To unionize or not... - page 2

I started this thread simply because it was a very hot topic on another thread where someone wanted some advice... I hope to generate some friendly discussions regarding experiences and opinions. I... Read More

  1. Visit  manusko profile page
    1
    Quote from lindarn
    Well, if you don' believe in having nursing unions, what do you suggest that nurses do to protect themselves, and ultimately, their patients? Say,"pretty please may I use the Bathroom, because I have to pee"? Beg for more help because you have been assigned 10 patients to care for, and you cannot be in 10 places at once?

    Do you think that management is going to improve staffing, pay and benefits, out of the goodness and kindness of their hearts?

    If Nurses have to go on strike to get what they need to improve staffing, working condition, better pay and benefits for nurses, so be it. The PTB caused the disatisfaction in nurses by their management actions, and THEY are responsible for staffing the hospital. They have had plenty of time to work out the problems, and their arrogance is what causes nurses to make the decision to go on strike.

    As you fight nurses having a union, which means that nurses have a contract that management has to abide by, do you realize that ALL MANAGERS, AND CEOs, ADMINISTRATION, have contracts, that ensure their pay, benefits, working conditions, etc, to protect them? Why shouldn't nurses have the same protection? It will never happen until we demand it, and join unions. Then National Nurses United, is a good start.


    JMHO and my NY $0.02.
    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Somewhere in the PACNW
    Sorry I do not need a Union to let me pee at work. If you do not get what you want and they decide to strike, do you walk out on your patients? If you do, then you are breaking what you pledged to do for your patients. Research the hopsital you want to work at and see what their benefits are before you agree to work with them. I worked at a wonderful hospital that increased nursing pay so that they did not lose nurses to bigger markets. Schedules were fair and assignments were safe. I would never walk out and abandon my patients, then I would be a scab. Join a union if you desire but not everyone agrees with them.
    rudeRN likes this.
  2. Visit  CCL RN profile page
    4
    Quote from manusko
    Sorry I do not need a Union to let me pee at work. If you do not get what you want and they decide to strike, do you walk out on your patients? If you do, then you are breaking what you pledged to do for your patients. Research the hopsital you want to work at and see what their benefits are before you agree to work with them. I worked at a wonderful hospital that increased nursing pay so that they did not lose nurses to bigger markets. Schedules were fair and assignments were safe. I would never walk out and abandon my patients, then I would be a scab. Join a union if you desire but not everyone agrees with them.
    Lol!
    Where, or where, would I find out about pay, benefits, (only during an interview) ratios, pt loads (they lied about that in my interview), future raises (it's been 3 years now without raises) overbearing, unrelenting, unfeeling, management (hid that in my interview)?

    So do tell, where can I find all this information out? and what happens when management changes? or when the economy takes a dump?

    I'll tell you what happens. We suffer.

    And I'm happy that your hospitals treats you right. You have past union members, who have walked out, to thank for that.

    Next time you go to your wonderful workplace, say a little thank-you to them for the sacrifices they made for you...
    Zombi RN, taalyn_1, wooh, and 1 other like this.
  3. Visit  manusko profile page
    0
    Quote from CCL RN
    Lol!
    Where, or where, would I find out about pay, benefits, (only during an interview) ratios, pt loads (they lied about that in my interview), future raises (it's been 3 years now without raises) overbearing, unrelenting, unfeeling, management (hid that in my interview)?

    So do tell, where can I find all this information out? and what happens when management changes? or when the economy takes a dump?

    I'll tell you what happens. We suffer.

    And I'm happy that your hospitals treats you right. You have past union members, who have walked out, to thank for that.

    Next time you go to your wonderful workplace, say a little thank-you to them for the sacrifices they made for you...
    The employee hand book lays out evaluations and how pay raises work at my hospital. There has not been a union at my hospital so I do not how that has helped me. All employees have an annual evaluation and recieve a raise annually based off of that evaluation. You obviously have been burnt by your work places, but I am not convinced that a union would make my workplace better. The studies I have read stated that the pay and benefits are better at unionized hospitals but their morale is worse. Before you ask, it has been 2 years since I read that study and would have to find it. I would rather make a little less and enjoy my job, than to make good money and hate going to work everyday.

