New study on unions and wages

  1. 3
    this is a study of all woman workers, not nurse specific, but is still pretty thought provoking - and nothing really new as it is similar to numerous other studies over the years. here's the brief report i saw:

    union-represented women earned more
    than nonunion counterparts, report finds
    female workers represented by unions earn nearly $2.00 more per hour on average than those who are not union-represented, according to a report released dec. 2 by the center for economic and policy research.
    the report, unions and upward mobility for women workers, is the latest in a series of reports issued by cepr on the “union wage premium” for various groups of workers, including latinos (182 dlr a-12, 9/19/08) and blacks (62 dlr a-6, 4/1/08).
    cepr is a washington, d.c.-based research organization.
    in cepr's study, researcher john schmitt analyzed data from the census bureau's monthly current population survey of 60,000 households. in addition to the wage premium discussed in the report, schmitt also said female workers represented by unions are more likely to have health insurance and a pension plan.
    over the four-year period from 2004 through 2007, cepr said, about 13.5 percent of all workers were represented by unions, while about 12.5 percent of female workers were union-represented. unadjusted figures showed that the median hourly wage for union-represented women was $18.77 per hour, while nonunion female workers earned an average of $13.30 per hour.
    at the same time, schmitt said, 75.4 percent of union-represented female workers had health insurance, and 75.8 percent had a pension plan, compared with 50.9 percent of nonunion women with health insurance and 43.0 percent with a pension.
    adjusted figures still show higher wages.
    the report cautioned, however, that these figures “may overstate the union effect because union workers may be more likely to have characteristics associated with higher wages such as being older or having more formal education.” for that reason, schmitt said he used “standard regression techniques to control for these potential differences in the union and non-union workforces.”
    in this analysis, schmitt found that union-represented women earned 11.2 percent more than their nonunion counterparts, or $1.94 per hour more. although not included in the report, schmitt told bna that the median hourly wage for union-represented women, adjusted for differences, would be about $18.29 per hour, while a median regression-adjusted wage for nonunion female workers would be about $16.35 per hour.
    at the same time, cepr said in its regression-adjusted analysis, union-represented female workers were 18.8 percentage points more likely than their nonunion counterparts to have health insurance coverage, and 24.7 percentage points more likely to have a pension.
    in addition, the report said that union-represented women working in low-wage occupations had wages that were 14.3 percent higher than their nonunion counterparts, and were 26 percentage points more likely to have health insurance. these low-wage female workers who were union-represented also were found to have a 23.4 percentage point greater likelihood of pension coverage, cepr said.
    “these benefits are large in economic terms, even when compared to extensive public and private investments in education,” the report said. the report compared the effect of unionization on women's wages to the effect of a college degree. “for the average woman, a four-year college degree boosts wages 52.6 percent, relative to a woman with similar characteristics (age, race, state of residence) who has only a high school degree,” it said. “the comparably estimated union wage premium is 11.2 percent—over 20 percent of the full four-year college effect.”
    in a statement, the service employees international union pointed to cepr's study as “evidence of why it's so important for working women, and others, to have the freedom to join unions.”
    cepr concluded that the report's findings “strongly suggest that better protection of workers' right to unionize would have a substantial positive impact on the pay and benefits of women in the workforce.”
    RN4MERCY, jsrRN, and smoke over fire like this.

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  2. 23 Comments...

  3. 1
    My wage earning is very good and that is without a union. I am still not convinced. And then when I see how close minded the UAW is,I really wonder.
    menetopali likes this.
  4. 0
    while individuals who are members of a union may make more, the union as a whole tends to drive up costs and drive involved companies into the ground all too often. Look at U.S. shipping industry, U.S. auto industry, and U.S. manufacturing for industries that have been destroyed by unions. The unions also promote mediocre performance, lower morale for those who perform well, and remove any accountability for personal performance while establishing an "us vs them" - for example the AFT (teachers), AFGE (TSA, USPS, & VA among others), and CNA (many nurses). the fact that union nurses make more must be taken in the context of the inability for companies to compete effectively and the loss to the company of those who strive for excellence while watching the mediocre get rewarded for longevety reguardless of performance.
  5. 0
    We are all to aware of the dismal compliance and ethics noted from the UAW. Even the Canadian Auto workers union were willing to make significant concessions while the UAW was totally unwilling.

