Old union, new union or no union

  1. 1
    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 months. In the middle of these negotiations, a new "independent" union has been formed by a handful of nurses at my hospital. There is an upcoming election allowing the nurses at our hospital to vote for our old union, this "independent" union or no union at all.

    I'm still fairly inexperienced and I don't know the difference between working as a non-unionized nurse vs. the opposite. I know I don't want to risk working without representation because I can foresee the possible abuse hat a non-unionized nurse may go through.

    I'm not going to ask this forum who to choose. I understand that's a decision I have to make for myself. I just want to know if there is anyone out there who has been through a similar situation and is willing to share that experience here with me.
    lindarn likes this.

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  2. 16 Comments...

  3. 7
    Years ago I would not have been so sure about a union.

    Today......DON'T DUMP THE UNION.

    Without knowing who represents you, it is difficult as to whether to go with the established Union or the new inexperienced nurses that might get eaten alive by administration. Is your present union run by nurses? If not have you asked a local nurses union to represent you? Have you checked with any national nurses unions like the NNU (National NUrses United). http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/
    Last edit by Esme12 on Apr 27, '12
    Towbongsnjrn, amoLucia, Sisyphus, and 4 others like this.
  4. 2
    Thank you so much for responding. I'm definitely pro union. I've been reading about the lengths hospitals will go to to stop unions. I'm starting to suspect this independent nurses union is a union busting ploy.
    Sisyphus and lindarn like this.
  5. 5
    Quote from Towbongsnjrn
    Thank you so much for responding. I'm definitely pro union. I've been reading about the lengths hospitals will go to to stop unions. I'm starting to suspect this independent nurses union is a union busting ploy.
    That is what I was thinking when I read your OP.
    Towbongsnjrn, Sisyphus, tewdles, and 2 others like this.
  6. 9
    i'll be brief in giving you my answer and so it goes... is like having car insurance you hate to pay for it, however, it's good to know that is there just in case you need it
    imintrouble, KelRN215, nurse8403, and 6 others like this.
  7. 4
    Usually I've been a supervisory level nurse in many of my LTC positons and that 's non-union. But I have worked with unionized CNAs and nurses. The one strong thing I see is that union rules and regs are usually BLACK & WHITE - easy to enforce esp when disciplinary actions are necessary (lots of investigation & paperwork for mgt though). Another benefit that works for the employee is that they should always have union support/representation/counsel available when they need it. There are good and not so good unions. I've actually relied on one union to effect change for a problem on my 11 - 7 when I needed to do so. Unions can be abusers too. However, the average employee concerns usually are specific & concrete - salary & wages, benefits, time schedules with overtime & vacation, staffing, disciplinary protocol, etc. Management can be very capricious when it suits them. Union do serve a purpose to protect its members. Yeah, union dues are a drag, but money well spent as Gitano says so very well. Your present union sounds like the better way to go IMHO.
    NRSKarenRN, Towbongsnjrn, lindarn, and 1 other like this.
  8. 1
    at least some nurses have union or union option, some hospitals have state laws prohibiting nurse union in hospitals.
    lindarn likes this.
  9. 2
    ...state laws prohibiting nurses union... Which states are you talking about
    lindarn and KelRN215 like this.
  10. 4
    I'd also be curious to hear which states have "laws" prohibiting nurses from unionizing. Workers in the United States have a legally protected right to unionize under federal law. Look up the National Labor Relations Act. Your state may not have a nurses' union, but that doesn't mean you can't start one....

    To the OP- as Gitano says, you often don't realize how much you need this insurance until you don't have it. I worked in a non-union hospital for 5 years and, if I ever go back to hospital nursing, it will be in a union hospital. Unpaid overtime, no night/weekend differentials, rules change every day and there's nothing you can do about it because your opinion doesn't matter? No thank you.
    Sisyphus, laborer, amoLucia, and 1 other like this.
  11. 3
    Perhaps it is "right to work" laws he/she is thinking of?
    Quote from nurse8403
    at least some nurses have union or union option, some hospitals have state laws prohibiting nurse union in hospitals.
    lindarn, Not_A_Hat_Person, and laborer like this.


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