Nursing Unions: Pros and Cons - page 4

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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 have found some good (but not... Read More


  1. 0
    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.]
  2. 0
    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.
  3. 1
    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.
    herring_RN likes this.
  4. 4
    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
    Sisyphus, tewdles, herring_RN, and 1 other like this.
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    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.
    Sisyphus likes this.


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