    Yes union mentality not only breeds but condones and praises mediocrity. Autocracy of the individual is subverted to control of the masses. Scares me.
  6. 6
    That's funny because SOME unions, take the IBEW, outperform non union business so badly that the non union electric firms are hurting around here.

    Meanwhile the union electricians are still working.

    Imgine that...

    Why should the workers now be forced to make concessions to help the industry or country when the industry and country for so long allowed this situation to fester. While the industry attempted to take advantage of the workers forcing unions to even exist.

    5 day work week? Thank the union.
    Vacation time? Thank the union.

    Every single benefit that you get today? Thank the union.

    People have short memories.
    RN4MERCY, talaxandra, jsrRN, and 3 others like this.
  7. 4
    The actual fact is that UAW has been making concessions for years to management. In their last round of bargaining they agreed to make retiree health benefits a union responsibility rather than management and took big cuts in pay for new hires.
    American manufacturing has gone down the tubes for lots of reasons: incompetent management, failure to invest in new tecnology, short term thinking that always puts this quarter's financial report ahead of planning for the long term, etc. The unions have fought to have a decent standard of living for their members and the new global market place is on a constant search for lower wages. We now see that some manufacturing plants are leaving China and moving to Vietnam where the wages are still lower. We could only compete with those countries if we are willing to have Americans work for wages like theirs - and then who would buy all that stuff?

    As to the silly raps about unions promoting mediocrity, those seem to come mostly from nurses with no experience in a union workplace. Just for one example, we are in bargaining right now and are struggling to put in place a clinical career ladder to recognize and reward nurses who show both clinical excellence and professional leadership. Similar systems are in place at lots of union hospitals.

    And I get really tired of hearing managers claim they can't get rid of bad nurses "because of the union". What those managers are really saying is that they are too lazy to do a proper termination and follow the rules. All a union environment does in disciplinary cases is provide due process - a pretty basic American value, but it does not exist in non-union workplaces. If a nurse needs to go, a manager just has to go through the proper procedure - inform the nurse of how they are failing to measure up and how they are expected to improve, give them time to improve, document the failure to improve. Not that hard to do, but some managers can't get it together to do it right and they fall back on "the union" as an excuse.
    RN4MERCY, talaxandra, jsrRN, and 1 other like this.
  8. 0
    The IBEW will cause problems eventually also. You can be pro union if you so do choose, but making $30/hr more than non union employees is what has hurt the auto industry.
    Hospitals will suffer even more if we keep driving up our wants, they hire big union consultants that are costly. what we need is to improve the educational process. we have too many students waiting to get into nursing programs who have already obtained their BS degrees.
  9. 0
    Quote from Californiasunshine
    The IBEW will cause problems eventually also. You can be pro union if you so do choose, but making $30/hr more than non union employees is what has hurt the auto industry.
    Hospitals will suffer even more if we keep driving up our wants, they hire big union consultants that are costly. what we need is to improve the educational process. we have too many students waiting to get into nursing programs who have already obtained their BS degrees.
    That's a ludicrous assumption. The IBEW is still working because their work is superior to the nonunion shops. Superior work commands superior pay. If their work was inferior no one would use them would they.

    The problem is not worker wages. The problem is waste in other areas.

    However, to claim it's the unions fault that the industry is faltering is nonsense. The companies were wasteful, the CEOS made obscene amounts of money, they spend insane mounts of money on dinners, flights, wooing people, etc.

    The guilt is NOT on the union.
  10. 0
    And one of the biggest most expensive industry is the union busting industry, so keep feeding them also. You created them by not educating while you organize, and promising things that you cannot live up to. Ratios in California are a joke, and so is the care. Unions breed "I dont care" attitudes.

    Thank the union? No thanks to them that I became a nurse, and a darn good one.
  11. 0
    So what was the union doing while the waste was going on? Making those under the table deals?

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