Unionized vs Non Unionized hospitals - page 4

Which is better to work for overall and why? Are pay, benefits, and respect better with the union hospitals?... Read More

  1. by   PMFB-RN
    Quote from soutthpaw
    What about hospitals where the Union membership is optional????

    Is there any other kind? If so I don't know about them. All of my previous comments apply to a voluntary union hospital.
  2. by   8-ball
    OK lets get back on topic. I have worked in both and I have yet to make up my mind. When in TN at huge non unionized hospital we (all RNs) were treated very poorly. We were made to sell our PTO time after each year, we accrued PTO but were never granted vacation. I requested 8 different times in 1 year and all 8 were denied d/t "short staffing". So we had the option to sell our PTO at 50% so we only got 50% of our hourly pay. Then on top of that it got taxed highly. The pay was super low but we the nurses hadn't seen a raise in 8 years for what the CEOs called budget cuts, however that didn't stop the CEOs from giving themselves a huge multi million dollar bonus each year. Also our insurance sucked.

    On the other hand I have worked at 1 union hospital where the staffing ratio is Law. The nurses however demand good insurance and pay pennies for it. The pay is pretty high as well. My big problem here is how the nurses bully the management. So in their contract they refuse to float so if one floor is over staffed and the other is short it doesn't matter they will not float. Therefore they use travelers (myself) as a float pool. This is a huge financial burden on the hospital. They also have free parking in downtown LA, they don't even realize how good that is. But my biggest gripe is on their attitude and lack of professionalism. They whine and complain all the time, the acuity is really low yet they act as though each patient should be one on one...even ambulatory patients who arn't on gtts. They are rude to other nurses but I have even seen a few (not all) be really rude to patients and the families. This is the first union hospital I have been at so my view is narrow.

    Point being I think a good middle ground is key.
  3. by   Djustineh
    If I had the option to ever be part of a union again, i would not waste my money. However, I worked for a terribly managed company (that is why i chose to opt in to the union)..but even the union had no clue. A rep was never available to staff when needed. There was always all this talk about "staffing issues", yet nothing ever would get done about it - except filling out paper after paper. It's hard for a union to do their job when a hospital is run so poorly and management changes over so frequently. My advice is if you work for a solid grounded company, you probably do not need a union to fall back on. The non voluntary union i worked was when i was per diem at a facility that I did weekends at. I know some departments were union, some were not. Basically, how the union works is: there is a ladder that the union follows regarding staff being called off (who gets called off first during low census), who floats first (regular staff, versus travel, versus per diem), adherence to the other policies of the facility that you work at - if you get disciplined and someone else doesnt. The union will follow up to see if your manager followed the policy for EVERYONE, and not just one person. You do not have to attend a "disciplinary" meeting without a union rep present (I'm assuming so they can witness what was said - and in case you want to file a grievance towards it). There are short staffing forms that the union leaves on all the floors that can be filled out in order so that your facility adheres to whatever the staffing protocols are. It can be a good thing I guess , given that you have a good regional rep and good reps in your facility.
  4. by   herring_RN
    Quote from Djustineh
    If I had the option to ever be part of a union again, i would not waste my money. However, I worked for a terribly managed company (that is why i chose to opt in to the union)..but even the union had no clue. A rep was never available to staff when needed. There was always all this talk about "staffing issues", yet nothing ever would get done about it - except filling out paper after paper. It's hard for a union to do their job when a hospital is run so poorly and management changes over so frequently. My advice is if you work for a solid grounded company, you probably do not need a union to fall back on. The non voluntary union i worked was when i was per diem at a facility that I did weekends at. I know some departments were union, some were not. Basically, how the union works is: there is a ladder that the union follows regarding staff being called off (who gets called off first during low census), who floats first (regular staff, versus travel, versus per diem), adherence to the other policies of the facility that you work at - if you get disciplined and someone else doesnt. The union will follow up to see if your manager followed the policy for EVERYONE, and not just one person. You do not have to attend a "disciplinary" meeting without a union rep present (I'm assuming so they can witness what was said - and in case you want to file a grievance towards it). There are short staffing forms that the union leaves on all the floors that can be filled out in order so that your facility adheres to whatever the staffing protocols are. It can be a good thing I guess , given that you have a good regional rep and good reps in your facility.
    You seem to have been working where they had an ineffective union OR where the nurses were too apathetic or hopeless to act together.
    If union members are not organized and united they cannot achieve improved staffing.
  5. by   outriton
    Quote from Djustineh
    If I had the option to ever be part of a union again, i would not waste my money. However, I worked for a terribly managed company (that is why i chose to opt in to the union)..but even the union had no clue. A rep was never available to staff when needed. There was always all this talk about "staffing issues", yet nothing ever would get done about it - except filling out paper after paper. It's hard for a union to do their job when a hospital is run so poorly and management changes over so frequently. My advice is if you work for a solid grounded company, you probably do not need a union to fall back on. The non voluntary union i worked was when i was per diem at a facility that I did weekends at. I know some departments were union, some were not. Basically, how the union works is: there is a ladder that the union follows regarding staff being called off (who gets called off first during low census), who floats first (regular staff, versus travel, versus per diem), adherence to the other policies of the facility that you work at - if you get disciplined and someone else doesnt. The union will follow up to see if your manager followed the policy for EVERYONE, and not just one person. You do not have to attend a "disciplinary" meeting without a union rep present (I'm assuming so they can witness what was said - and in case you want to file a grievance towards it). There are short staffing forms that the union leaves on all the floors that can be filled out in order so that your facility adheres to whatever the staffing protocols are. It can be a good thing I guess , given that you have a good regional rep and good reps in your facility.
    The union I'm part of does much more than just monitor the call off/float list and track short staffing forms. The union is the reason there are safe patient ratios, breaks that nurses actually take instead of clocking out and working through, excellent pay, great benefits from health insurance to retirement to incentives to further education, a lift team that assists nurses with patient repositioning, etc.

