for less.

    Yes, my friend, I certainly do. And that's exactly why I need a union. Who's protecting you?
  4. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from Freedom42
    I think it's a safe bet that you couldn't find out how often nurses' unions go on strike because it's uncommon. Yes, you can find dozens of articles on strikes -- if you want to go back over the past century. And while the strike in Appalachia was an exception, I've been able to find little evidence of what few strikes there have been lasting more than a few days, if that.

    It's interesting that you say "unions have lost autoworkers and factory workers their jobs by the thousands." Come again? By doing what? Demanding a decent wage and benefits? Even GM -- the single largest buyer of health care insurance in this country -- doesn't blame the unions. It blames this country's lack of a national health plan for the fact that it has to add nearly $3,000 to the sticker price of every car. Why do you think Toyota decided to build its latest plant in Canada, where it will deal with unionized workers? Because the health care is already provided.

    Do I think that nursing unions are that much different? I hope not. I see nothing wrong with expecting a decent wage, guaranteed benefits and fair treatment in exchange for my labor. Nursing isn't a sacrifice. It's a job.

    And finally, I find it amusing -- at best -- that you bolster your anti-union argument by asking if I don't think the AHA will lobby for more foreign nurses to come here and work for less.

    Yes, my friend, I certainly do. And that's exactly why I need a union. Who's protecting you?
    I think you are deluding yourself on how often nurses strikes happen, but since neither of us can find an exact number I am not going to argue a lack of facts.

    If unions and the overprice of labor haven't driven GM's autoworkers out of jobs then why is GM's main plan to get out of the red to retire/buyout workers and severely reduce their workforce, and blaming GMs problems on a lack of universal healthcare is naive at best. Autoworkers definetively make a great wage for factory workers w/o any educational requirement besides OJT...whether that is fair...to make 20-30+an hour for that is whole other story. GM would never blame the union for anything, because they are afraid of their union.

    I never called nursing a sacrafice, but I certainly don't believe it is just a job either. We are no were close to being on the same page if you think nursing is nothing more than job.

    I don't need a union to protect my job. The market will do that for every nurse for a long time to come. I rely on the AANA to fight for me, and my education will keep me safer than anything a union could do for me. I am more interested in helping out all nurses than having unions work piecemeal deals with one hospital at a time.
  5. by   HM2VikingRN
    All I know is that union workers receive a 20% salary premium on average. In MPLS MNA helped establish a defined benefit pension for nurses (aka the good kind not the yoyo) that is completely portable AND all hospitals are contributing to funding....
  6. by   Freedom42
    Quote from wtbcrna
    If unions and the overprice of labor haven't driven GM's autoworkers out of jobs then why is GM's main plan to get out of the red to retire/buyout workers and severely reduce their workforce, and blaming GMs problems on a lack of universal healthcare is naive at best. Autoworkers definetively make a great wage for factory workers w/o any educational requirement besides OJT...whether that is fair...to make 20-30+an hour for that is whole other story. GM would never blame the union for anything, because they are afraid of their union.

    I don't need a union to protect my job. The market will do that for every nurse for a long time to come. I rely on the AANA to fight for me, and my education will keep me safer than anything a union could do for me. I am more interested in helping out all nurses than having unions work piecemeal deals with one hospital at a time.
    If blaming GM's problems on a lack of universal health care is "naive at best," you'd better explain that to GM management. They went to the White House last May to make an appeal to the president for a national health plan. Even that bleeding heart liberal George Will says GM is "at a $5 billion disadvantage" because workers in Japan have a national health plan. The playing field is not level. That is not the fault of unions.

    As for the market protecting your job, you've previously suggested that the AHA will lobby to bring in cheap foreign labor to undercut your pay check. Those ideas conflict. You've also said that your education will keep you safer than a union. Good luck waving that sheepskin when management decides that it's cutting your retirement benefits and jacking up your insurance costs.
  7. by   workingforskies
    Quote from wtbcrna
    If you would take the time to go back and look at the problems that unions have caused in the U.S. as well as helped you would understand where that comment comes from. At what point is there enough benefits...? There are thousands of out of work people because their unions basically put them out of job. I am for cutting any CEOs salary, but over a large hospital system with thousands of nurses how far do really think that will go?
    If you don't care if the hospital system goes bankrupt why not just go find a new job now, and what will happen to your pension if the hospital goes bankrupt?

    I have a pension? News to me. It's a 401k plan. I keep that forever.

    There is money being dumped, hand over fist, into the health care system. It would be nice if some of that money, percentage wise, trickled down to the people actually delivering the health care. As it is plainly not, what that tells me is that the health care machine is not terribly concerned with the financial well being of the people doing the work. So that begs the question, why should I care about their financial plight?
  8. by   workingforskies
    Quote from wtbcrna
    If you would take the time to go back and look at the problems that unions have caused in the U.S. as well as helped you would understand where that comment comes from. At what point is there enough benefits...? There are thousands of out of work people because their unions basically put them out of job. I am for cutting any CEOs salary, but over a large hospital system with thousands of nurses how far do really think that will go?
    If you don't care if the hospital system goes bankrupt why not just go find a new job now, and what will happen to your pension if the hospital goes bankrupt?

    Another counter point: You are comparing apples and oranges. Car companies, for example, have considerable leverage over their unions because they can always play the 'outsource' card. The health care system cannot play that card on a grand scheme. (There are only so many Philippino nurses to go around.)

