Nursing Union

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    What are some of the benefits and downfalls of joining a nursing union?

    Another note:
    I still think we should get paid alot more for what we do. If they can afford to pay a prn nurse time and a half for that shift then they can afford to pay me that. All this overtime to make the bills really takes a toll on the mind, body and soul.
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    If your talking about agency nurses they don't make time and a half, the agency takes a percentage. Plus you're employer is paying into your benefits and not the PRN's. I do belong to a union but couldn't tell you the advantages and such because I choose not to get into the politics of it, they're a bitter group of nurses that complain and whine way too much (where I work anyway).
    rhondare1 and NickB like this.
  6. 4
    one of the things about the history of unions and unionization throughout the united states, is that many today forget the reasons why they even came about. at one point, rich and politically well connected companies used us military troops to machine gun massacre discontented striking american workers and their families (men, women and children).

    source: the ludlow masscare

    we've come a long way.

    even if your particular institution doesn't have a union, the simple existence of a unionized hospital near by means that no matter how bad your own hospital gets, it is prevented from getting even worse. this is because the unions applies political and economic pressures on the whole of the collective job market. there may be minor variables, but the positive impact on employee pay scale, benefits, right to work, et cetera; across a wide geographic area where unions operate, cannot be ignored.

    as nurses, we may call ourselves professionals, and we certainly are by our dedication, education, standards of practice and devotion to duty. but we're in no way the same economic self supporting professional like a physician. we can't hang out our own shingle (ie open our own office) like they do and, (except for a very special occasioned few) solicit for our own third party paying patients. as such, our collective employment is subservient to and held at the whims of a multi-billion dollar medical - hospital industry. this industry traditionally abhors paying out money to any of its workers, no matter how well it is deserved. thus, collective bargaining ensures that we can stand together politically; our professional interests and economic survival demands it.

    support your unions!!!
    Last edit by Emergency RN on Dec 15, '09
    janfrn, inshallamiami, xoemmylouox, and 1 other like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from Rise Against
    What are some of the benefits and downfalls of joining a nursing union?

    Another note:
    I still think we should get paid alot more for what we do. If they can afford to pay a prn nurse time and a half for that shift then they can afford to pay me that.
    Well, as a previous poster mentioned, PRN nurses don't get the benefits regular staff nurses do. All we typically get is the extra money, as opposed to the medical, dental, vision benefits, tuition reimbursement, PTO,
    401K, etc. that regular staff typically get.
  8. 1
    The post by ER RN says it all. Unions as a whole do have their purpose and all are effected by them whether we are members or not. That said there is a broad range of unions, some good some not so good, it all depends on how active the local membership is and how independent the National affiliate lets the locals be.
    inshallamiami likes this.
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    I am a California nurse and our union has worked to get us realistic staffing ratios. I am always amazed to read about the staffing ratios in other, non-unionized, states (7-8 pts per nurse on a tele floor?!) - and even more amazed to read anti-union posts from nurses in those states, even while these nurses are breaking their backs trying to keep up with an impossible workload. I doubt there are many California nurses who would wish to return to the days before mandatory staffing ratios. It's like asking to return to the days before minimum wage laws!
    Mollypita, batmik, inshallamiami, and 2 others like this.
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    Quote from nminodob
    I am a California nurse and our union has worked to get us realistic staffing ratios. I am always amazed to read about the staffing ratios in other, non-unionized, states (7-8 pts per nurse on a tele floor?!) - and even more amazed to read anti-union posts from nurses in those states, even while these nurses are breaking their backs trying to keep up with an impossible workload. I doubt there are many California nurses who would wish to return to the days before mandatory staffing ratios. It's like asking to return to the days before minimum wage laws!
    Now I don't work with terrible staffing ratios by any means but I know much of nursing does and I always wonder why the unions don't include this issue in bargaining?
  11. 0
    Unions protect members in far more ways than just wage and benefits negotiations. They protect them from wrongful dismissal, harassment, malicious reporting to the Board of Nursing, and in the case of layoffs, with special provisions that allow for seniority to prevail, that outline the process for rehiring if vacancies do become available again (recall) and severance under certain situations. They hold the employer to labor standards that otherwise might be ignored, such as sick time, short- and long-term disability coverage and a host of other things. What they don't do that seems to be one of those urban myths is protect incompetent or dangerous nurses. If your employer has well-documented proof that you're not safe on the floor, or that you have ongoing attendance issues despite multiple attempts at remediation, or any other just cause, they will not keep you from losing your job, and nor should they. They can't fire you because they don't like the color of your scrubs, but if you have a long history of injuring patients you're gone.


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