New national nurses union forms - page 18

by herring_RN Guide

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


  1. 6
    I understand why you consider this "forced" unionism PICUNP...the nurse deciding to work within this system after the union has been established are compelled to join...thus the "force". However, the nurse always has the choice not to work for that unionized hospital when looking for employment. In many medium to large communities there are both union and non-union choices. I know that I have always had options when looking for other employment. In smaller communities the nurse may only have the choice of working in other than the hospital environment if he/she does not want to work for a union. While this may not be what that nurse may want, it is, none the less, a choice.

    Certainly, as a NP, you have some options that are not avail to nurses without the advanced degree which make it more likely that you can avoid unionization should you prefer.

    The reality, in my mind, is that hospitals are generally unionized for a reason. There was likely some bad behavior on the part of the hospital that was adversely affecting the staff, affecting patient care, and possibly affecting safety or outcomes which the nursing staff was unable to change in the absence of a union. In 30 years, I have managed to avoid ever working in a union shop. I have also benefited from the union shop in each job I have taken in an adjacent hospital. The wages, benefits, and employee policies were all roughly comparable even though I did not pay the union dues. This is likely because the employer I chose was more responsive to the needs of the staff and made changes in an attempt to keep them. This is also likely why those employers were not unionized in the first place, they chose to empower their nursing staff enough to cause them to feel that they had a voice in their workplace and in the delivery of their professional services.

    History has shown us that when people feel unempowered or unsafe in their profession they will unionize in an attempt to improve that situation. Teachers, pilots, and nurses are good examples of professionals who may find themselves working for systems which value them only for the tasks they can perform and for the credibility they bring to the system, but do not value their professional opinions or assessments of the processes they are required to follow. When the processes are related to safety and professional behavior the professionals may choose to unionize as their way to effect proper change. Those nurses involved in the process to decide union vs non-union must abide by the democratic process, regardless of their opinion. Those that follow must only abide in that if they CHOOSE to work for that employer. Nothing is forced beyond that first democratic election.
    HM2VikingRN, nicurn001, Jerry 75, and 3 others like this.
  2. 5
    Quote from PICUPNP
    Its still FORCED UNIONISM when nurses are forced to join the union and pay dues to be employed. If being against FORCED UNIONISM means I'm against democracy then so be it.

    And there, I think, we have the very essence of modern conservatism: liking democracy only when it can be manipulated to suit their purposes, but quick to reject it when the results don't turn out to their liking.
    nicurn001, lindarn, karenchad, and 2 others like this.
  3. 3
    I can't say that I have a "union viewpoint" given that I have never been in a nursing or other type of union. I do however, have a nursing viewpoint which allows me to be sympathetic to the plight of my peers who work for employers with no conscience about the professional environment they create and promote for their bedside nurses.
    nicurn001, lindarn, and karenchad like this.
  4. 7
    You keep ranting about "forced unions" and "paying to be employed". We keep pointing out that you already have a choice about that ... there is no law requiring unions in order to do business and even in union states there are non-union facilities, often the kind of for-profit private institutions that would value a union buster on staff.

    You have options, so where is the force?

    You've sung the praises of the Texas work environment ... yet have failed to explain or even address some of the information posted here ... specifically the existence and purpose of Group One and the assertion that a majority of nurses working in Texas are travelers. Is that true?

    And what I've heard and read about Group One on this site leads me to believe that it functions as a blacklisting service to flag "trouble-makers". Since that probably includes known union supporters, such an organization makes it pretty difficult to be pro-union and keep a job. Now, there's a pretty piece of union-busting ... and a lot more underhanded than a union contract which is at least public information.

    There's force and then there's force.

    And it seems to me that the idea of a free marketplace and fair competition should apply to labor, too. The question is, do unions enhance or restrict workers' options?

    I just don't trust people whose wealth depends on making me work as cheaply as possible to be looking out for my best interests. If a blacklist keeps me from working for my own best interest - taking personal responsibility for my own welfare, so to speak - by blocking my access to employment (my only source of support), I'm afraid I'm outta there.

