Nurses' Unions - page 8

The topic of unionization has come up,lately, at work, and it got me wondering. So I'm hoping some of you nurses who are currently represented by unions could tell me what union you're with, and how... Read More

  1. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from SandraRN
    Gee Steph, I'm really confused. Judgemental? Do you even reread your own comments? "they had on suits that looked like the mafia and wore rings with big "rocks". HMMMM!! You obviously didn't give those suits the time of day or even bothered to listen to them without "judgement".
    And of course your not afraid of your employer because you probably jump ship for the slightest of reasons. Why don't you elaborate on how you made your workplace a better place? That is, not for yourself, but your coworker and the patients you care for.
    And by the way, I haven't seen the word "stupid" in any of these threads. And I have reread mine and don't see it. Would you care to correct that comment?
    sandi
    Ok, I probably shouldn't have said "crock". :trout:

    It was judgmental though . . . . . read through it again.

    Mr. Viking said "stupid" . . . .

    We did give the union reps a chance . . . .and we peppered them with hard questions too. Nothing wrong with anyone being skeptical. As to their appearance - it was just so incongruous . . . .hard not to comment on it. Sorta like if I showed up in NYC for a meeting with hay in my hair, flannel checked wool shirt, overalls and boots. (jk)

    I have worked at my present and only RN job for 9 years. I haven't jumped ship. Yet.

    steph
  2. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from teeituptom
    i am a union buster

    i am a strike buster also. love those strike wage contracts ive gotten. paid for a lot of golf.

    unions dont make a better work place, unless you call an enviroment of mas mediocrity a better enviroment.
    i respectfully disagree. see http://aflcio.org/joinaunion/why/uni...uniondiff8.cfm
    <h5>productivity

    [font=verdana,arial]according to a recent survey of 73 independent studies on unions and productivity: “the available evidence points to a positive and statistically significant association between unions and productivity in the u.s. manufacturing and education sectors, of around 10 and 7 percent, respectively.”[color=#333399][2]
    some scholars have found an even larger positive relationship between unions and productivity. according to brown and medoff, “unionized establishments are about 22 percent more productive than those that are not.”[color=#333399][3]
    product/ service delivery and quality

    [font=verdana,arial]according to professors michael ash and jean ann seago,[color=#333399][4] heart attack recovery rates are higher in hospitals where nurses are unionized than in non-union hospitals.
    [font=verdana,arial]another study looked at the relationship between unionization and product quality in the auto industry.[color=#333399][5] according to a summary of this study prepared by american rights at work:

    “the author examines the system of co-management created through the general motors-united auto workers partnership at the saturn corporation…the author credits the union with building a dense communications network throughout saturn's management system. compared to non-represented advisors, union advisors showed greater levels of lateral communication and coordination, which had a significant positive impact on quality performance.”
    </h5>hardly "mass mediocrity"

    http://aflcio.org/joinaunion/why/uni...uniondiff8.cfm

    see also: http://allnurses.com/forums/f100/nur...ml#post2135776
    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Jun 26, '07
  3. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from teeituptom
    This is rather uncalled for, decent=stupid. Totally an inappropiate statement and also a highly incorrect one.

    I will simply point out that as a union member I would stick up for you regardless of our personal history if you ever had an arbitrary or capricious manager treating you unfairly.

    FWIW the quote has a typographical error it should read DECERTIFY=Stupid. Thanks for helping me catch a spelling error.
  4. by   teeituptom
    I love stats shown in surveys. Surveys on these stats are always so messed up. Depending on where they are completed, at work vs elsewhere. Depending whether your in a good mood or not, whather your drinking coffee or a brew. Also stat surveys are specifically designed by whoever to get the results they can get for whoever it is paying the bills. So if the Union pays for a stat survey to use. Of course it will be slanted to get the results they want. Very scientific, very slanted.

    I base my observations on what Ive seen over my career and my life.
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from teeituptom
    I love stats shown in surveys. Surveys on these stats are always so messed up. Depending on where they are completed, at work vs elsewhere. Depending whether your in a good mood or not, whather your drinking coffee or a brew. Also stat surveys are specifically designed by whoever to get the results they can get for whoever it is paying the bills. So if the Union pays for a stat survey to use. Of course it will be slanted to get the results they want. Very scientific, very slanted.

