Help me understand something about unions

  1. 1
    Im a new nurse and at my hospital, the union and hospital has been going back and forth forever and a day now about the new contract and the hospital proposal to cut nurses pay.

    I would really like to know if unions are really effective and at the end of the day if management go ahead and do what they really want to do anyway?

    I ask because this back and forth between management has been going on for a really long time and it seems like management isn't budging.
    lindarn likes this.
  2. Get our hottest nursing topics delivered to your inbox.

  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 6
    It's a war between 2 opposing sets of people.

    1. Sometimes, the union wins.
    2. Sometimes, the employer wins.
    3. Most of the time, they work out a compromise in which each side gets a few things it wants and does not get a few things it wants. Both sides win a little and lose a little.

    What happens after that depends on how the people accept any compromises made. Sometimes, the oppposing sides move forward together in a semi-positive way. Sometimes, there are hard feelings that linger and poison the relationship for a long time.
    HazelLPN, Jarnaes, NRSKarenRN, and 3 others like this.
  5. 5
    Here are a few thoughts:
    1. First off, management is proposing a pay cut in your example and the union is fighting it. In the absence of a union, management would have simply done it without asking anyone or doing anymore than announcing it to you. So the union is accomplishing something important already.
    2. The strength of a union comes only from it's members. The members ARE the union. The staff and leadership, or the headquarters building are not the union. Only the members are the union. In a bargaining situation, the members have to show active support for the bargaining team, or the team has no strength. And a bargaining team that is not looking for ways to engage the members isn't really doing its job. I've been on the team for all three of our contracts here. We've had nurses march in parades, leaflet at the farmer's market, email the CEO and hold pickets and candlelight vigils outside the building to show their support. Your team should be doing things like that and all of you affected by the contract should be showing up and taking part. The way to make management agree with you is to send the clear message that they will pay a price for not agreeing. And only the members can do that.
    CMCRN, HazelLPN, Jarnaes, and 2 others like this.
  6. 6
    Do you like week ends? Thank unions. But that was old days why do we need Unions now? Ask any one who got their retirement pensions removed for obscure yet legal reasons. Unions can be pain in the keister at times but they are a very important part of the limits placed on corporations. They are only as effective and responsive as their members make them.
    HazelLPN, Jarnaes, laborer, and 3 others like this.
  7. 0
    "Unions are only as effective as their members make them..." A hospital where I work just south of San Francisco uses the union to keep non-Filipino nurses out. The same tricks get used over and over on the new higher s: "finding" an un-capped insulin needle on the food tray, then claiming the RN who just comes back from break was careless, thus get reported and written up for putting the patient in danger even though it was all a set up by the charge nurse and break relief nurse to keep the staff minimum three-quarters Filipino. What happens to the other wise good, caring nurses who get driven out of the profession when they are saddled with $50k in loans they fully intended to pay back and now cannot because it is another year of hundreds of resumes to only be turned down once again. The Philippines needs the money sent back to it by us from our paychecks, but what does it do to the American nurses who cannot get a job because only we from the Philippines get hired and get to keep our jobs while I see the lives of non-philipino nurses ruined, and all of this just to make sure the CNA Union gets its dues every month, knowing that anyone who tries to speak out will be turned on and sabotaged, even if it costs a patient's life to do it. The Callousness of the CNA union organizers is shocking in regards to traps laid to get out "trouble makers", whose sole fault may be to be latino, black, chinese, white, korean or Japanese. The money is amazing, but the moral corruption would terrify me to reveal in Confession. I'd definitely give the priest a triple dose of gentamycin before the confession of the crimes I have seen the California Nurses Union do to those who aren't Philippine-born.
  8. 7
    Quote from Api Crab