    Again. How do you walk out on those paitents who need your care?
  4. Visit  BabyLady profile page
    7
    Quote from newway
    Agreed unions can get big headed and greedy if not kept in check by their own members. The auto industry is a good example of that, but they are not the only downfall of U.S. auto makers. There was plenty being siphoned off the top as well. To be fair as well even non union manufacturing can't compete with chinas cheap labor and manipulation of its currency.


    There are lazy workers in both union and non union roles. I worked union and non union in a past job (construction). The union guys worked just as hard, they just weren't in a position to be exploited. I think healthcare needs a union otherwise hospitals will treat and pay their workers at the minimum required to keep it staffed, which leaves more money for the top.


    If you belong to a union, you HAVE to be an active member. You have to go to meetings, you have to make sure you know what is going on and be an active participant. Damand action from your union representative and if you are not getting results, vote them OUT.

    Unions are only as strong as their members...just everyone remember this:

    Companies did not stop child labor, offer overtime, workman's compensation, health insurance, vacation/personal/sick time and a safe working environment because they wanted to.

    They did it because unions were formed that DEMANDED IT!!!
    eagle78, Zombi RN, taalyn_1, and 4 others like this.
  5. Visit  CCL RN profile page
    8
    Quote from manusko
    The employee hand book lays out evaluations and how pay raises work at my hospital. There has not been a union at my hospital so I do not how that has helped me. All employees have an annual evaluation and recieve a raise annually based off of that evaluation. You obviously have been burnt by your work places, but I am not convinced that a union would make my workplace better. The studies I have read stated that the pay and benefits are better at unionized hospitals but their morale is worse. Before you ask, it has been 2 years since I read that study and would have to find it. I would rather make a little less and enjoy my job, than to make good money and hate going to work everyday.

    Again. How do you walk out on those paitents who need your care?
    Oh please. TPTB get PLENTY of notice of an upcoming strike, and they actually don scrubs (gasp) and work themselves! Plus, plenty of scabs lie in wait to fill the temp positions.

    Btw, my employee handbook states we get yearly raises too. It's states a lot of things that aren't true.

    You are lucky in that your workplace hasn't screwed you. Hope you stay lucky.



    And let me answer your question. How would I walk out on pts who need me?

    My pts need a nurse who isn't worried about rogue management
    My pts need a nurse who can eat freely and take safe breaks
    My pts need a nurse who isn't overwhelmed with too many patients.
    My pts need a nurse is isn't being forced to work straight through breaks, lunches,and past her scheduled shift.

    How could I walk out? Easily. The pts will get a Scab replacement right away, elective cases get cancelled, Hospitals go on divert. Somehow, they all survive.

    And if it weren't for all the nurses in the past who had made the same decision, then you wouldnt have the great workplace that you have now.
  6. Visit  lindarn profile page
    2
    It only takes a change in management, or hospital ownership, to take things from great, and go "to hell in a handbasket". It will be that quick.

    With how managements and hospital takeovers, managers coming and going, I would not be so quick to criticize those of us who have been to hell and back due to poor, greedy management. I could tell you stories that would curl your hair, and so can hundreds of other nurses on this listserve.

    I am glad that you are happy where you work, but if I were you, I would watch my back.

