Nursing Unions: Pros and Cons - page 3

Hello all, At my school I am currently involved in creating a presentation that will discuss the pros and cons of having a Nursing Union and the pros and cons of not having a Nursing Union. I... Read More

  1. by   Tmr11
    Hello, I moved from Houston TX, to Seattle WA. In Houston we did not have unions and everything in my opinion was just fine. In Seattle, unions set wages/ yearly pay increases and there in no incentive to do more than the bare minimum. I've have never worked with so many lazy nurses in my life since working in Washington State. Unions are useless in my book, and all they do is take your money. In Houston pay increases are based on job performance not a union wage scale! A nurse with 15yrs experience that gives 100% will receive the same raise as a nurse that does the bare minimal. Ridiculous! Nurses run to the union for every little thing. Unions just harbor lazy nurses.
  2. by   laborer
    ... why are you still there working ?
  3. by   lindarn
    What about the boss who doesn't like you, and inspite of, "giving 100%", the boss fires you on some trumped up charges, or worse, reports you to the BON. And blacklists you. Then you can't get a job. What was the name of that agency in the DFW area of Texas? Group One? You have little or no recourse, besides paying for a lawyer at top dollar. Which most nurses cannot afford, unless the attorney takes the case on a contingency basis.

    What about the hospital who decides not to give raises to anyone, except the administrators, and head honchos. Happens more often than we like to admit.

    The moral of the story is, you have NO RIGHTS without a contract. They can change working conditions, stop the pension plans, or anything they want, and you cannot stop them.

    THEY all have employment contracts, why shouldn't the work bee, who is actually doing all the work, not be protected by a contract? If any profession needs 100% union protection, it is the nursing profession. There are stil too many, "Martry Marys", who believe that nursing is a religious calling, and conduct themselves in labor issues as such. This attitude has hampered nursing in actually demanding the pay, benefits, and respect (or lack thereof), that we deserve.

    We are now witnessing a systemic dismantling of the nursing profession by the PTB. They are flooding the profession with new grads, and disempowering us by the sheer numbers of nurses who are entering the profession. We are a dime a dozen, and that is the way they want it.

    THAT is why unions are needed in the nursing profession. If you don't like it, leave.

    JMHO and my NY $0.02.
    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Somewhere in the PACNW
  4. by   lkulmann
    I am so on board with organizing a nurse union I am salivating :b
    I don't know where management is but too many nurse managers sold there soul to money, greed and power. Luckily there a lot more of us than there are of them. I'm in CT and I'm ready
  5. by   MatrixRn
    Quote from WendiRN80
    my hospital is union.

    pros to unions is they set the precedent for other hospitals to compete with pay/benefits/staffing

    cons to unions are it protects undeserving nurses. there is usually not much incentive to get more education as everything is based on seniority. low seniority nurses tend to get the shaft on everything (holiday bids, other time off, getting pulled to other units, getting cancelled during low census). most non union hospitals do all these things rotationally, which is fair.
    I agree. The facility I work for is non union and because of this when assigning holidays, time off etc. it can not only look at longevity but also who had the holiday off the last time. If they had it off last time they would work it this time. This is much more fair to ALL staff. Not just those will the seniority. [And this comes from the person who had the most seniority on my floor.]
  6. by   MatrixRn
    Quote from Freedom42
    "The benefits for workers that unions pushed for are mostly covered by law now."

    Really? When did health insurance become guaranteed by law? Raises? Retirement plans? Paid vacation time, sick days, protection against being fired without just cause -- all on the law books? I missed it.
    These items are not guaranteed by law, but if a company already offers regular raises, health insurance and a retirement plan, why do I need a union?

    The facility I work at has all of the above benefits. They are not made to offer these because of a union. They do so, in the hopes of attracting good employees.
  7. by   tewdles
    Quote from ShillaBSNMBA
    These items are not guaranteed by law, but if a company already offers regular raises, health insurance and a retirement plan, why do I need a union?

    The facility I work at has all of the above benefits. They are not made to offer these because of a union. They do so, in the hopes of attracting good employees.
    That is terrific...we surely wish that all, or maybe even most nursing employers were so altruistic. The fact that they are not is what provides need for unionization.

    Congratulations for finding a fair employer, they are out there...I have worked for a number over the years myself.
  8. by   Chico David RN
    There are a number of things I could add to this, but will just focus on one: the idea that "bad" nurses can't be fired in a union environment. I've had 13 years in management and 12 years as the chief steward for the union at my hospital, and that idea is just flat false.
    Here are basic facts: if a manager decides to fire a nurse, they don't have to ask permission from a union to do it - they just do it. Then it's the union's role to attempt to overturn the firing if they think they can and should - sometimes the firing was obviously just and we tell the nurse they need to learn from it and move on - we can't spend our resources on hopeless cases and don't really want to. But assuming we do contest the firing and it's not overturned in the first steps of the process, it ultimately goes to arbitration - a sort of private trial - where the arbitrator applies the tests of "just cause" to the firing: There are several tests, and I don't have them all by memory, but they are things like: Was the offense - or pattern of failure - serious enough to justify firing? Did the employer have adequate notice they weren't doing well? Were they given an opportunity to do better? etc.
    Both sides get to present their case and the arbitrator decides.
    So a manager who needs to get rid of a failing nurse and wants to make it stick, just has to apply the same basic principles of documentation we all apply to our patient care: Identify how the nurse is failing, let them know it and document that. Give them clear expectations of what is expected and document that. Give them a reasonable time and document their failure to improve. That's all it takes and that's just the sort of fair process any of you would want to have in a choice that might damage your ability to earn a living.
    Any manager who says they can't get rid of a bad nurse "because of the union" is really just saying that they are too lazy to go through the proper process to do it right.
    Finally: For those who work without a union: Can you honestly say there aren't any lazy, ineffective nurses where you work? Of course there are - for all sorts of reasons - managers who don't want to deal with the hassles of firing, nurses who have managed to ingratiate themselves with a manager who overlooks their failures, etc
    Last edit by Chico David RN on Jun 1, '13 : Reason: typos
  9. by   jeanbeth
    We are non union and have the same issues with lazy and late nurses. But they are friends and relatives of HR and upper management so they remain on the schedule. We cringe when we see their names on the schedule.