Professionals or "workers" - page 2

I am attending nursing school in Michigan, a very "union" state. I have recently moved here from Texas, a right to work state. There is a big political issue going on here about Right-to-work. And... Read More

  1. Visit  joanna73 profile page
    OP, your thinking on this issue is not clear. Unionized workers are professionals, in every sense of the word, whose employment rights are protected. That doesn't mean that unionized workers are above reproach for poor performance, either. It means that issues such as breaks, scheduling, and wages are fairly negotiated. I am a unionized RN, accountable for my PROFESSIONAL practise. Unions arent a case of either "or" as you seem to think.
    KelRN215, multi10, wooh, and 2 others like this.
  2. Visit  Freedom42 profile page
    I don't have the option of belonging to a union at my hospital. I haven't had a raise since 2009. I have no guarantee of health insurance, retirement benefits or paid time off. I can be fired at any time without cause. The doctors at my hospital, however, all have negotiated personal service contracts that are packed with guarantees. They know exactly how they'll be compensated and under what terms. They meet together quarterly to talk about how they're going to negotiate. None of them is sent home without pay when the census is low.

    Unionization, demeaning? Hardly. I'd welcome the opportunity. Protection against being fired without cause is but one aspect of unionization. (And before you tell me that unions protect poor workers from ever being fired, please remember that it is management, not the union, that has the authority to fire; it is the union that has the legal obligation to protect the worker from being fired without cause. A worker who remains on the job despite performance issues is a reflection of management that has failed to document and act.) Unions do far more than offer job protection. If you look forward to a good job in nursing that pays well, you can thank unions for that: They've led the charge in improving wages and working conditions for nurses across the country.

    I appreciate that you want to learn. There are plenty of professionals who have unions, including engineers and doctors. I fail to see how negotiating compensation, benefits and job terms demeans any of them.
    Susie2310, KelRN215, brandy1017, and 5 others like this.
  3. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    Quote from kabfighter
    We are the only profession which does not require a bachelor's degree for entry to practice.
    *** Except for all the other fields that don't require a bachelors degree like physician assistants, respiratory therapists, paramedics, etc.
    Kandy83 likes this.
  4. Visit  Ntheboat2 profile page
    I wish I could be part of a union.

    Nurses in my area are some of the lowest paid in the country. I know that cost of living has a lot to do with that, but when I see that CNA's in other parts of the country are making almost as much as RN's make here, and that LPN's in some cases are making much more...I can't help but to think a union has something to do with that.

    Not only does management think it's okay to keep entry level pay the same year after year, but apparently they have decided it would be a good idea to LOWER the starting pay. So, if you were a nurse last year and you left and worked somewhere else, you could return to your job to find out that you would be making less than you made when you worked there before. Union members would laugh at that, but if you're not part of a union...

    What can you do about it? Absolutely nothing. "They" know you need a job so you'll either take it or not. If you don't then the next person will. It's crap.
  5. Visit  SleeepyRN profile page
    I initially came to this web site for support from my peers. But Im beginning to see all too often rude comments to questions and replies. If you can't be respectful in your comments, either dig that stick out off your butt or don't comment at all. Ive about had it with Allnurses because instead of getting help from the site, I usually walk away angry or hurt instead.
  6. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    However, it seems like one of the complaints that I have heard is that nurses are not treated like professionals (and when I am using this term, I am meaning degreed and licenced), but by being "union" doesn't that kind of imply that we aren't the same status as the professions that don't need the doctors, engineers, and lawyers?
    *** No need to imply it, we aren't. How many of them punch time clocks like factory workers and nurses do?