    I base my observations on what Ive seen over my career and my life.
    Ah, I see you've taken a "Statistics" class. Good job ferreting out the baloney.

    steph
  6. by   teeituptom
    Quote from stevielynn
    Ok, I probably shouldn't have said "crock". :trout:

    It was judgmental though . . . . . read through it again.

    Mr. Viking said "stupid" . . . .

    We did give the union reps a chance . . . .and we peppered them with hard questions too. Nothing wrong with anyone being skeptical. As to their appearance - it was just so incongruous . . . .hard not to comment on it. Sorta like if I showed up in NYC for a meeting with hay in my hair, flannel checked wool shirt, overalls and boots. (jk)

    I have worked at my present and only RN job for 9 years. I haven't jumped ship. Yet.

    steph
    I will bet your cuter with hay, flannels, overalls.
  7. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from teeituptom
    I will bet your cuter with hay, flannels, overalls.


    steph
  8. by   whistle1429
    i don't know if you've seen my reply "way back when"... but i'll repost what the union attny wrote to me, regarding my "rights" as a union member....
    the reason is that the collective bargaining agreement ("cba") is between sl and union. as reflected in article 16 of the current cba, only the "parties" to the cba have rights under the grievance procedure. registered nurses represented by cna are third-party beneficiaries of the cba but have no direct rights as a party to the cba. as reflected in article 16.b, at step two of the grievance procedure, even for grievances between the rn and the employer, such as yours, a representative of "union" meets with a representative of the employer to attempt to resolve the grievance. only a party to the cba and not an individual employee can refer a grievance to an impartial arbitrator for determination. "union" controls the arbitration process because every arbitration decision can become a part of the ongoing collective bargaining agreement between the employer and the union. once an arbitrator has interpreted certain ambiguous language, e.g., the parties are bound by that interpretation as long as they do not change that contract language in future negotiations. precedent which will govern how cases with future rns may be handled may also be developed through arbitrating discipline cases. "union" functions in an arbitration to advance the cause of the individual grievant while considering the impact of the case on the bargaining unit as a whole.

    you mentioned nlrb regulations but your case is not an nlrb charge against your employer; it's a grievance under the contract between "union" and your employer. there's no issue of your "waiving" your right to have an attorney at the arbitration because you do not have any such right to start with. the cba itself does not expressly state that an employee has no right to an attorney of her choice in pursuing a grievance. as i explained above, it is "union" and not the individual employee that has rights under the article on grievance procedure and arbitration. from step two on, the contract is explicit that only a party to the contract can refer a case to arbitration. "union" will continue to represent you with the same care and dedication with which we represent all the rns at sl and hundreds of other hospitals in california and in other states.

    you had a number of questions about the arbitrator selection process. the cba specifies in article 16. step four.1.c how the selection occurs. there are six arbitrators in the contract. an employer representative and a "union" representative flip a coin to see how gets to strike first. if "union" went first, we would strike the arbitrator we believed would be least sympathetic to your case, based on our experience with these arbitrators over the years. then the employer strikes the arbitrator it believes would be most sympathetic to your case. it keeps going like that until only one arbitrator is left. you weren't given the opportunity to be present because there was nothing to be present for - it's a very straightforward process that is completed quickly.

    the date for your hearing was the first date we could get. as for how many employees have waited longer than 9 months, we don't track that information but it is not particularly unusual because arbitrators are so often booked so far in advance. you will be represented at the arbitration by pl, the labor representative for sl, and by the arbitration director, who is also a licensed attorney in california. "union" does not use attorneys for all the arbitrations; we do always use representatives who are skilled and proficient in conducting arbitrations. we have been informed that an attorney from the law firm of "the employer" will be representing the employer. "this law firm" is a well-known anti-union law firm that takes a very aggressive stance on behalf of employers. "union" often faces them in arbitrations.

    the employer is not required to provide "union" in advance with a written list of its allegations apart from the termination letter which both you and "union" have. basically the employer is held to defending the termination on the basis for the termination stated at the time it was imposed. in other words, "union" would challenge as improper the employer's attempt to justify a termination on grounds not stated to the employee at the time the termination was imposed.

