New national nurses union forms - page 14

by herring_RN Guide | 28,683 Views | 198 Comments

A new national union of up to 154,000 registered nurses was created in Phoenix today, replacing one of the most aggressive nurse unions in the industry and combining its membership with two other nurse-only labor groups to form... Read More


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    I love how you keep skirting around the issue. If you have to pay dues to be employed, that is forced unionism. It's absolutely ridiculous to have to pay for employment. This has nothing to do with democracy, just simple facts.
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    “national nurses united”: should you join?

    rns from across the country made history last week by founding the 150,000-nurse super-union, national nurses united (nnu). freshly elected to the council of presidents, jean ross, rn, stopped in to chat with scrubs during a busy week of conventions and rallies to share her personal statement of views and to answer the question “why now?”…

    http://scrubsmag.com/2009/12/21/nati...ould-you-join/
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    I work in a right to work state, like many southeastern people. What good does it do me to join a nursing union when admitting to membership in a union may possibly get me fired? I ask this as a devil's advocate question, not as a criticism of NNU. I always thought that any nurses union should affiliate with the Teamsters, cos if nurses strike, then the Teamsters don't deliver...and trucks are the lifeblood of hospital supply...
    I also realize that a lot of people are going to think, "OH ICK!!! Those corrupt Teamsters! How could you think of it!" To which I answer, it was a pipe dream of mine for nurses to belong to a union WITH clout and power to be able to deliver some kind of punch when a strike is called for. That's all. I've always wanted to be a member of a union that could deliver the goods, to belong to something that would stand for me and my beliefs and BACK US ALL UP!
    Please pardon the connection between Teamster and nurses, but it was a hopeful thought.

    So- will it do me good to join the NNU as a nurse in a non-union state?

    Thanks for all reasonable replies.
    nicurn001 and lindarn like this.
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    Quote from Heogog53
    I work in a right to work state, like many southeastern people. What good does it do me to join a nursing union when admitting to membership in a union may possibly get me fired? I ask this as a devil's advocate question, not as a criticism of NNU. I always thought that any nurses union should affiliate with the Teamsters, cos if nurses strike, then the Teamsters don't deliver...and trucks are the lifeblood of hospital supply...

    I also realize that a lot of people are going to think, "OH ICK!!! Those corrupt Teamsters! How could you think of it!" To which I answer, it was a pipe dream of mine for nurses to belong to a union WITH clout and power to be able to deliver some kind of punch when a strike is called for. That's all. I've always wanted to be a member of a union that could deliver the goods, to belong to something that would stand for me and my beliefs and BACK US ALL UP!

    Please pardon the connection between Teamster and nurses, but it was a hopeful thought.

    So- will it do me good to join the NNU as a nurse in a non-union state?

    Thanks for all reasonable replies.
    Interesting question I'm happy to take a stab at. It's a question with several components so I'll pick it apart a bit. I'm not sure what the NNU as such will do about some form of membership for those people who are not in an organized bargaining unit. One of the constituent unions - CNA/NNOC - made a decision a few years back to create a new category of membership for nurses who were not in areas with a lot of union activity, but believed in the goals of the organization and wanted to be part of it. Those nurses pay a minimal annual fee, get a subscription to a magazine at the minimum. In areas where there is some concentration of those members, they start to get together in metropolitan committees and work together with other nurses from their area on issues like staffing ratios and patient advocacy. In several states, they have gotten to the point of getting legislation introduced into state legislatures and made some meaningful headway toward actual passage. In a very few places, there have been concentrations high enough to actually think about beginning organizing campaigns at the facility level.

    Many people think that it's impossible to organize in so called "right to work" states. It's not impossible, just a lot more difficult and there are islands of success here and there - Nurses in Las Vegas and Reno being prime examples. As we look to organizing the nurses who are not yet organized, we have to look to those states and we do have to develop a model of organizing that works there. There's been enough success to show it's possible, just need to expand on that.

