Nursing Unions...what are the downsides? - pg.2 | allnurses

Nursing Unions...what are the downsides? - page 3

The hospital that I am interested in working at after graduation has a nurse's union. When I happened to mention it to a friend of mine who is currently an RN at a different hospital, she said she... Read More

  1. Visit  IndiKast profile page
    3
    As a native Texan I can say that lacking the protection of a Union has given companies power that many of the other states lack. We're so Anti-Union that local companies need never fear people working together for their rights. In fact, if you talk to a co-worker about something like your salary (a subject one NEVER speaks about) you could find yourself without it very easily. As employees we are on our own pretty much. You have your direct supervisor and your boss and if you have a problem, you better hope you're in good standing or you are SOL because there is no outsider to go to to stand up for you. Sad but true.

    Native Texan - Indoctrinated 7th grade Texas Govt (required) - Possible Ex-patriot to a Union state for better Nursing
    Jarnaes, lindarn, and ohcomeon like this.
  2. Visit  linearthinker profile page
    1
    I would never join a union, personally I think it is unbecoming a professional. I am not anti-union for trade workers, but if nursing wants to fully professionalize, we need to eliminate nursing unions.

    I have worked in union hospitals, I but I was prn so I didn't have to join. From what I saw, it was an expensive do nothing outfit. The nurses were paying about $40 week to belong, and this was 10 years ago. All the union did was create headaches, it never really helped anyone that I observed, least of all the patients. I don't object to unions per se, and if I wanted to work there for all other reasons, I'd work prn in a union hospital again.
    marthyellen likes this.
  3. Visit  linearthinker profile page
    3
    Quote from IndiKast
    As a native Texan I can say that lacking the protection of a Union has given companies power that many of the other states lack. We're so Anti-Union that local companies need never fear people working together for their rights. In fact, if you talk to a co-worker about something like your salary (a subject one NEVER speaks about) you could find yourself without it very easily. As employees we are on our own pretty much. You have your direct supervisor and your boss and if you have a problem, you better hope you're in good standing or you are SOL because there is no outsider to go to to stand up for you. Sad but true.

    Native Texan - Indoctrinated 7th grade Texas Govt (required) - Possible Ex-patriot to a Union state for better Nursing
    Why on earth would you discuss your salary with anyone anyway? That simply isn't done where I come from, bad form all around.
    Nurse_Diane, marthyellen, and lindarn like this.
  4. Visit  ChristineN profile page
    0
    I have worked both union and non-union nursing jobs. The pro's to the union job I had was amazing pay and benefits (including low health care premiums and 100% tuition reimbursement for school). The union facility also had safe nurse-to-pt ratios. The downside to the union facility was there was that it was very much true things were done based on seniority (ie less than qualified nurse was passed up to be a preceptor, so she'd run to the union and complain), the schedule and vacations were also done on senority. The attitude of the union facility was very laid back "we'll do the minimum." For example, per the union job description, the nurses did not have to do any phlebotomy because that's "not a nurse's job." They would get mad when I would draw my own stat labs.

    Ultimately I left the union facility for a non-union job due to having enough of the attitudes and drama and the "that's not my job" culture.
  5. Visit  backinwonderland profile page
    2
    In general I prefer working in a unionized hospital, but mostly because the nurses where I work are really involved and care deeply about the union. I can see how it was be incredibly difficult to work in a union environment where the nurses weren't as involved.

    The main frustration that I've had with the union is that starting as a new grad nurse in a unionized hospital (in the middle of a strike vote no less!) I was the absolute bottom of the totem pole in terms of seniority. That wasn't so much the problem as the very senior nurses' attitude of "all or nothing" in terms of union support. I think it's really difficult for some senior nurses to remember what it was like to just be starting out as a nurse and a union member and why some newer nurses might be hesitant to fully support the union. It was especially hard to fully support a union that was about to strike, when I'd just been unemployed for nearly a year and all I wanted to do was work!

