Our union is responsible for our staffing ratios, for getting workshop time paid for, for scheduling practices ( at least 11 or 16 hours between shifts), at least every third weekend off or time and half for third one. Also decent retirement setups, both staff and hosp. contribute, (not pension plans anymore) but the IRA types of savings.
Our contract spells out discipinary steps so you don't get fired out of hand but have an opportunity to correct things. Being chronically late, can start a disciplinary process, don't start showing up on time, yeah you can get in trouble. Get warned, stop being late, you're good.
We were taken over by a chain, no longer an independent community hospital. The new folks keep trying to tell us that isn't what the contract says, when they weren't even here when it was negotiated. They want to do away with a lot of the protections that we have (participation in planned changes, staffing, etc.
So while my dues cost a fair bit, the peace of mind when it comes to scheduling, insurances, etc. makes it worth it.
Another con: I do not agree with many of the political endorsements and policies the national office supports, I don't like my dues going there.