    This current nursing shortage was created by the health care system with it's collective, incredibly short sighted, 'redesign' debacle that in a greedy, self induced, orgasmic frenzy, they jumped all over.

    The only way it is going to be fixed is when the industry, collectively decides to invest into the long term education of more people to fill it's current and future needs. There are plenty of anecdotal efforts by some entities to do just that. But it is not nearly enough. Only when the giant companies put more effort into training and retaining as opposed to concentrating on the modern day capitalist's holy grail of earnings per share will this situation even start to reverse course.

    I don't think that will happen in my life time to be honest. (I am 42). As such, I am looking out for me and my sisters and brothers. AND THAT IS IT!!! Wall Street be damned.

    You also tell me to "go back and look at the problems that unions have caused in the U.S." I would counter challenge you to take that same advice and go back a bit further and look at the problems that big business was causing the average person prior to the union age. Not one of those unions was founded by a collective of happy, well paid, fairly treated employees. Unions, like labor reform laws were all REactive, not PROactive.
  9. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from workingforskies
    You also tell me to "go back and look at the problems that unions have caused in the U.S." I would counter challenge you to take that same advice and go back a bit further and look at the problems that big business was causing the average person prior to the union age. Not one of those unions was founded by a collective of happy, well paid, fairly treated employees. Unions, like labor reform laws were all REactive, not PROactive.
    I have always said unions have done good and bad things. My historical perspective is pretty good after 27credits in undergraduate history. Unions did great things in some industries like coal mining and some other industralized labor practices at the turn of the century and early 20th century, but many of the things they were fighting for are now covered under federal laws/regulations..ie OSHA regulations and so on. Yes, that makes the federal government reactive, but tell me what the unions are doing for all nurses what state and federal regulations are they fighting for.

    Anyways, you guys have beat me into submission. I am just a poor misguided uneducated nurse that knows nothing about history, and cares nothing about the professional image of nurses. I must also be mistaken in remembering all the organized crime, murders, political corruption, dues/pension thefts, blackmail, and all the other things that unions are also well known for....good and bad...but let's forget all the bad, because I am now guaranteed my two 15 min breaks and my wage is a little higher than it used to be (although now I have to pay off the unions to ensure all those little perks for the rest of my working career).
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from wtbcrna
    I have always said unions have done good and bad things. My historical perspective is pretty good after 27credits in undergraduate history. Unions did great things in some industries like coal mining and some other industralized labor practices at the turn of the century and early 20th century, but many of the things they were fighting for are now covered under federal laws/regulations..ie OSHA regulations and so on. Yes, that makes the federal government reactive, but tell me what the unions are doing for all nurses what state and federal regulations are they fighting for.
    Anyways, you guys have beat me into submission. I am just a poor misguided uneducated nurse that knows nothing about history, and cares nothing about the professional image of nurses. I must also be mistaken in remembering all the organized crime, murders, political corruption, dues/pension thefts, blackmail, and all the other things that unions are also well known for....good and bad...but let's forget all the bad, because I am now guaranteed my two 15 min breaks and my wage is a little higher than it used to be (although now I have to pay off the unions to ensure all those little perks for the rest of my working career).
    Arizona - http://www.calnurses.org/nnoc/arizona/?print=t

    Illinois - http://www.calnurses.org/nnoc/illinois/?print=t

    Maine - http://www.calnurses.org/nnoc/maine/?print=t

    Ohio - http://www.calnurses.org/nnoc/ohio/?print=t

    Texas - http://www.calnurses.org/nnoc/texas/?print=t

    And of course California - http://www.calnurses.org/nursing-pra...x.html?print=t
  11. by   wtbcrna
    Nice unbiased links...., but the general idea is there at least. I am all for nurse-patient ratio laws, but unless I am wrong no other state has passed a nurse-pt ratio law except California.
    I am politically active. I write my state legislatures on a regular basis for nursing reforms as it comes up. I support my national organization, and I would consider a one time donation to the CNA/NNOC for the right federal/state cause such as nurse-patient ratios but I will not join a union. I think I have supported my statements well enough and acknowledged that unions do great things upon occassion. Each to their own, if you think unions are your best national/state representative you should join a union. I on the other hand disagree on this fundamental point, and don't think unions could ever provide the representation that is needed for nurses on the state and federal level.

    Good Luck to everyone on their nursing careers, but since I can't control myself to continously responding to this thread I am unsubscribing to this thread and going back to studying.
    Last edit by wtbcrna on Feb 23, '08
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    It is not necessary to join a union or to donate to help in getting a ratio law. We are very happy to have supporters write letters, make phone calls, talk with their friendss and neighbors, or attend a rally.

    It takes a majority of the people supporting it.

    WE were able to get safe staffing ratios because it is the right thing to do.
    We had to educate the public.
  13. by   pianaplayernurse
    Quote from Michael_Savage
    Unions are for the birds - I used to have one in my hospital and they came around begging me for money and I told them "no thanks, unions are for the birds".
    I am really not impressed at all with the maturity or the intellectual level of your attitude. If you would take part in your union and use it to change what you think is keeping we nurses from fulfilling our pledge, I guarantee that you feel a huge surge of power that being in a group all dedicated to the same purpose can give you! The only reason you think unions are for the birds is because you don't care about bettering our practice, or the plight of our patients.

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