    As to a union with clout, one of the cool things about the labor movement is that unions do cooperate and help each other out. So it's very much possible to get unions like the Teamsters and others to honor a picket line at a strike by other unions. I think the real clout comes from a union that represents a lot of nurses, understands nursing issues and can use leverage within the big national chains of hospitals.

    It seems counter-intuitive, but unions, even big ones are at our weakest when dealing with an individual stand-alone hospital and strongest in dealing with a chain. When we represent a few hundred nurses at one hospital, we have a certain amount of power. When we represent thousands, like in a few of the big national chains, the power of those numbers can produce enormous leverage to set higher standards.

    Increasingly, hospitals are part of national chains. Those chains are of all types - for profit, secular non-profit, and religious (mostly Catholic) non-profit. But whichever they are, the power of nurses working together across a whole multi-state chain produces a level of power that is un-matched.
    That may not be a comprehensive answer, but at least offers some food for thought.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Dec 28, '09 : Reason: paragraph spacing
    Nurse_Diane, pennyaline, Jerry 75, and 2 others like this.
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    No PICUPNP , It is you who is skirting the issue . If nurses at a facility , decide to take a vote as to whether or not to unionize , in the full knowledge that one of their obligations will be to pay for the service the union provides , in order to maintain employment I would have thought that a great incentive to get out the Anti vote . But if the majority of nurses vote the union in , then you have to accept the will of the majority and either accept that paying dues is an obligation , or work to get rid of the union , whilst meeting your obligation to the majority decision of the democratic process .
    Eclectic1 and Nurse_Diane like this.
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    i was posting at the same time as chico david rn
    please read his excellent post!
    Last edit by herring_RN on Dec 29, '09
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    Thank you both, Chico David and herring! I had no idea that anything such as this existed. The most exciting part for me is the proposed national legislation on mandatory ratios, as well as the affiliates(including one in my state).
    I realize that if MAINE, a state of very practical people, have adopted the CNA/NNOC, then surely other states will follow.
    I may be opening myself up to criticism, but I recall on night, very long ago, when I was the evening charge nurse in CCU, we ended up with 7 vent patients on a 14 patient unit, something that had never happened. Despite my pleas for additional help to the Nursing Supervisor, I ended up "covering" the 7 "stable patients" in order to allow the rest of the nurses to do as close to 1:1 or 1:2 care as possible. Our unit secretary had been pulled at the beginning of the shift, so that was also something that fell to me. I'd been a nurse for about a year or so at that point.
    I think that when the change of shift at 11p came around, the narcotics count was way off, everyone was busy trying to just keep up, and I was chastised for "things not being in order" for the night crew. None of the 3-11 crowd left before 1:30 am. That type of thing was simply expected of us. No one died or coded, thank God, but we all felt that one of these shifts, all hell was going to break loose, that we were going to have a massive system failure.
    About that time, I became very disliked by the Director of Critical Care Nursing. She threatened to suspend me one day, because she didn't like my uniform. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it,neither could my coworkers. Another time, I was giving IV push morphine to a patient and was told to come take the blood gas results on another patient. My response was that I'd be there when I was done taking care of Mr X. She heard that comment and made it her business to go after me for all she was worth. I had no idea what I had done that was wrong. She denied my proposed transfer to the CTICU,then my attempt to go to the Cath Lab, etc.
    I applied for the OR course, just to get away from her constant harping,but she denied the transfer. The second time I applied, she tried it again, and the instructor told her point blank that she wouldn't teach the class if I wasn't allowed in it.
    That's why I left critical care. She literally tried to drive me out of the hospital. A few years later, she was caught in the ICU IV closet with one of the Open Heart surgeons- and was escorted out of the hospital, while the doc got not one reprimand.

    That was life at the hospital I trained at.....and you wonder why for the next twenty years or so,women chose to become engineers, architects, computer nerds, stockbrokers, lawyers and doctors instead of nurses and teachers!
    Hoozdo, morte, herring_RN, and 2 others like this.
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    I'm looking at this as an outsider coming into California for work. If I come in to a pro union state that has closed shops then I have to pay dues or not work...right??? That is forced unionism. You can read about this phenomenon all over the internet. There are entire organizations whose sole purpose is to end this type of oppression.

