union nursing

  1. Just wanted some informantion on unions. how many of you are in a union? how is it going? what are some big benefits?Does anyone know how many states are unionized?
    •  
  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Qwiigley
    I hate unions. They promise higher pay, (get it) then the hospital has to bring down staffing or bring in unlicensed personnel (cheaper and very dangerous) to keep costs in check.
  4. by   CriticalCareOnc
    :chuckle I have a good experience with union so far... we were able to get a good contract this year. hospital implemented 'steps' (basing pay on years of experience and not just on merit), seniority incentives, jury duty pay, increased paid hours for education, pay increase and independent arbitration for staffing issues among others.... we had a four day strike, 99% support from RNs. we have a strong union. the real union are the nurses themselves...
  5. by   Genista
    I'm also in a union. I've only worked at two hospitals in my career so far. The first was nonunion and it was not a good environment. The wages were far below other hospitals in the area, and there was no fixed matrix as far as I could tell...we took as many admits as they had come into the ER (safe or not). I left after one year.

    Now I'm at a union hospital. Wages significantly higher. Fixed number of patients per nurse (most days, though in past year there have been far too many times of "working short"). Overall, I like the union experience better because we have a platform to bargain.

    We have a contract and specific items written in (like no mandatory overtime and pay based on "steps"). Currently our contract is under negotiations again...but not going well. The hospital is not willing to compromise with our proposals. If they could give each nurse 10 patients, they would. They want to mandate 6 weeks of mandatory night shift per year instead of the current 3 weeks. I'm a new nurse (grad in 98), but even our 20+ year RN veterans are feeling discouraged with negotiations. It's tough times in health care these days. I would be willing to work nonunion if the nurses and management could agree on things, but they can't.

    As it is, my hospital management wants to eliminate the lead nurse on some floors and give us extra nurse aids in return for each RN taking more patients. What next?! I am so angry at their "solutions" I am almost at a loss for words.

    Unions are big here in California, and for good reason! Working conditions have become so unbearable...we have to band together to protect our common interest!
  6. by   sjoe
    Generally, having a union is better than not having one. BUT be advised that unions do not solve many of the problems that exist, do not want to solve them, and are not willing to solve them.

    For these problems, nurses have to either : 1) organize themselves and stand up together against administrators, 2) organize themselves as individuals and stand up individually to administrators and/or other nurses. IMHO.
  7. by   jemb
    Having worked a long time non-union, and now almost six years union, I am very much in favor of union nursing. You do need the right contact negotiators, though. We are fortunate enough to have them, and thus gotten a very good contract. I like it because things are spelled out and not open to interpretation, let alone to someone's whim. Incremental raises are written in, but we still get COL raises with the institution when they happen. Staffing levels are designated, and existing staff cannot be "grandfathered" into new duties just because that's what is convenient for administration. I like it.
  8. by   nell
    All unions are different, but there is one thing that is the same with all of them: if you don't like what your union is doing, then get involved. Don't just sit back and complain!
  9. by   recnurse1
    my union did absolutely nothing to help me get a raise. i am an lpn, but i make the same amount of money as the aides in our school district. there are 5 lpn's in the district and they don't want to give us a penny more! in the past, i have only been affiliated with one other union, and they did not help me either. the company fired me because i had ruptured discs in my neck, needed surgery and had 3 surgeons telling them i could not return to work... fired after 18 years of darn good service to them! i have no love for unions! :angryfire
  10. by   fergus51
    I will not go back to a non-union job. I think our union did a very good job in our last contract negotiations and we have a good wage and guarantees that our jobs can not be replaced by LPNs or CNAs. It gives an avenue for resolving conflict with managers that is consistent and therefore fair, for each employee.
  11. by   sjoe
    "Don't sit back and complain!"--What do you mean? That's half the fun.

    And if you can get your coworkers to agree with you when you DO sit back and complain, then you ALL get to feel magnificantly self-righteous, without any risk or effort. Sounds like a great deal to me. Maybe it'll catch on.
    Last edit by sjoe on Sep 26, '02
  12. by   -jt
    <hospital implemented 'steps' (basing pay on years of experience and not just on merit), seniority incentives, jury duty pay, increased paid hours for education, pay increase and independent arbitration for staffing issues among others.... >

    The hospital didnt just implement those things. YOU as the union of nurses, negotiated those terms & shared the control in creating them. Congratulations!

    I would never work in another non-union hospital. You have no power to do anything in those except talk --- & the employer doesnt have to listen to you unless they feel like it. Once you are a union, the law obligates them to listen to you AND share the control with you. Thats why they try so hard to prevent you from becoming a union in the first place. The union is only as strong as its members. You have to be active, take an interest, & enforce your contract. No union will ever be as effective as it could be if the members are just sitting back waiting for Someone Else to do things for them.
    Last edit by -jt on Sep 22, '02
  13. by   nell
    Originally posted by -jt
    The union is only as strong as its members. You have to be active, take an interest, & enforce your contract. No union will ever be as effective as it could be if the members are just sitting back waiting for Someone Else to do things for them.
    Yep!
  14. by   NMAguiar
    Without commenting on nurses' worth -- and we all know they deserve more jingle in their pockets -- increased pay certainly affects hospital bottom lines.

    I just recieved a new report that is being distributed to the media today (Monday) by the unbiased Center for Studying Health System Change. Its entirety is embargoed for release by all media until Wednesday, but here are the first couple of paragraphs:
    _____________________
    Spending on health care jumped 10 percent in 2001, the
    first double-digit increase in more than a decade, according to a study bythe Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

    Driven by increased use of services and higher prices (payment rates), spending on inpatient and outpatient hospital care climbed 12 percent in 2001, accounting for more than half, or 51 percent, of the overall health care spending increase.

    "People are getting more tests and treatments as managed care plans abandon tight restrictions on care, but higher hospital prices are playing a role as well in rising costs," said Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., president of HSC, a nonpartisan policy research organization funded exclusively by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
    _______________________

    You will find the complete story posted here on Wednesday.

    There have been 12 HMOs close or leave California, the richest state in the country, so far this year. It's an obvious problem that we're going to hear a lot more about in coming months.
    Last edit by NMAguiar on Sep 23, '02

close