    the contact between "union" and the employer concerning your grievance is limited to grievance meetings at which you were present or written exchanges. "union" has already shared with you any correspondence we have had with the employer concerning your case.

    as to the "types of settlement offers" that "union" might accept over your objection, there is no way to create a list of hypothetical offers. the critical fact is whether the settlement is "reasonable" in "the unions" view. as pl already told you, you would have a full opportunity to contend that any particular settlement offer does not meet that test before "the union" would accept it (in the event that we respectfully disagreed with your position.)

    binding arbitration means that there is no right to appeal the arbitrator's decision to court. under certain very limited and narrow circumstances, a union or an employer may move to vacate an arbitration decision but disagreeing with it or having lost certainly is not a basis for petitioning to vacate. sometimes an employer will indicate that it does not intend to comply with a decision, despite the fact that there is no legal basis to do so) and in that case the union probably would file a court action to confirm the award.

    with respect to "expedited arbitration," the procedure is defined in the contract [article 16. 1. expedited arbitration procedure, on page 43.] "the union" cannot require the employer to go the expedited route; it requires mutual agreement. in my experience as a union attorney (21 years), employers rarely, if ever, agree to expedited arbitration because, among other things, it means the case cannot be "briefed" (argued after the hearing in a written document to persuade the arbitrator that the termination was for just cause) by their attorneys.

    as to when you can discuss your case with your attorney, if you mean your arbitration case, you can discuss it with your attorney whenever you like but the strategy for the case is being decided by "arbitration directior and the union rep" in consultation with you. your "civil" attorney is not part of that process.

    finally, as to what.. you're entitled to be reimbursed for, i assume you mean what the scope of the remedy would be if we win at the arbitration. basically the arbitrator orders a make whole remedy so that your compensation and benefits would be the same as if you had not been terminated. as for interest on the back pay owing, some arbitrators will award it and some will not. the union typically asks for it but it's a discretionary decision by the arbitrator. typically a grievant does not get compensated for time spent in grievance meetings or preparing for the arbitration or for costs expended in connection with the case.


    legal counsel for "the union"

    i found it the director of arbitration to be very kind, and he put on a good case in my arbitration. what was strange afterwards, is that the union refused to give me a copy of the arbitration transcripts- i find that quite odd, since i was the grievant, and according to my civil attorney, should be entitled to those transcripts?? also, i have recently found some questionable emails between the employer and managers, regarding my union rep... who i accused all along of being unable to present my case fairly- if it is in fact true that she was in their side of the court, (figuratively speaking)- i will again file complaints with the nlrb, as well as other agencies... you know, the employer is the one who pays their mortgage... of course the union is somewhat sleeping w/ the enemy!
  9. by   movingtoNYC
    my wife (a 7 year NICU vetran) and I are moving to NYC in about six months and she will ONLY work union. She has me surfing the net for contracts so she can see wage scales before even applying to hospitals. Heres the thing - I can find independent unions and 1199 SEIU contracts on line but the biggest NY nurses union- NYSNA does not have any of their contracts on line that I can find and their office does not call me back. Does anyone know where these contracts are? By law they have to provide them to members but it makes her nervous that they are secretive.
  10. by   movingtoNYC
    does anyone have copies of NYSNA contracts? we are moving to NY in six months and my wife (a seven year NICU vetran) will only work union.
  11. by   Sheri257
    Quote from teeituptom
    I love stats shown in surveys. Surveys on these stats are always so messed up. Depending on where they are completed, at work vs elsewhere. Depending whether your in a good mood or not, whather your drinking coffee or a brew. Also stat surveys are specifically designed by whoever to get the results they can get for whoever it is paying the bills. So if the Union pays for a stat survey to use. Of course it will be slanted to get the results they want. Very scientific, very slanted.

    I base my observations on what Ive seen over my career and my life.
    I agree ... even though I'm pro union, I would never rely on the AFL's stats ... too much bias. But, that's why I think the Bureau of Labor Statistics data is so compelling ... no bias there, especially with a Republican administration.

    And that data does show year after year that union workers make more money than non-union workers.