    As I said in an earlier post, why is it necessary to force nurses to join ANY union in order to be employed??? Also, what is wrong with the nurses or other employees being able to opt out of the union and not pay dues?? Why should nurses or others coming from RTW states be FORCED to pay the dues?? This is the very reason there will never be a significant union presence in Texas.

    Also as mentioned earlier that Nevada is a RTW state with a growing number of unionized facilities, what would be the ratio of dues paying employees vs. those who don't choose to pay dues? That would be interesting to see.
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    Quote from picupnp
    i'm looking at this as an outsider coming into california for work. if i come in to a pro union state that has closed shops then i have to pay dues or not work ( it is one of the employers terms of employment agreed by them in the contract brtween themselves and the union )...right??? that is forced unionism. you can read about this phenomenon all over the internet. there are entire organizations whose sole purpose is to end this type of oppression.i am looking at this as an outsider if i came to a rtw state , i would have to accept the terms of employment of my new employer , if not i would not be able to work there ... right ??? ( your dramatic flourishes add nothing to your arguement picupnp )as i said in an earlier post, why is it necessary to force nurses to join any union in order to be employed???( again as said in other threads , democratic proces , brought this about , if you believe in the democratic process , sometimes you will have to do things you don't like , whilst working to change that ) also, what is wrong with the nurses or other employees being able to opt out of the union and not pay dues?? ( lame arguement , to which even you know the answer , so i won't waste my breath on it )why should nurses or others coming from rtw states be forced to pay the dues?? this is the very reason there will never be a significant union presence in texas. for the same reasons as if i were to come to rtw state i would have to accept the terms of employment there .

    also as mentioned earlier that nevada is a rtw state with a growing number of unionized facilities, what would be the ratio of dues paying employees vs. those who don't choose to pay dues? that would be interesting to see.frankly doesn't matter if the union chooses , to represent nurses without being sure of getting dues , surely goes against your argument that unions are only init for the money ?
    more and more your anti union stance , simply appears to be based on $$$$'s.
  10. 3
    Quote from PICUPNP
    I'm looking at this as an outsider coming into California for work. If I come in to a pro union state that has closed shops then I have to pay dues or not work...right??? That is forced unionism. You can read about this phenomenon all over the internet. There are entire organizations whose sole purpose is to end this type of oppression.

    As I said in an earlier post, why is it necessary to force nurses to join ANY union in order to be employed??? Also, what is wrong with the nurses or other employees being able to opt out of the union and not pay dues?? Why should nurses or others coming from RTW states be FORCED to pay the dues?? This is the very reason there will never be a significant union presence in Texas.

    Also as mentioned earlier that Nevada is a RTW state with a growing number of unionized facilities, what would be the ratio of dues paying employees vs. those who don't choose to pay dues? That would be interesting to see.
    First, there are still a fair number of non-union hospitals in California - so no one is restricting your right to live and work in whatever state you wish.
    But again, I would pretty much say to you what most Americans would say to an immigrant who said "I want to move to the US, but I don't like some of the laws there so I don't want them to apply to me." If you don't like the laws as they are, either come anyway and work to change them, or don't come at all.
    Let's review process a minute: To organize a hospital, nurses have to go through a democratic election process in which all the odds favor the employer/anti-union side. Assuming they win through that, they elect nurses (democracy again) to represent them on the bargaining team. If the employer agrees to a union shop as part of the contract, the contract is presented to all the nurses there to vote on (still more democracy) before it becomes effective. An open shop allows the employer to exploit the divisions that happen when some nurses choose to be freeloaders and benefit from everyone else's union dues without paying themselves. Union shop equals the chance for a strong and effective union. Open shop equals weak and ineffective union, which is why employers want it that way. And those organizations you mention are not member organizations as we would think of it, but astroturf organizations bankrolled by millions from corporate interests that want to destroy unions so they can exploit workers more effectively.
    Heogog53, Eclectic1, and herring_RN like this.


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