Professionals or "workers" - page 10

by blackribbon

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 until people started posting... Read More


  1. 3
    And I hate it when people say "if you don't like it, just leave". Heck no, if I don't like it, I'm gonna change it! There's nothing more satisfying than toppling unjust authority and making the powerful pay.
    KelRN215, laborer, and PMFB-RN like this.
  2. 0
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    You don't understand what unions do. It's called COLLECTIVE BARGANING. The union fights to extract the highest possible compensation (in the form of wages and benefits) from the employer. If an employer is abusing their employees, that employer should be held accountable. Why should the employee leave? Unions hold employers accountable. Why should employers hold all the cards?
    I fully understand what unions do, and it has, in general terms, become something that much of the public is not supporting anymore.

    Employees should leave if they do not like their current employment - they have the right to choose where they work. Enough good people leave... management will be held accountable. That is the way the free market works.
  3. 0
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    And I hate it when people say "if you don't like it, just leave". Heck no, if I don't like it, I'm gonna change it! There's nothing more satisfying than toppling unjust authority and making the powerful pay.
    If you can change it, more power to you, but "making the powerful pay" is more of a fantasy that is pushed on us by those who want our money and adoration. They prey on those who pay and follow them.

    Standing around in front of a work place, chanting that totally worn out "hey hey ho ho" thing, will not change things for the better. It may get a pay raise for some, but that money will have to come from somewhere. Simple math.

    Unions have a major PR (public relations, for those in Rio Linda) problem lately; a regrouping and change in their tactics is likely all that will address that problem.
  4. 1
    Quote from Overland1
    If you can change it, more power to you, but "making the powerful pay" is more of a fantasy that is pushed on us by those who want our money and adoration. They prey on those who pay and follow them.

    Standing around in front of a work place, chanting that totally worn out "hey hey ho ho" thing, will not change things for the better. It may get a pay raise for some, but that money will have to come from somewhere. Simple math.

    Unions have a major PR (public relations, for those in Rio Linda) problem lately; a regrouping and change in their tactics is likely all that will address that problem.
    It sounds like you believe unions shouldn't exist at all. Is that true?
    laborer likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from nursel56
    It sounds like you believe unions shouldn't exist at all. Is that true?
    Must be the tone of my voice was misinterpreted.

    I am in favor of unions (they are a business, too), but am also in favor of people being able to choose where they work and not be required by law to join a union (nor pay dues) to work there. Yes, I have read and heard numerous "freeloader" arguments, and they do not carry the water. A person does a job (or not) and is paid by the employer in cash, benefits, etc. for that work (and sometimes for goofing off). If the employer wants more money, he can go elsewhere, ask for a raise (bad choice - never, ever ask for a raise), or go on strike. If there are "X" number of dollars to pay for staff (usually the largest expense of running most places of employment), and the amount paid to each is increased, the number of "each" will likely be reduced, either by attrition or layoffs. Granted, some employers will increase their budget for staffing, but can only do so if revenue is increased or waste is reduced.

    If unions are so great and beneficial to all, why is union "membership" required in order that a person work in certain places? One would think that everybody would be flocking to join ASAP.

    Another consideration is that, while Nurses want to be considered as "professionals" (we definitely are!), some do not realize that professionalism begins with appearing professional... not just in dress and general appearance, but in how we are perceived (perception "grows legs" and becomes reality, good or bad) by the public and related professions. We need to frequently assess ourselves and see ourselves and our profession as others see us - often not an easy nor palatable thing to do.
    Last edit by Overland1 on Dec 14, '12
  6. 1
    Quote from Overland1
    Must be the tone of my voice was misinterpreted.

    I am in favor of unions (they are a business, too), but am also in favor of people being able to choose where they work and not be required by law to join a union (nor pay dues) to work there. Yes, I have read and heard numerous "freeloader" arguments, and they do not carry the water. A person does a job (or not) and is paid by the employer in cash, benefits, etc. for that work (and sometimes for goofing off). If the employer wants more money, he can go elsewhere, ask for a raise (bad choice - never, ever ask for a raise), or go on strike. If there are "X" number of dollars to pay for staff (usually the largest expense of running most places of employment), and the amount paid to each is increased, the number of "each" will likely be reduced, either by attrition or layoffs. Granted, some employers will increase their budget for staffing, but can only do so if revenue is increased or waste is reduced.

    If unions are so great and beneficial to all, why is union "membership" required in order that a person work in certain places? One would think that everybody would be flocking to join ASAP.

    Another consideration is that, while Nurses want to be considered as "professionals" (we definitely are!), some do not realize that professionalism begins with appearing professional... not just in dress and general appearance, but in how we are perceived (perception "grows legs" and becomes reality, good or bad) by the public and related professions. We need to frequently assess ourselves and see ourselves and our profession as others see us - often not an easy nor palatable thing to do.
    Thanks for the reply. The tone -- well the remark about Rio Linda toward the readership here was somewhat snarky, and the content sounded sort of libertarian, but at least now I don't have to post about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. It seems like you feel the behavior of striking workers in the public square is unseemly and not something professionals would want to be associated with. I can see that point, but the line between between "professional" and "collective bargaining" isn't that sharp, and is becoming increasingly less so. The ANA, the premiere advocacy group for professional nursing, works hand in glove with the nurse's unions and stands in picket lines with them, chanting away. Many of the professional societies are starting offshoot groups who do vote to go on strike.

    I looked up the Michigan right-to-work battle and found the "union" to be the Michigan Nurses Association, which I assumed was one of the state branches of the ANA, (not a union). Turns out the MNA is a union now, because they broke free of the ANA several years ago, and they aren't the only state branch to do that. That's bound to cause confusion in the minds of the public, as most aren't keenly interested in the issue unless it affects them directly.

    Some trade societies and Guilds do vote to strike, such as the Screen Actors and Writers Guilds. Producers have a defacto union as well, and I don't think the public views them as unprofessional. Both sides do their level best to make the other appear as horrible as possible. That's the worst part of the whole controversy to me.
    laborer likes this.
  7. 6
    Someone posted that management is held accountable when good employees leave, so why have a union? In today's economy, we all know this isn't the case. Management will do exactly as they see fit to stretch a dollar, and this is why unions were formed. I've worked in both union and non union environments, some good, others not. I would prefer to have some of my employment rights protected as a nurse. I read too many threads on AN where management arbitrarily makes decisions. And in Canada, all Provinces have a nursing union. So when a nurse signs on with a particular organization, if they are unionized, we automatically belong. You can't just opt out.
    Silverlight2010, laborer, KelRN215, and 3 others like this.
  8. 4
    Quote from Overland1
    Yes, I have read and heard numerous "freeloader" arguments, and they do not carry the water.
    Yes, they don't carry any water - in fantasyland where everyone is treated fairly and acts in accordance with their principles.

    In real world, where we actually live, that isn't the case. Employees, especially "conservative" ones will insist they don't pay any union dues and reap the benefits of the union negotiations, insisting they are "enjoying their right to work."

    Then as soon as they run into trouble, get canned or are treated poorly in any way, then they would suddenly say, "I want to join the union! Yay solidarity!"

    You have to live in the world as it exists, not as you wish it did.
    laborer, elkpark, KelRN215, and 1 other like this.


Top