To be, or not to be, that is the question.

  1. 0 My place of employment has a very aggressive union trying to get the workers to unionize. The mud slinging between the hospital and the union reps has become overwhelming. Its starting to look like there will be a vote on whether to unionize or not.

    Im undecided on how I feel about it. I've seen unions do good, and I've seen them cause harm.

    The one thing that makes me nervous is the fact that the union does not consist of just nurses. They want everyone in it. I tend to believe nursing would be better represented by a union that focuses on nursing and the complex issues nurses face.

    Is that a fair assessment?

    If you are union, do you feel they have improved things for you?

    We all float down here.
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  3. Visit  PennyWise profile page

    About PennyWise

    PennyWise has '6' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Pulmonary, Transplant, Travel RN'. From 'Pittsburgh, PA, US'; 41 Years Old; Joined May '12; Posts: 158; Likes: 361.

    16 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Fyreflie profile page
    I'm in Canada and we're all union up here--with tge exception if certain hospitals who opted out and offer other incentives--the only place I've had a bad experience with a union was in Nova Scotia, where it seemed like they didn't negotiate very strongly. The other two unions I've been part of have been amazing and one of them was instrumental in helping me through a layoff process. I've had union reps present for meetings with managers when I felt I needed support and u have stopped meetings and asked to continue them with a union rep present if I've felt uncomfortable.

    I've never been in a non-union job as a nurse but overall I'd say there are a whole lotta pros to a good strong union!
    suanna, makawiliwili, Merced, and 2 others like this.
  5. Visit  Fyreflie profile page
    And yes, I think a union representing nurses should be for nurses only! Up here even our LPNs have a separate union because their interests are sometimes in competition with ours.
    TriciaJ and lindarn like this.
  6. Visit  PennyWise profile page
    Quote from Fyreflie
    And yes, I think a union representing nurses should be for nurses only! Up here even our LPNs have a separate union because their interests are sometimes in competition with ours.
    I think so too, but Im not privy to the ins and out of being in a union. Just seems to me that trying to lump everyone together will cause the union to go in too many different directions.

    We all float down here.
    Sisyphus and lindarn like this.
  7. Visit  subee profile page
    RN unions should be for RN's only. Nobody else can represent your interests because they don't know what it is exactly that you do, not can they grasp the complexities of the profession. You need NURSES to represent NURSING.
    AnonRNC, Merced, TriciaJ, and 3 others like this.
  8. Visit  PennyWise profile page
    Got another letter from my hospital today. It was concerning the union activity. They are so worried about this.

    Things that make you go "hmmmmmm".

    We all float down here.
  9. Visit  Merlyn profile page
    Quote from PennyWise
    Got another letter from my hospital today. It was concerning the union activity. They are so worried about this.

    Things that make you go "hmmmmmm".

    We all float down here.
    Hospital is frighten of union. Go union. I was part of one that didn't have just nurses it worked out fine.
    Merced likes this.
  10. Visit  PennyWise profile page
    On the other hand, I not too long ago left a hospital whose union covered everyone except nurses. It was NOT working out for them. Maintenance made out at the bargaining table like bandits, but dietary and phlebotomy had nothing good to say about the union.

    One year, they had to vote whether or not to allow the hospital to withhold annual raises. The PCTs were perfectly happy to allow it since the hospital promised no lay-offs and pt ratios would not be changed. Maintenance on the other hand, having no concern for pt ratios, was not for allowing it.

    Now, it goes without saying the PCTs outnumbered the maintanence crew 3:1 (or more), and it was just assumed they'd win the vote. Mind you, dietary and phlebotomy were on their side. That was not the case though. Maintanence got their way...............don't ask me how or why.

    Classic example of a union losing its focus on protecting its members wishes.

    We all float down here.
    bearcat194 and lindarn like this.
  11. Visit  TriciaJ profile page
    No doubt in my mind, union is better than non-union. But you're right that it might be problematic if the union represents everyone, because there will be conflicting interests and they won't be as able to represent everyone well. Have you contacted your state nursing association which is under ANA? They should have a collective bargaining arm and it might be worth talking to them.
    lindarn and Merced like this.
  12. Visit  laborer profile page
    ...RNs only...
  13. Visit  GitanoRN profile page
    i have mix feelings about unions, is like having car insurance policy the only time you miss it is when you get into an accident. although, every time i been a part of a union it has been strictly a nurses union, i would read all the pros & cons before joining... good luck...aloha~
  14. Visit  nicurn001 profile page
    GitanoRN puts it well , I view my membership of a union as an insurance against the changability of management , most of the time many can get along well with their facilities management , but when managements ethos changes , or even your floor manager changes , you can suddenly find yourself vulnerable without any support system to reduce your vulnerability , that is when a strong active union is valuable to you .
    There have been many threads on AN which have debunked the idea that because you are a good nurse who is well networked with management , this secures your position , unfortunately that is not true ,once managemnt decides you are superfluous you will be out of there if you are not covered by a union contract .
    TriciaJ and lindarn like this.
  15. Visit  PennyWise profile page
    After reading the viewpoints expressed here, I think I've come to a better understanding of the situation unfolding around me. At first, the question in my mind was whether or not unionizing was a good idea. Now, its as much about doing it right if you are going to do it at all.

    I do believe a union that tries to be everything to everybody in the end becomes nothing and helps nobody. My observations at my former place of employment play a role in this belief, but they are not the sole reason I feel this way.

    So, in the end, since the union in question wants to spread its focus across such a large spectrum of clients instead of focusing on nursing, they are not a good choice IMO. Whether or not I want to unionize is secondary because even if I do want to, I don't want to do it with a union that includes so many groups outside of nursing.

    When the time comes to say yea or nay...............I'll be voting against unionization. Its more a case of me saying no to this specific union's way of doing things than to unionizing. Perhaps later on down the road a chance to unionize with a more focused union will present itself.

    We all float down here.

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