    I would never go back to a non-union staff nurse position! Although 8-ball is correct that some nurses who've only ever worked in strong union hospitals think their assignments are really tough when we nurses who've worked non-union jobs know that that patient would be doubled or tripled. Yeah the pendulum can swing too far in the opposite direction, but I'd rather it be on the side of patient safety (even if that means "lazy" nurses) than on the unsafe side.
  6. by   kisianik
    There are so much good stories to tell about unions. I choose a few. Sometime ago (that nurse retired already), one nursing assistant was bullied by the nurses, so she paid back. Right before change of shift patient (race A) pressed a call light, nurse (race B) is busy getting ready for shift change, nursing assistant (race A) answers the call light, don't remember exactly what really happened there, but remember the outcome. Nurse in question is threaten with race discrimination against the patient, which is (union has 5 discipline level, with 5 been termination) level 4 for sure if not more.
    Hospital is a part of the hospital chain, investigators come from regional administration, investigation continues for about 1.5 months. If it was non union hospital, that nurse would be fired at no time (30 years seniority), but it is end up with level 1. I was around there at that time, it was not that nurse fault, but a bullied nursing assistant payback (I am strongly against bullying at work place).

    I would stop on stories. But I would mention this - if it was not for UNIONS in general, we would be working 16 hours shifts now without any overtimes or double times, 10 day vocation in a year and dismal pay. Heh, we probably would start our working careers at age 10 or even less, should I continue union haters?

    There are very good unions, so so ones, and obviously, bad ones. Someone mentioned SEIU, very bad example, bad union, but even this union is better than nothing, I was there, I know. I know about witch hunt for nurses and unions saving them and reinstating back to work, too much good to talk about.

    Under any circumstances, if I would have to change my location, I would look for union hospital first, if many, choose the best union....
  7. by   AnnoyedNurse
    Currently work for a Union a hospital in NJ. Most of the management is ****. They are rude, disrespectful, and are always talking crap about the union. When I speak to the union, they are kind, supportive, and truly are there to protect the nurses.

    I love the Union and will never work for a non-union hospital every again. We get paid better, our benefits are superior, and we always have someone protecting us and letting us know our rights. We have rights.

Must Read Topics


close