    Are other health care professionals unionized? Respiratory Therapists....Registered Dieticians....Physical Therapists?
    *** Yes. In my hospital nurses as well as those you mentioned are all union.

    what services do they provide?
    *** My union can not bargin for wages and benifits. They can and do bargin for working conditions. It is the union that protects us from unsafe staffing levels. They also protect us from being fired without cause and in secret. I was once fired (Magnet hospital of course) for no other reason than the schedual I worked. I was a weekender and got paid time and a half for every hour I worked but I had to work every weekend. We got a new CNO and a new unit managers who decided to get rid of the weekender program and one day they simply fired us. It was all very hush hush. We (6 of us) were escorted out of the hospital like we were criminals. It was devistating financialy. That wouldn't happen in my current union hospital. Here they have to have a reason to fire us, like poor preformance. The irony was that when they got rid of the weekend program the rest of the nurses had to go from every 3rd weekend to every other weekend. Nurses left in droves and they ended up bringing the weekend program back 2 years later. I hope to never work in a Magnet and or non union hospital again.
    KelRN215, anotherone, multi10, and 1 other like this.
  7. Visit  Ntheboat2 profile page
    Quote from Sirius Squint
    I initially came to this web site for support from my peers. But Im beginning to see all too often rude comments to questions and replies. If you can't be respectful in your comments, either dig that stick out off your butt or don't comment at all. Ive about had it with Allnurses because instead of getting help from the site, I usually walk away angry or hurt instead.
    I've seen comments in support of unions and against unions. So, I would assume that you don't find the comments supportive because they don't agree with your viewpoint, but both sides have been supported. Just because someone doesn't agree with what you believe doesn't mean they are rude.
    KelRN215, multi10, joanna73, and 1 other like this.
  8. Visit  MunoRN profile page
    To answer your question, there are "professions" that do unionize, Doctors for instance have unions all over the country and have been around since the 70's. "Profession" though isn't exactly a scientific term which muddies things a little.

    I don't know if not unionizing is what makes MSWs "professionals", but I do know they make less than somebody with a bachelor's or AS degree, so if unionization makes me just a "worker" I'm fine with that.
  9. Visit  joanna73 profile page
    Someone else commented about the arbitrary decrease in wages since this recession. A union would fix that. Everyone receives fair pay based on level of experience and cost of living. Unions also ensure that mandatory overtime is for extreme emergencies only. Sure, employers will try to guilt you into coming in regardless, but unionized workers can say no without fear of discipline. Schedules must be fair and posted well in advance. OT is paid in excess of hours worked. Given the stories I've read on this site, I'll gladly keep my union. Nurses lacking one are taken advantage of.
    KelRN215, multi10, PMFB-RN, and 2 others like this.
  10. Visit  kabfighter profile page
    Physician assistants require a pre-medical undergraduate education and a master's degree to enter practice at this point. Paramedics in my state are mostly seems that pre-hospital medicine has not yet grasped the opportunity to become a 'profession' like it is in other parts of the world. Someone on here mentioned that in Princess Diana's car accident the responders were criticized for staying on the scene too long before transporting, but that is because they are capable of providing more treatment at the scene than EMTs in the United States. I'll give you respiratory therapists, but they don't seem to be shouting from the rooftops that they are professionals like we do in the nursing world. Nurses like to talk the talk, but until we walk the walk and stop only requiring what is essentially a vocational degree, we will not be recognized as professionals like we desire.
  11. Visit  joanna73 profile page
    I should also mention that the US is the only country who still allows RNs to enter practise with a Diploma. Everywhere else (Australia, Canada, the UK) a Bachelor's Degree has become mandatory for all new RNs. While many people argue against a BSN, the degree is one measure that allows nursing to be regarded as a profession. As a result, the working conditions for nurses are slightly better in these nations.
    anotherone, sapphire18, laborer, and 3 others like this.
  12. Visit  nursel56 profile page
    A new nurse's union was born out of that ratio fight in California, here is a link in case anyone's interested. National Nurses United
    Last edit by nursel56 on Dec 12, '12 : Reason: edit the info
    laborer likes this.
  13. Visit  elkpark profile page
    Quote from kabfighter
    Physician assistants require a pre-medical undergraduate education and a master's degree to enter practice at this point.
    (Not trying to be argumentative, but, just FYI, there are (still) associate's degree PA programs around.)
    PMFB-RN likes this.

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