    :typing
  12. by   Beggar♂
    I'm about to become a student nurse (direct entry MSN) after 16 years as an engineer at various companies, large and small. I have never been represented by a union and I was anti-union for a long time. I worked in a union shop and was dismayed by the attitudes of some of the unionites and the silly rules that they foisted upon us.

    Now in my 40's, I will be looking for a unionized employer when I graduate. Unions are the only thing preventing a variety of work-place abuses. In an "at-will" employment state such as California, employers can bounce you with no reason at all.

    People find themselves bounced:
    • To create space for the boss's friend or loved one
    • Because they speak up about safety or ethical issues
    • Because the boss or the boss's kid or the boss's wife or the boss's girlfriend or... just doesn't like them
    • They get too old or too fat or... for the boss's image of his/her workforce
    • They're earning too much money and can be replaced with a cheaper, younger model. (Keep a very small group of senior folks and cycle the rest out for folks 5 years into their careers...keep 'em and work 'em 10 years and then cycle 'em out)
    I've seen all of the above. The last one is the most pernicious and is very common in the engineering field.

    When I was a hotshot young engineer, I railed against the union and was adamant in my desire to negotiate my own deal rather than being saddled with the "dead weight." My bro-in-law, the hotshot young firefighter (in the union) just shook his head and laughed at my naivite (sp?). As the years have progressed and I've seen the benefits of the union for him and the teachers in my life and my buddy who's an airline pilot, I've realized the folly of my views.

    Companies will only treat their employees as well as they have to in order to keep themselves sufficiently staffed. They will always look to save money on the backs of the employees. The only defense that most people have is being part of a group.

    Yeah, unions have a lot of their own problems.
    • Yes, they do let incompetent folks keep their jobs in favor of better people. (My wife's a teacher and we've seen way too many incompetent teachers who keep their jobs only because of the union contracts.)
    • Yes, they siphon off cash from both sides.
    • Yes, they are political animals that often end up serving their own purposes rather than those of their constituents.
    • Yes, they will sometimes destroy an organization by seeking too much or being intransigent.
    • Yes, they tend to create an adversarial "us vs. them" atmosphere
    On the other hand, they would not exist if they weren't needed. Don't kid yourself for one millisecond that worker abuse would not skyrocket in the absence of the unions.

    To me, unions are a necessary evil, and representation will dictate to which places I will apply. Fortunately, the best employers around here also happen to be unionized.

    OK, Beggar♂, off the soap box...
  13. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Beggar♂
    Yes, they are political animals that often end up serving their own purposes rather than those of their constituents.
    True but, sometimes you're pleasantly suprized. I'm a member of SEIU. Not my favorite union by any means. I can't stand their position on illegals, among other things.

    But, I work for California Corrections and recently the legislature passed a bill to spend $8 billion on new prisons. Originally, a large chunk of that money was supposed to go to new private prisons ... but SEIU stopped it.

    I'm sure an outsider would say ... there goes the union protecting state employee jobs. Private prisons do the job much better than government, they save taxpayers money, etc.

    But it's not true. I've actually worked for a private prison ... it was absolutely horrible. Completely unsafe, staff was routinely dealing drugs or sleeping with the inmates. This stuff happens at all prisons but at the private prison it was much, much worse. About 5 percent of the staff is compromised at state run facilities, but with private prisons at least 30 percent of the staff is compromised.

    The department had to set up a special task force to investigate employees at the private prisons because it is so bad.

    And as far as the taxpayers saving any money, I just didn't see it. The state pays the contractors $24 an hour for guards but, the company only pays the guards $9 an hour and pockets the rest so ... you can imagine what kind of employees you get at $9 an hour. The inmates get away with all kinds of stuff in these private prisons.

    I was under constant pressure to work alone with inmates without a guard because they were always so short staffed. I was under constant pressure NOT to do routine health screenings (including psych) because the company only made money by keeping the inmate census high ... and that meant releasing everybody into general population without even glancing at their medical file.

    Needless to say, a guard got his jaw broken because a psych inmate who wasn't properly screened and released into general population went nuts (thankfully not on my watch).

    So, IMO, this was a case where the union actually did their job but, I'm sure the public wouldn't understand it unless they actually worked at one these places.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Jul 8, '07

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