Old union, new union or no union - page 2

by Towbongsnjrn

3,789 Unique Views | 16 Comments

I'm been a staff nurse for 5 years. The hospital I work for has been unionized since I stated my career there. At this point, our union contract has expired and is currently being negotiated, which it has been for the past few... Read More


  1. 2
    It sounds like the new union wishes to "decertify" the old union. I would look at the larger organization behind each union. It takes a lot of support to keep a union going. If a small independent union needs a lawyer, for example, or is not sophisticated in matters of contract negotiation or labor law, it is weak. In any case KEEP THE UNION. Nurses are historically and systematically dis-empowered
    Sisyphus and lindarn like this.
  2. 4
    Right to Work means, " Right To Work For Less "
    Sisyphus, lindarn, ctnjason, and 1 other like this.
  3. 0
    Much depends upon the individual, and whether or not one wishes to remain as such. It also depends upon what one wants from his or her work.
  4. 0
    Another thing to consider is that, if you "join" a union, your dues go to places, people, and causes with which you may not disagree. Because you are a "member" of that union, you must pay the dues anyway. I could tell some stories (all true, of course) about these abuses, but that may be for another time and place.

    If I were in this union, I would be seriously P'd-O:

  5. 0
    Quote from Overland1
    Another thing to consider is that, if you "join" a union, your dues go to places, people, and causes with which you may not disagree.
    Meant to type "with which you disagree"... sorry about the double negative.
  6. 3
    Several quick thoughts: it sounds to me, if I understand correctly, that people at your hospital are trying to set up an entirely independent union, not affiliated with any larger organization There are places with single-bargaining-unit unions that are fairly successful CRONA at Standord University Hospital being an example. But they are the exception. for the most part, a larger union with more power and more structure behind it will be more effective. But not always. In some places the absence of collective bargaining by state nurses associations has led a variety of non-nurse unions - Teamsters, Laborers, Steelworkers and others - into representing nurses. Not always too successfully. As a board member of a nurse union, I can tell you that the complexity of running a union - just in complying with reporting requirements and such - is immense. A big challenge for a new independent organization. I'd be leary of that idea.

    And, in response to another comment further up: No state can prohibit nurses unions, at least in the private sector. Some states have so called "right to work" laws, which prohibit a contract that makes union membership mandatory for a particular workplace. In those states, unions tend to be small and weak and not common. But there are no states where unions are illegal - even though a lot of managers will lie about that and love for you to think they are illegal.
    nicurn001, herring_RN, and laborer like this.
  7. 2
    Years ago our hospital nurses were represented by a very large union. It wasn't long before the nurses realized that they were just another fat check for this union and they needed to do something, and quick, if they were going to get a contract. So they hired a lawyer and did it themselves. Now they are a union run by nurses for nurses and affiliated with one of the largest unions in the country. So it can be done, but it will be hard and more difficult than just joining a pre-established union.

    I trust nurses and if your gut says (I bet you are right) this is a union busting ploy, then you will need to be very careful about who is on what side. If you need to make a change try to get involved in the union you have, and see if it makes a difference. You may have to fire every officer, but try to see if you can fix it first. And then if change is not possible look around. Every now and then a coup d'etat is need to get out a bunch of complacent people vs complete anarchy.

    There are alot of options. You can have the union you want. But it will require YOU and your peers to be involved.
    nicurn001 and laborer like this.


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