How to bring in a nurses union in a non union state?

  1. 4
    I relocated to NC a few years ago from up north, and while I love it here, I am amazed and appalled by what some of these admins. can get away with in these hospitals. I have been reminded time and again that this is a "right to work" state and pretty much anything can be a reason to be terminated. I have witnessed peers that were "too verbal" be targeted and later fired for seemingly insignificant things. We have had our schedules changed multiple times without any input or regard from the nurses (and of course reminded if we don't like it we could go else where), turnover rate is high, (the Rn with the most seniority on my unit has only been there about 3 years) and staffing ratio is ridiculous, I could go on and on. Having come from a state with a union to fight for us nurses, I would love any and all input from anybody who knows anything about NC and why we have no unions here, as well as any states that have started there own unions. Can I legally be fired if I try to organize a union in my hospital? Could really use some input and guidance here. I love what I do, and I love my pts, I just wish we had a voice and were treated like professionals.
    tlc365, MissPiggy, dionnedillon, and 1 other like this.

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  2. 51 Comments...

  3. 7
    You dont need a union to stand up for your rights. Being from Texas, I wouldnt want or join a union. I would tell ya to get lost to be honest. Here in Texas we have councils such as a Nurse Practice Council that is responsible for being the voice of the deparments. We dont need/want unions to take our money to represent us when we can do it ourselves.
    HouTx, cabanaboy, Pistachio, and 4 others like this.
  4. 3
    Being a "right to work" state does not mean you can be fired for any reason. "Right to Work" just means you aren't required to join a union in order to work. Each state has different laws that protect you from wrongful termination which are independent of unions. I've also worked at a place where people were often fired for questionable reasons, it was unionized so that doesn't necessarily mean that won't happen if you have a union.

    You can't legally be fired for trying to form a union as long as you follow the rules. The National Labor Relations Board interprets and enforces these rules (mostly from the Taft-Hartley act). For instance, you can (and will) be fired if you use company e-mail to organize, or engage in organizing activities while on the clock.
  5. 1
    @8mpg, we have tried putting together councils to stand up for ouselves, and the admins basically pacify us and then continue to do what they want and tell us thats just the way it is. I respect your opinion on union maybe not being the way to go, but I feel helpless to change things. These are a great bunch of nurses I work with and I'm not ready to bail yet.
    @MunoRN, I never really understood what my peers meant by the right to work state, I was led to believe that an employer can pretty much terminate you at will. Thanks for clarifying. I guess I'm more concerned about trying to get them to hear us, but the turnover rate speaks volumes and their attitudes have been easy come easy go, nurses are easily replaced here.
    lindarn likes this.
  6. 7
    the less nursing unions, the better.

    honestly, they just make the relationship between nurses and management worse. every tiny insignificant thing becomes a battle.
  7. 3
    Our councils are doing great for us. I have talked with many other nurses here in the DFW area of Texas and most are happy with their jobs and do not need a union. I would bail if I could find another job if I were in your shoes. You need to protect yourself
  8. 6
    Quote from 8mpg
    You dont need a union to stand up for your rights. Being from Texas, I wouldnt want or join a union. I would tell ya to get lost to be honest. Here in Texas we have councils such as a Nurse Practice Council that is responsible for being the voice of the deparments. We dont need/want unions to take our money to represent us when we can do it ourselves.
    Yeah. You can do it all for yourselves. Till one of you steps out of line.
    sunshinepsychRN, MissPiggy, elkpark, and 3 others like this.
  9. 4
    OP I am with you. I am also from up in the Northeast, now living in the South. We need one here too. It is amazing how many people are too afraid to stand up for themselves. There are no rights for employees where I work. Just finished a 16 hour shift for which I will only be paid 15 hours. They deduct for breaks that we can't take. I had to sneak into the bathroom to eat a bananna today.
    MissPiggy, Jarnaes, Zombi RN, and 1 other like this.
  10. 8
    I wish the hospital I was currently at would unionize. I worked union for the majority of my 23 years in nursing and I miss them terribly, for many reasons.

    Collective bargaining is the only real power that a nurse has in determining equal pay, treatment, job security, and decent work conditions.
  11. 9
    Quote from missladyrn
    OP I am with you. I am also from up in the Northeast, now living in the South. We need one here too. It is amazing how many people are too afraid to stand up for themselves. There are no rights for employees where I work. Just finished a 16 hour shift for which I will only be paid 15 hours. They deduct for breaks that we can't take. I had to sneak into the bathroom to eat a bananna today.
    Just so you know...that is illegal. You have the right to get paid for the hours you work. The company illegally deducting pay for breaks not taken is illegal. Our hospital now forces us to take a break due to being sued recently for this problem. If you have a problem, contact your state workforce commission.
    cabanaboy, Bortaz, RN, damrcngrl95, and 6 others like this.


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