they are prohibited by law to do some of the things Unions are being paid to do. For instance, they cannot FORCE a facility to agree to be unionized, but once in they have to follow other laws. Most of the time seniority rules, so you may not be able to advance as quickly as you could otherwise. You might be restricted to when you get time off, depending on all sorts of issues. They tend to protect unproductive workers (IMHO). They are not interested in patient care. These are a few reasons I like living in a right-to-work state. Even if a union came into our facility I would not be forced to join.
I work in a unionized workplace.My union ensures that I get treated fairly.I cant be passed over for shifts due to favortism,I get a representative to accompany me to any meetings with management.I get regular raises.I dont have to worry about losing my job without just cause.
I have worked in both union and non union nursing jobs. I can say the unionized hospital was nice because everything was in writing and if the hospital did not follow the contract they had to answer to the union for it. Staffing was better, again due to the fact that there was someone to complain to if we were not staffed properly. I felt like things were more fair. A lot was done by seniority, so being a newer nurse that meant I got the crappier shifts etc, but let us be honest, that is probably how it should be. I also knew that if I stuck it out there was a promise of a better shift. Oh and we got BREAKS!!!!! Unfortunately I moved to a predominantly non union state and the state of nursing here is a whole different animal. The staffing is really poor in most places (not all) and lunch breaks are something you read about on allnurses, not somthing you get to take for yourself. I was practically held hostage during bad weather, with the threat of being fired if I went home after 16 hours of working. But after a couple of different jobs I have finally found a place that seems to treat the nurses better and staff better than the others.
I must also say that although peopel complained about what we paid in union dues, we more than made up for it with our savings in health insurance. Oh and we got raises every year.
It boils down to this , if employers treat their employees with respect ( adequate staffing , being able to take breaks , pay levels good for your location etc.), there would be no reason for staff to seek out union representation .
Unions simply through a contract ensure that the employer complies with the applicable laws , the hospitals own policies ( which cannot be changed as frequently as the wind )and the contract .
As to Classicdame's points
a) a union cannot force a facility to unionize , that is accomplished by a NLRB supervised democratic election of all those who could be unionized at the facility .
b) Seniority rules , not favoritism , we all know of brown nosers whose heads have dissapeared up managements orifice , getting all they want at the expense of good nurses who do not kow tow to management .
c)We all have restrictions re. time off , but do you want favoritism or a clear documented policy re how scheduling and vacations are done ?
d)The union has to represent its members , they cannot stop the employer firing poor employees , but simply ensures the employer has to document just cause , not fire at will . Non union facilities also have this problem , but in their case it is the underperforming management pet who is not fired .
e) JEEZ they are not interested in patient care , where have you been for the last 10 years , corporations are all about PROFIT , not patient care if it eats into profits ie. they will improve the menu but not the staffing .Whilst it was only through union led campaign that we got the safe staffing ratios introduced !.Employers to this day are fighting against this !.
This may be a generalisation but I would have thought those that support RTW , would feel they should not pay for a service they don't want , that being the case I can't understand how they feel comfortble recieving a service for which they are not paying . If you have gone through a democratic election , the union is sucessfully voted in at this point if you are honest to your principals you should not accept the benefits of the unions contract ( ie.improved pay and conditions ) , without paying for them !.