    So far, you haven't explained why opposing a union is in my best interests. I have a lot of good reasons to support unions and you haven't refuted a single one.
    Last edit by XB9S on Jan 8, '10 : Reason: removing reference to deleted post
    Hoozdo, Heogog53, nicurn001, and 4 others like this.
  5. 0
    See that's where you are wrong. I did address group one, and I have no idea about the use of travelers in Texas as my institution does not use travelers at all. There is a waiting list for employment at my institution and no union...who would have thought that we could be so successful without a union controlling us. My gosh....we haven't even paid dues yet here we are in the Top 10 Pedi hospitals in the nation(non profit).
    Is Group One the best you've got? I HAVE addressed it in previous posts. You should do more reading here before pointing inconsistencies. Good grief Charlie Brown, they are an FCRA involved institution who maintains employment records whom I've never had any dealings with or know of anyone who has had dealings with them. I'm not saying that I agree with the concept, but they're a compnay thats here to stay. So is it my fault that they exist...NO. Could the uber union make them go away...NO.
    Last edit by XB9S on Jan 8, '10 : Reason: removing reference to deleted comment
  6. 1
    Ah, yes ... the Sargent Schultz know-thing defense. Well ... if you aspire to being a union buster, you oughta at least know the labor market in your own state.
    Last edit by XB9S on Jan 8, '10 : Reason: ref to deleted comment
    lindarn likes this.
  7. 3
    Quote from Chico David RN
    And there, I think, we have the very essence of modern conservatism: liking democracy only when it can be manipulated to suit their purposes, but quick to reject it when the results don't turn out to their liking.
    I'm not sure it is conservatism. That poster never identified himself as such. It certainly seems as though workers taking responsibility for their own welfare is quite consistent with conservative thinking. As is a written, freely negotiated contract that spells out rights and responsibilities of all the parties involved - as opposed to depending on the government to legislate and enforce fair labor practices.

    We are in the business of selling our labor and have every right to make the best deal we can ... and if a union helps me do that, then I'm pro-union. The trick is to make it a fair deal for all concerned.
    lindarn, Chico David RN, and herring_RN like this.
  8. 6
    My goodness, how quick to take offense we become, about issues that are unclear to begin with.

    First of all, no union is being forced upon anyone!! It has to be voted in, and most facilities put in a clause in their agreement to allow a union in, that individuals can choose not to join and still benefit (or not) from the changes they work toward and achieve.

    I think some of you heard myths about unions established in "sweat" shops in the '40s. There were some forceful tactics used then, but the type of person who would do that type of thing, joined a gang or a mafia in childhood, that has nothing to do with fair employment. In fact those organizations couldn't care less about living or fair anything.

    What is true, is that OSHA was formed as a result of unions' push for fair working conditions and age requirements; and appropriate pay standards, etc.
    Without unions, some employers have slipped into the slimey "you'll work as I tell you, or you won't work" type of non ethic.

    Believe me, workers all over this country and others, have gotten contracts from which you benefit, like 40 hour weeks. However nurses in particular have chosen to eshew breaks and lunch periods, to their detriment. That was most unwise. Even in communist China, many factories have breaks; and everyone participates in "shadow boxing" that is quite relaxing, not pugilistic. When we trust and believe in ourselves, we want good things to happen to/for us.

    Many of us have paranoid attitudes (not the illness, necessarily) that refuse to accept positive changes, especially because of stories of the past. And some union organizers have been somewhat antagonistic - but they can't be that way and negotiate properly. Miscommunication is the result of the "us" and "them" type of thinking. We need to take a close look at present union sites and decide as informed consumers, if their policies are good for us.

    When someone in a distant place tells you all unions are terrible, no matter how much faith you have in that person, do your own research that excludes myths from the past. Of course the administration members of your facility won't like the idea that a union (possibly the strongest one for nursing, ever) is due to arrive on their doorstep. That takes a lot of their power to do whatever they want to their employees, away...... and brings another complication to their (and our) lives. Whoever thought that good changes occur without upheaval, wasn't thinking!
    karenchad, tewdles, nicurn001, and 3 others like this.
  9. 4
    As I said earlier in the thread , If its a term of employment ( closed shop , being a participant in a procedure you oppose etc.) then as any other term of employment , you either accept it or you don't . The result of that decision is yours , which you can make as freely as casting your vote.
    karenchad, Jerry 75, Chico David RN, and 1 other like this.
  10. 0
    Quote from heron
    I'm not sure it is conservatism. That poster never identified himself as such. It certainly seems as though workers taking responsibility for their own welfare is quite consistent with conservative thinking. As is a written, freely negotiated contract that spells out rights and responsibilities of all the parties involved - as opposed to depending on the government to legislate and enforce fair labor practices.

    We are in the business of selling our labor and have every right to make the best deal we can ... and if a union helps me do that, then I'm pro-union. The trick is to make it a fair deal for all concerned.
    I agree with you on that. I suppose it would have been more accurate to say "those who identify themselves as conservatives". The fundamental belief system seems to be more about believing in the unlimited right of corporations to trample on their workers, but that's what passes for conservatism in today's world.


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