    JMHO and my NY $0.02.
    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Somewhere in the PACNW
    CCL RN and wooh like this.
  7. Visit  Chico David RN profile page
    9
    The single most professional thing a nurse can do is to band together with others to control their professional life. You could get a lot of argument and different opinions about what makes a "profession" as opposed to just an occupation. But one thing pretty much everyone can agree on is that a profession sets its own standards of what is acceptable: an acceptable level of compensation, an acceptable workload, acceptable working conditions, acceptable standard of training, acceptable level of performance. As a single nurse, you can only do what management tells you or go elsewhere. But there are only a limited number of "elsewheres". And in the community where I live, there are none unless you want a long commute.
    We had a hospital with an excellent standard of care, a decent concern for the employee and a great reputation in the community. Then our long-time CEO retired and we got new management with a very corporate oriented, bottom line approach. They told us that the nurses and the community were used to care that was "too good". Our CEO told us in exactly these words that we were used to giving "Cadillac care" but that we were going to have to get used to giving "Volkswagon care". They increased workloads, took away support staff, took away our pension and cut our health benefits. And they told us over and over that if we didn't like it we could go elsewhere. But most of us were rooted in the community, so we decided not to go elsewhere and unionized instead.
    Now all that management is long gone and we're still here, with health benefits protected and a predictable salary scale and we are slowly rebuilding the trust of our community that was lost by the previous administration.
    Some people think they don't need a union because they have a decent manager, but that management can change at any minute. I'd rather depend on the certainty of a contract than the goodwill of a manager.
    eagle78, Zombi RN, TravelinCEN, and 6 others like this.
  8. Visit  SweettartRN profile page
    2
    Last time I checked, working in this country was not a "right."
    It used to be if you did a **** poor job, you were fired, and someone more willing and better stepped in to do your work.

    Too many people these days have a sense of entitlement. Unions simply add on to that entitlement clause instead of looking at the bigger picture. Everyone is struggling financially right now. We are about to see another major dumping on our economy with gas prices back on the rise.

    Just my $0.02
    smily nurse and manusko like this.
  9. Visit  nicurn001 profile page
    5
    You can be fired if you do a **** poor job , even in a unionized work place , all unions do is ensure employers follow applicable law and the companies own HR / relevant policies to terminate an employee . If management cannot find " just cause "then I would argue they are doing a poor job .Or would you as an employee prefer that management has the right to dispose of you with the trash .
    I do accept thatemployers have the right to fire ,I simply feel that if they can't show a reason for the termination maybe something other than employees performance is the reason they are terminating employees.
    eagle78, taalyn_1, Chico David RN, and 2 others like this.
  10. Visit  Barret RN profile page
    5
    No union is perfect, they all have their problems but as a member of one I can honestly say that our patients as well as ourselves have benefited greatly because of it. Most people can site co-workers who use and abuse the system but they are the exception not the rule. Our patients have better outcomes as a result of more manageable assignments and RN's enjoy equitable salary and benefits to match their expertise/skill. Unions = win + win in my mind.
    taalyn_1, Chico David RN, CCL RN, and 2 others like this.
  11. Visit  CapeCodMermaid profile page
    3
    I've worked in union and non union places. The union was wonderful for the crappy workers who didn't do a good job. We were having a late admission one day and a bed had to be moved. I asked one of the nurses (who was much younger than I) to help me move a bed. His answer: Not in my contract. The union gave him the right to be rude and disrespectful.
    I worked at a hospital with a union. The ward clerk didn't bathe...she reeked. When it was mentioned to her that her hygiene was lacking, her response: It's not in the contract that I have to bathe. It wasn't until a year later when the contract was renegotiated and the language "all employees must bathe on a regular basis' was added that she took a shower.
    smily nurse, lindarn, and SweettartRN like this.
  12. Visit  nicurn001 profile page
    4
    Capecodmermaid , you can find idiots in any place of employment . The people you describe can be found in non union places of employment , if they are protected by TPTB ( who take the place of a union protector in their case ).
    It boils down to management having the will / desire to manage and applying the applicable laws / policies .
    eagle78, laborer, lindarn, and 1 other like this.
  13. Visit  Vanillanut profile page
    6
    I've worked for unionized and non-unionized places. I got screwed on pretty much every non-union job I've ever worked at. The union has to be effective in order to have the changes sought by nurses, otherwise it's pointless and probably more of a hassle then it's worth. My union now is pretty good as far as unions go- they'll stand up for you when you're being taken advantage of (my colleague is going through this now, and I have in the past with the same hospital).... good wages, good benefits, no such thing as push-backs or etc. If we're on call it's $3/hr but as I'm FT I'm never on call. We must know our schedules 6 weeks in advance, and if something changes in that amount of time we must agree to those changes. If our shift needs to be extended, we're asked if we want to stay (at overtime rate) but aren't expected to. If we're called in our off time, no expectations are there that we must come in.

    I read some of these boards and thank God for my current job!
    Zombi RN, taalyn_1, Chico David RN, and 3 others like this.

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