Pros & Cons of working where there is a Union?

  1. I'd like to know what the benefits and downside (if any) to working at a place where it is Union? What is the difference in non union? Forgive the ignorance but I have never worked where there has been one. Thanks
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   tiger
    where i work they work out a union contract every 2 years. they negotiate our raises, fight to keep our benefits or gain new ones, and if you have a problem you can go to them for help. we have a union book that is given out to each employee so that you know what the contract says and if any situation needs to be called to the unions attention. i think it is good to work for a place with a union. j
  4. by   fergus51
    I agree with janetl. I will not ever work a non-union job again. The downside of unions is it can be incredibly difficult to fire the bad nurses and it takes time to build up seniority (most positions are granted on the basis of how long you've worked there). The major upside I see is solidarity. We are in the middle of contract negotiations and have imposed an overtime ban. No one can go ignore this because we are all in the same union in this province. No scabs here.
  5. by   CANRN
    Another advantage to having a union is PATIENT TO NURSE RATIO! If the patient load gets too high and there are not enough nurses on staff to give SAFE nursing care, the hospital has to turn away the patient and divert emergency squads to another hospital if the ER is too busy to take anymore patients! (Excluding the live or death cases of course)This has happened at a major Northwest Ohio hospital since they have voted in their union.
  6. by   kewlnurse
    Depends on the union. All the above may be true, but there a re a lot of crappy unions. I work for one and we have the same poor staffing ratios as the non unions. Pay is slightly better, but is probably close to being offset by the price of union dues. You have no real voice as an individual, it's impossible to get rid of the "slugs", all the best jobs go to people with the most seniority. I live in a very pro union and can't imagine a union that does less than the one i'm in. The union almost prevented the floor i'm on from going to 12.5 hour shifts and all but 3 people on the floor wanted it!!!
  7. by   RNed
    Unions can be beneficial when difficulties occur with management. I always check on the membership numbers and the activity of the members. A union is truely represented by its leadership. Are the leaders active and do the members support the leadership are questions to ask?

    I find most union organizations work better if associated with a health system that is moderate to large in size. Say 300 - 400 nurses employed and 60%-70% belonging to the union. More voices equals louder voices !!

    One of the biggest advantages in having a union is that if you run into trouble with your employer a union representative can be at your side and help maintain and define a process of correction.

    The disadvantages is that no matter how large, if leadership is not active, it usually is not providing the clout to effect change and you will not have a union representive when you need one.

    In small local hospitals or small systems where < 100 nurses are unionized, I often find leadership more submissive to management. Often they have long standing ties with management and or management was at one time in the union as staff and was promoted to management. These are more difficult to evaluate as to results and gains. And when issues arise are more difficult to process due to back-office politics, however, this happens at the big places too.

    The bottom line is a good organization is defined by good leadership, whether it is the leaders in the union or the health system.

    If both leadership in the union and hospital are bad, well, that is a mess !!
  8. by   mom22
    We do all those things without the help of a union. Don't need 'em.
  9. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Originally posted by RNed:
    <STRONG>

    The bottom line is a good organization is defined by good leadership, whether it is the leaders in the union or the health system.

    If both leadership in the union and hospital are bad, well, that is a mess !!</STRONG>
    Kudos RNED...this is truly the bottom line. I encourage all to remember that there are distinct differences between leadership and management. Leadership is people focused and management is task focused. Look at you current situation to see if you are truly led or managed.

    regards
    chas
  10. by   -jt
    &lt;Pay is slightly better, but is probably close to being offset by the price of union dues.&gt;


    On the first day that our first contract went into effect when we first unionized, our pay increased 29% overnight. Our union dues are always only 1% of the base salary.
    No comparison there & well worth it.

    Its important to shop around & "hire" the union that will best represent you the way you want to be represented.
    Nobody does it better than mine.
  11. by   -jt
    Future LPN Sheryl I'd like to know what the benefits and downside (if any) to working at a place where it is Union? What is the difference in non union?


    For a virtual tour that can help answer that question, visit
    http://www.nursealliance.org/together/hospital1.cfm

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