Union input please



  1. Lets say you work at a Hospital whos pay is comparable with and better than most States, and they don't have mandatory overtime, staffing was good, and benefits are fair. They also offer bonuses for overtime worked above the time and half and give added pay to premium pool nurses as well. Yet some nurses think they deserve more and call in a union. Yet there are worse cases out there, what would you say if morally and ethically you thought things were good. That is my dilema. I have worked in shlepy NY and experienced all of the shortages and so on. These people don't realize how good they have it. Its a shame and I am annoyed.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   nursejanedough
    I may have had too many fermented beverages but let me see if I understand correctly. OK, just one and 1/2 beers, but let's continue. You say that pay is good, no shortage, good benefits, but you say shlepy new york. Not sure what good pay, no shortage, good benefits or what shlepy means, but if I had at least $25.00 an hour, no shortage - can take care of patients and do paperwork without having a nervous breakdown, and good benefits- good enuf coverage to pay for our nervous breakdowns, then sounds good to me.
  4. by   Tiara
    If things are as you say, then what are the reasons for nurses wanting a union? There must be something lacking. Do they have input with administration re conditions and what directly affects them (nurses)? Unfortunately, because things might be worse in NY or somewhere else, it doesn't mean they aren't better somewhere too. I would be interested in knowing their reasons. Perhaps there are issues of which you are not aware?
  5. by   bedhead
    let me clrify I use to work in NY and now work in NJ so shlepy meaning I was one of those nuses who worked my but off and had breakdowns in med rooms and worked super short staffed,and had a union to boot. I came to NJ and found a peaceful retreat. I was finally experiencing a safer and reasonable way of Nursing and still am after 6 years.
  6. by   ornurse2001
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by bedhead:
    [B]

    I have only had one experience with a union in healthcare-it was a nursing home-several years ago.It was my experience that this particular facility was very good to it's employees until the union moved in, and the situation became pretty bad.I believe there are instances where things may be extreme-such as mandatory OT, very poor staffing , etc. when a union may be beneficial.I also feel that there are instances where management is pretty fair to it's employees whom have fair to good work conditions and a union would be not be beneficial at all.In other words-I don't feel as a blanket rule that healthcare needs a nationwide union, however, for some cases, hmm, maybe.

  7. by   OC_An Khe
    Bedhead,
    Unions are not always about getting more, they are also about preserving what you already have. There is a vast difference from being an employee at will and under a contract. Your present situation may be good but administrations and conditions can change rapidly. As an employee at will your only choices may be to accept or get on the PATH back to the city.
  8. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by bedhead:
    some nurses think they deserve more and call in a union. Yet there are worse cases out there, what would you say if morally and ethically you thought things were good. ....These people don't realize how good they have it. Its a shame and I am annoyed.


    So, do you wait until its as bad as others have it before taking control of the reins that affect your job? I would say that this is all very nice & you have been lucky up to this point but I prefer not to depend on luck or some managers good graces. I want all that but I want it in writing so that it cannot be changed without my input & approval. Even if everything is so wonderful that it just cant be improved upon, I'd still want to be unionized with a legally binding written contract that guarantees all of that & eliminates the risk of coming into work one day & suddenly finding things are not so wonderful anymore.

    Your situation may be fine now, but only because someone else is allowing it to be and it isnt guaranteed - it can change on a moments notice at the whim of some hospital executive, or on the advice of some consultant. And then where would you be? With being organized & having a contract, that cant happen. When youre organized, You have to be included in the decision-making for nursing & you have to approve all changes. If you dont approve, they dont happen. Youre an equal partner in matters concerning nursing. Right now, non-unionized, you just have to hope the management continues to be fair to you.
    And the day that they decide its too costly for them to do so, what can you do? You may have decent benefits now but next month, if the hospital decides it will no longer cover dental or will reduce the medical coverage, forcing you to pay out of your pocket, what can you do? You dont have mandatory OT today but next week if the hospital decided to utilize this "flexible staffing alternative", what can you do? Why not unionize now - while it still is so good & get all that good stuff into your contract since they already do it - and ensure that all this good stuff will continue?

    I'd vote YES on my ballot to unionize. Not only to improve what should be improved, but to guarantee that any future changes that affect my practice & livlihood are done BY me & not TO me.
  9. by   RNforLongTime
    The hospital at which I am currently employed is unionized(RN's only) and let me tell you that as far as I'm concerned, I have it better here than I did at the place I previously worked at. Sure we have mandatory overtime which sucks but at least we don't work short staffed like I did at my other job. There are drawbacks to both for sure but until this nursing shortage lets up which I don't think it will anytime soon, it's either gonna be work short or forced overtime and I'd rather have sufficient staff than not enough. I'm not condoning mandatory overtime mind you but what would the alternatives be. Currently here in Ohio there is a Bill pending in the state legislature that would make mandatory OT illegal. The contract at my place of employment is up for renewal this year and I know one of the issues that will be debated will be the mandatory overtime. Also, pay raises. In my opinion I think that nurses are better with a union than without.

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  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    I have heard nurses who work two jobs one at a union hospital say about their non-union employer, "The nurses here won't organize. They haven't been abused enough yet."
    It is true that nurses call a union after it is intolerable, so the worst hospitals get unionization. That is NOT because of the union. Just the opposite. The union is there because patient care and nurse abuse got so bad.

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  11. by   Enright
    Re: the union thing. In my non-union hospital jobs, we were all paid differently e.g. what they could get away with. Benefit programs disappeared overnight. I once actually had hours cut. Policies change on a whim.

    I am now in my first ever union RN job. One day, a top official in my agency asked me to take on a huge load of new job duties. I sat down with him and explained these roles were not in my job description and I'd need increased compensation. He refused. I talked to my union and the rep arranged a meeting. A very pale agency official (same one) apologized profusely stating "I am so sorry. I didn't know you were in a union. I thought you were an at will employee. Please accept my apology".
    That's pretty much all I needed to know about unions!
  12. by   Louie18
    Whatever yoursituation now, as they grow things will change and probably when you are getting ready to retire and they break out those "conditions" that you overlooked way back when.
    It's these "conditions" that have you spending your last 7 years on the threat of dismissal or any other implications to unstabilize you. Thus: there goes the pension and benefits.

    "No condition is permanent"

    It must be kept permanent and Unions do just that.
  13. by   nurseinanutshell
    It's obvious that there are logical reasons why unions are formed in some areas, and I can understand why many are in favor of them. I am not, however, due to my own experiences and philosophy. One of these experiences involved an attempt to form one at the institution I work at. It failed (unions for healthcare workers are not big here in the south). The biggest gripe I had was that the union attempting to organize it was a painters union! Anybody see anything wrong with this situation???
  14. by   -jt
    Originally posted by Enright:

    I am now in my first ever union RN job. One day, a top official in my agency asked me to take on a huge load of new job duties. I sat down with him and explained these roles were not in my job description and I'd need increased compensation. He refused. I talked to my union and the rep arranged a meeting. A very pale agency official (same one) apologized profusely stating "I am so sorry. I didn't know you were in a union. I thought you were an at will employee. Please accept my apology".
    That's pretty much all I needed to know about unions!

    dont you just love it!

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