    In the end though it's more about long term job protection and patient safety.
    Jarnaes and lindarn like this.
  6. Visit  mscranton profile page
    2
    I am also pro-union and this is why. Recently I moved from Missoula, Montana where both hospitals have nursing unions. I was a telemetry technician in 1990 when I moved into the state and really saw just how beneficial it is for all employees in a facility when a union is there, even if they are not in the union and members. I had great benefits and most of all the respect from supervisors and administrators that we all deserve, no matter what field one works in. After 17yrs as a technician, I returned to school and became a registered nurse where I then returned to one of the two hospitals in Missoula to work. I felt an umbrella surrounding and protecting my rights and benefits as an employee, who serves people. Sure there are dues, but the cost is worth it when comparing that situation to what I have now; working as a nurse in North Carolina. I forgot to include this very important factor when I moved closer to family and now I find that the nurses are required to do just about whatever... their employers deem they should do...so the corporation can make a profit. I am presently working as a Wound care nurse 9-5:30 for a facility of 100+ people. Originally, the previous txmt nurse workied lots of overtime to achieve the quality care that was expected. (45-55hrs) Now, I am expected to do the same job in 32 hrs and still subjected to ridicule and regulations if I don't get my work done. Practically no overtime is allowed now. I am frantically running from one room to another, trying to not talk too much to the elders so I can at least attempt to get my stuff done. I feel like my manager is only looking at the bottomline=$$$$. Jobs have been eliminated here and mine could be the next one going; since rarely do nursing homes have txmt nurses. If you have a chance to work within a union, this is your most protected place of employment. Check out the website for the 'National Nurses United' union. Nurses are one of the most respected profession in the world and deserve respect and protection!!!!
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  7. Visit  tyvin profile page
    2
    Quote from linearthinker
    I would never join a union, personally I think it is unbecoming a professional. I am not anti-union for trade workers, but if nursing wants to fully professionalize, we need to eliminate nursing unions.

    I have worked in union hospitals, I but I was prn so I didn't have to join. From what I saw, it was an expensive do nothing outfit. The nurses were paying about $40 week to belong, and this was 10 years ago. All the union did was create headaches, it never really helped anyone that I observed, least of all the patients. I don't object to unions per se, and if I wanted to work there for all other reasons, I'd work prn in a union hospital again.
    $40 a week making the monthly dues $160 ten years ago............I've worked in 3 states and been a union member in all of them and the highest dues I paid is what I'm paying now which is $48 a month. What state is this that the nursing union is able to charge that much?

    As far as dues is concerned I don't mind paying to support my union. With the wage they've been able to negotiate for me the dues is a drop in the bucket.

    FYI; nursing unions are not patient advocates; they are advocates for the nurse who is the member.
    Jarnaes and lindarn like this.
  8. Visit  Chico David RN profile page
    3
    Quote from tyvin
    $40 a week making the monthly dues $160 ten years ago............I've worked in 3 states and been a union member in all of them and the highest dues I paid is what I'm paying now which is $48 a month. What state is this that the nursing union is able to charge that much?

    As far as dues is concerned I don't mind paying to support my union. With the wage they've been able to negotiate for me the dues is a drop in the bucket.

    FYI; nursing unions are not patient advocates; they are advocates for the nurse who is the member.
    I would only disagree with that last part. The biggest reason that my union has been as successful as we have is that we are constantly aware that advocating for the nurse and advocating for the patient should be the same thing. Looked at broadly what is good for the nurse is good for the patient and vice versa. If we ever find ourselves thinking the interest of the nurse is different and that we need to subordinate the patient well being to advocate for the nurse then it's time to think again
    Jarnaes, lindarn, and herring_RN like this.
  9. Visit  tyvin profile page
    1
    Quote from Chico David RN
    I would only disagree with that last part. The biggest reason that my union has been as successful as we have is that we are constantly aware that advocating for the nurse and advocating for the patient should be the same thing. Looked at broadly what is good for the nurse is good for the patient and vice versa. If we ever find ourselves thinking the interest of the nurse is different and that we need to subordinate the patient well being to advocate for the nurse then it's time to think again
    This is true; if one is happy so shall be etc... I believe you took my statement literally; which it was not meant to be. I could have taken the other statement literally as well; oh well..........I argree completely.
    Chico David RN likes this.


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