How powerful are hospital unions? - page 2

Just curious.... I start my first job as a GN at a large hospital that is unionized in August. During my interview, I was told that the staffing on the floor I will work on (telemetry) is 4:1. ... Read More

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    If you want a big brother over you to tell you what is best for you, instead of your own mind be my guest. Also if you want a safety net for dirt bag nurses who should have been fired many moons ago, be my guest. If you don't mind having to strike for a fifty cent raise, while someone else who is doing your job for five to ten dollars less than you, again be my guest. Perks like patient ratio, unions don't produce (just look at the other comments), better pay, yes but while rising the cost of care. Benefits (health, vision, dental....), would be provided anyway (what hospital couldn't offer any of these and still compete for workers?). At my work, about 5 years ago, we the employees were courted by a union as were another hospital around 15 miles away from us. Long story short, we didn't go union, they did. They have been on strike twice, loss their Blue Cross PPO (Health Net HMO now), and thier ability to discuss any work related subject w/o a union rep with management. All this for what you might ask...a 75 cent raise in those five years, plus 5 extra days a year of vacation, and a lightening of a 154 dollars a month for dues, no to begin to even mention about morale. If that is what a union can do for me, no thanks.
    Stellabells22 and tazmom like this.

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    Just as all hospitals are different, unions are not all the same.
    The Professional Association and labor union, California Nurses Association led the campaign for safe staffing ratios. Sufficient staff is essential for safe, effective, therapeutic patient care. Clearly not a "perk", safe staffing prevents preventable deaths due to "failure to rescue".
    Here is an article from 2008:

    Following years of rallies, protests, public hearings and letter writing campaigns by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC), AB 394, the first RN-to-patient hospital staffing ratios law, became effective January 1, 2004 in all California acute-care, acute psychiatric and specialty hospitals. The law requires that no RN can be assigned responsibility for more patients than the specific ratio at any time, under any circumstances, based on patient acuity and scope of practice laws.

    As of January 1, 2008, the ratio law completed its "phase-in period" and has now been updated, by the California Department of Health Services (DHS), with new mandated minimum numerical ratios for three units. Step Down has been reduced from 1:4 to 1:3, telemetry from 1:5 to 1:4 and other specialty care units, such as cancer care, from 1:5 to 1:4. These join the other following units already in effect.....

    Healthcare Industry News Features
    Read about ratios in Victoria Australia union contracts - Google Search Results for Victoria, ratios
    laborer, lindarn, and RN Zeke like this.
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    This (information)
    speaks for it self. Like it or not, Facts are Facts.
    laborer, lindarn, and herring_RN like this.
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    Quote from ScottE
    How powerful are hospital unions?

    Not nearly as powerful as my union of one, or at least that's what I tell myself.
    Eggs, Zachary... but they take in a whole lot of money.
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    The Divison of Organizing :kiss Massachusetts Nurses Association - Unionizing
    lindarn and RN Zeke like this.
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    Here's a good example.... " Do it my way,or the highway " with out a third party union......................
    Last edit by laborer on Mar 9, '12
    lindarn likes this.
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    I have belonged to a union for 20 years. There are good and bad in all things. I don't think for what I pay per year in dues ($1000) there is enough support. My job still sucks. Management finds their way around our contract in some instances. I am a hard worker, but many of my co workers think 'God owes them a livin' and spend a lot of time on their fannies. And get away with it. There are certainly people who do a crappy job and should have been booted long ago, and are protected by the union. I don't think I would want to be a patient there.
    Every time a contract negotiations year comes up (every 2-3 years) it's a NASTY costly battle. Really stressful. Not looking forward to it.
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    There are also the managers pets , who have there heads so far up the managers A... , you can only see their shoulders ,who don't know one end of a foley from the other and into which orifice , it should go , yet they recieve all the good schedules , patients etc..
    As to firing the poor employee , I love all these pseudo managers who come up with this argument .The union cannot stop managment from firing somone they just ensure managment has to go through the set out hospital policy , applicable law and contract language ( you know a bit like us bedside nurses having to follow all these same things when we care for patients ) showing just cause for the termination , if managment does things correctly then the bad employee will be fired .
    Fiona59 and lindarn like this.
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    Let's be honest. A union only means that you are playing a different game. We have the power to improve other's lives. What makes that so cool is that it's so easy to blame other's for our inadequacies. ex. yeah, It'd work, but you / me is not in a union.

    We need to empower ourselves. Otherwise, well... I'm O.K. are U? (with apologizes to B.f. Skinner.) Bet Nobody gets that.
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    Operant conditioning and negative feed back is mostly what we nurses experience. We need to get out of the "BIG SKINNER" box and seek help from where we may get it to protect us and all we have worked to accomplish. Seek knowledge, empower ourselves...patient outcome improvement, happier nurses.
    lindarn likes this.

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