    "Unions are only as effective as their members make them..." A hospital where I work just south of San Francisco uses the union to keep non-Filipino nurses out. The same tricks get used over and over on the new higher s: "finding" an un-capped insulin needle on the food tray, then claiming the RN who just comes back from break was careless, thus get reported and written up for putting the patient in danger even though it was all a set up by the charge nurse and break relief nurse to keep the staff minimum three-quarters Filipino. What happens to the other wise good, caring nurses who get driven out of the profession when they are saddled with $50k in loans they fully intended to pay back and now cannot because it is another year of hundreds of resumes to only be turned down once again. The Philippines needs the money sent back to it by us from our paychecks, but what does it do to the American nurses who cannot get a job because only we from the Philippines get hired and get to keep our jobs while I see the lives of non-philipino nurses ruined, and all of this just to make sure the CNA Union gets its dues every month, knowing that anyone who tries to speak out will be turned on and sabotaged, even if it costs a patient's life to do it. The Callousness of the CNA union organizers is shocking in regards to traps laid to get out "trouble makers", whose sole fault may be to be latino, black, chinese, white, korean or Japanese. The money is amazing, but the moral corruption would terrify me to reveal in Confession. I'd definitely give the priest a triple dose of gentamycin before the confession of the crimes I have seen the California Nurses Union do to those who aren't Philippine-born.
    I think it was Carl Sagan who said "Extrordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". You've made some pretty extreme - one might say slanderous - claims here and offered no evidence. But one can examine it on a few bases. Nurses, after all, are supposed to have critical thinking skills.
    First, I'm always skeptical of people who come here and use their very first post to attack our union - or anyone else for that matter. I have to wonder what their agenda is.
    Next: Your first sentence seems to imply that the hospital and the union collude in this bizarre effort. Since our union tends to have pretty adversarial relations with hospital management, that would be pretty strange in itself. But even more, it costs hospitals a lot of money to go through the process of a new hire. Why would they do such a thing with the intent of getting rid of someone, when they could simply avoid hiring them in the first place and no one would ask any questions?
    What would the hospital gain by keeping non-Philipino nurses out?
    What would the union gain by doing so?
    Why would the union do this at this one hospital? California has a lot of Philipino nurses, so we represent a lot of hospitals with substantial minorities of Philipino nurses. We probably represent a few that have majorities of Philipino nurses. All of those seem to work fine, and all ethnic groups pay dues and participate in their union pretty much the same.
    We have a couple of Philipino nurses on our board, but they are a pretty distinct minority. We have a few on our staff, but none in the very top ranks. Who would decide to carry out this program and why?
    Unions have a legal obligation to provide representation to all their members. The Labor Dept. is pretty aggressive in enforcing that. If there were any evidence. And there are lots of lawyers looking for work who would be happy to sue a union with a substantial treasury. If there were any evidence. Finally, there are several very well funded organizations that the business community finances to try to destroy unions. They'd love to sue CNA over this. If there were any evidence.
    I think I'll stop there, since I have to get to work. But that's enough to go on for a while.
    CMCRN, HazelLPN, Jarnaes, and 4 others like this.
  9. 0
    I did not mean to be slanderous, since that is usually used as a legal term.

    I certainly must not have meant to say the CNA: in the words of Alderman during Richard Nixon, "I mis-spoke myself".

    Here is a link to a story about ANOTHER union, NOT the CNA, cited as colluding with management:

    Pinoy nurses stand up against union - Pinoy Abroad - GMANews.TV - Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs - Latest Philippine News

    The CNA's work on staffing ratios for California patients is commendable, and, otherwise, thank you for the informations about the Labor Department.

    No union should ever be destroyed, but like all organizations, sometimes corrupt things happen, and not always at the top.

    "If there were any evidence" sounds kindof funny like it existed, but was destroyed.

    I think hiring data is available, but the New Hires usually only make it a day or two at most before this scenario happens.

    Can you tell me how to get composite data on this?

    I'm not interested in seeing CNA get sued, just reformed, and at a local level, without seeing my community turn on me either at my church or my children's school.

    I know my community, and, frankly, like any group can, it sometimes acts racist and attacks any of its own who challenge this.

    Nurses need unions, and CNA helps us come from the Philippines for the US nurse jobs:

    Pinay elected president of premier US nurses group - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

    Thank you for your advice and feed back!


Top