Professionals or "workers" - page 7

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
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Congratulations on Michigan's new "Right to Work" laws. You sound like the sort of person who would be thrilled about such a thing. You should be frightened; you should be very frightened. But you'd rather be considered a "professional" than enjoy the benefits unions have bought us over the years.

    Nurses need to be protected because management, more and more, is trying to take away our professional status in the name of making us "more professional." Rather than letting us continue to enjoy the autonomy we've enjoyed for decades, management is forcing us into color coded scrubs, putting us "on salary" so they don't have to pay us for the nights, weekends and holidays that we work and so that they don't have to pay us overtime. (A union would have nipped that in the bud.)

    Rather than the staffing ratios unions have fought for, we now have to take care of as many patients as management can cram into our space while working short handed. Gone are our floating protections -- we're considered interchangeable cogs. A Cardiac nurse can float to L & D and a nursery nurse can float to rehab. A nurse is a nurse is a nurse you know. Unions fought against mandatory overtime, but nurses don't need no stinkin' unions, so I guess we'll be doing the mandatory overtime again. Oh, and some of that overtime is covering strike shifts for the unlicensed personnel who WILL be striking because they weren't stupid enough to think they didn't need unions.

    Unions gave us the right to actually USE our vacation time, but now management is free not to grant it because "we're short staffed." We're always short staffed. Without union protection, without staffing ratios, we can just run short staffed.

    The language you've used in your post is mighty inflammatory for someone who isn't challenging but just wants to learn.

    Unions have given us a number of protections and benefits over the years. As much as you might want to believe that your nursing degree automatically confers professional status upon you, that really isn't so. And it's becoming less and less true as time goes by because more and more people like you believe that unions are demeaning.

    I guess I'd just rather be demeaned and get paid for the weekends, nights, holidays and overtime I work. I'd rather be demeaned that be floated everywhere in the hospital because nurses are just interchangable cogs. i'd rather be demeaned and be able to use my vacation time, protect my job from the manager who wants to save money by firing the most senior folks and hire newbies instead, and be able to care for my patients safely because the union has forced the issue of staffing ratios. And I'd much rather be demeaned by union representation than wear the silly, cheap, shoddy scrubs my employer is forcing us to wear because they now own 52% of the company that makes said silly, cheap, shoddy scrubs.

    THIS. At my non-union hospital, management had a standard line about nurses being "professionals" for their justification for not paying us for the lunch breaks we worked through, not paying overtime for > 40 hrs in a week, not getting paid for staying late to chart or to code a patient, etc. Meanwhile, as we nurses busted our behinds for 14 hrs a day while getting paid for 12, the real "professionals" were coming in whenever they felt like it, taking 1-2 hr long lunch breaks, going to a few meetings and then leaving early... all the while making at least double our salary.
    Ruby Vee, multi10, and PMFB-RN like this.

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  2. 1
    "professionals OR workers"....
    Can't we be both?
    alotusforyou likes this.
  3. 0
    These posts are depressing to me. I'm a pre-nursing student, and on leave from my teaching job. You guys have all the same complaints about nursing as I do about teaching, and I was hoping nursing was a better profession.

    We teachers may have a union, but management has found ways around it, with the help of anti-union politicians. They give the older (read: more expensive) teachers the worst kids to make them quit/retire early, or put them in grade levels they don't want to teach and are not good at so they can find things to write them up for to fire them. Our unions aren't powerful enough to protect us from a determined principal. They even passed a law that we can't be moved to another school if we're on an improvement plan, therefore dooming us to be fired. charter schools are another way to break unions: most of them aren't unionized and teachers are fired at will. Then there's paying raises by test scores, which they call "merit pay" so the public will get behind it. (In other words, most teachers will not get good raises anymore, only a small number will have their students get high enough test scores to get the good raise).

    I don't need anyone to kiss my rear, but I want to be in a line of work where my salary will go up, and I will not be targeted because of it. Do the NP's and CRNA's have these problems?
  4. 1
    My union has negotiated a whopping 2% raise in 2011 and NO raise for 2012. thats right. There are a couple employees that should have been let go years ago for terrible job performance but they coast along, their jobs saved forever. My yearly evaluation means nothing because managment can't punish for poor performance and cannot reward for good performance. I know unions do good at other places, but not my hospital!
    KeyMaster likes this.
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    How exactly does one acquire the protection and representation of a union? My state has a nurse's association; do you just become a member of the association? Or must you work for an employer who has an agreement with the union, and if so, how do you find out which employers are and are not affiliated with the union? Excuse me for being so confused. Input appreciated, thanks.
  6. 0
    Quote from leksie
    How exactly does one acquire the protection and representation of a union? My state has a nurse's association; do you just become a member of the association? Or must you work for an employer who has an agreement with the union, and if so, how do you find out which employers are and are not affiliated with the union? Excuse me for being so confused. Input appreciated, thanks.
    In my state, it is pretty well known which hospitals are union and which are not. There is also a list of all the bargaining units on the state nurses' union's website. You need to work for an employer whose nurses are represented by the union or organize with your co-workers. I may be wrong but I don't think the Mississippi Nurses' Association is a union being that they mention many, many times on their website that Mississippi is a "non-union state."
  7. 0
    Quote from leksie
    How exactly does one acquire the protection and representation of a union? My state has a nurse's association; do you just become a member of the association? Or must you work for an employer who has an agreement with the union, and if so, how do you find out which employers are and are not affiliated with the union? Excuse me for being so confused. Input appreciated, thanks.
    Your profile states you are in Mississippi. In general, Mississippi and the rest of the Southern states are vehemently anti-union due to cultural reasons and, as a result, tend to not have any unionized healthcare facilities.
  8. 0
    Thank you. Oh, I haven't updated my info. I've relocated to KY since I created this account. I must be over looking something because I've been browsing KY's nursing association website and can't really find anything. :/
  9. 0
    I found this, but nothing on SUN has came up on google for me. About the Kentucky Nurses Association
  10. 1
    Quote from leksie
    Thank you. Oh, I haven't updated my info. I've relocated to KY since I created this account. I must be over looking something because I've been browsing KY's nursing association website and can't really find anything. :/
    Based on its website, I don't think the Kentucky Nurses' Association is a union either. If you search "union" on the KNA website, you will find that they had a Collective Bargaining branch which became its own separate organization- Southern United Nurses. They appear to also be affiliated with National Nurses United. If you are interested in organizing, you can contact one of them.
    multi10 likes this.


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