Union vs. Nonunion

  1. Is your facility union or nonunion? What are the pros/cons?
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   Level2Trauma
    Shhh....I live in the South, We're not allowed to say the U..... word down here.
  4. by   MitziK
    Neither are we allowed to say that word.
  5. by   LasVegasRN
    One of the facilities here is union. I remember when I was offered a position there I turned it down because of this: the union decides your pay increase. If you do a crappy job all year, and the union agrees to a 3% increase, that's it - across the board. So the nurses who exceed and excel on a daily basis get no other additional reward or compensation than the one's who do pi$$ poor work each day. No thanks. But that's just one side I can offer not having worked there.
  6. by   donmurray
    If someone does "A crappy job all year" and gets away with it, then the fault is with management, not the union. Everywhere there are standards and disciplinary policies which must be met, and the union's role is to ensure that their member is dealt with fairly, within existing policy. I obviously work in a unionised environment, where membership is encouraged.
  7. by   Fgr8Out
    I'm still on the fence about Union/Non-Union. Our Nurses voted for Union over 2 years ago and we have yet to see a contract. In the meantime, we put up with no wage increases (a Labor Relations judge recently required our employer to reverse this and give us our increase, retroactive and with interest), no say in certain Employee Surveys (the "Union" says our input isn't necessary) and other similar slights. Meanwhile, we're still short on staff, relying on Traveler Nurses (God Bless them), but the morale here is at a low. Many nurses have quit and gone onto other, Non-Union hospitals (who pay more) or to a setting with less stress, or quit nursing entirely. So for the time being, the Nurses are in limbo, and without any hope of change in the foreseeable future. I'm sticking it out, however, because I truly believe in Nursing and that what I do IS important and serves our Community. I'll let the bureaucrats "figure it out."
  8. by   thisnurse
    i dont know what i think about the union either.
    i suppose if it actually does what it promises it would be a good thing. i cant say ive seen that tho.
    our sister hospital is union and the nurses are leaving there faster than our nonunion hospital.
  9. by   lever5
    You know, you can throw out a union that is not producint results. Find one that will. You need to know what the union is doing. You have that right! Check it out. NursKaren has given several websites at different times. Don't allow them to make your place of employment worse.
  10. by   CindyCCRN
    ...worked in a "union" hospital a long time... I can't imagine what could be worse... Administration did anything they wanted at any time with full union backing... massive and non-emergency MOT, constant pay/benefit losses, dangerous regular short-staffing, etc... The nurses had NO voice because a handful of corrupt, 2 faced, selfish "union officials" (who stayed in the same positions for 20 years and were management's best friend) who agreed to everything without consenting the nursing populace... I must say these few people (the union officers) certainly managed to have lifestyles beyond their income means... Especially noticed were their extra vacations, jet skis, home upgrades. etc.. (even though one of their husbands had lost his job) they just happened to buy after each losing contract was negotiated...
    ...And oh yeah... I also remember clearly thinking for years how the union seemed to protect the losers, lazyees, and all the poor performers... didn't seem to matter if one did nothing and sat half the day or worked like crazy every day - same pay, same benefits, less varicose veins...

    ....maybe, just a bad experience?.....
  11. by   MHN
    Susanmary, our facility allows for union membership it is not compulsory .We have just had a new enterprise bargain (contract)
    signed 10% payrise with additionalbenifits ect.included.
    There was a secret postal vote and the counting was done by the electoral commission.
    All nurses union and non-union got to vote.
    However it was the Union organisers who negotiated on the staffs behalf along with members of the union elected by the members to represent themand to tell the union organisers what they wanted them to do.
    Last edit by MHN on Apr 7, '02
  12. by   eldernurse
    In Pa, unions are a "closed shop" which means that if you work in a union institution you MUST join the union. I choose to work in a non-union hospital.
    I quit when my first hospital, after 15 years, went union. They thought they would save jobs. The hospital forced a strike by not bargaining in good faith for nearly a year. After the strike they layed off a couple of hundred nurses then offered them part time jobs, which means if they didn't take them, no unemployement.
    I now work for a hospital in a network of hospitals. One of our bigger sister hospitals went union about 4 years ago. We have better benefits and more say in day to day operations than they do.
    One to watch, Butler Memorial Hospital in Butler Pa has a nursing union that is going on strike this week because they want nurse/patient ratio's in their contract. The hospital is hunkering down to fight this stipulation tooth and nail. If they get it in it will be the first contract in the nation to have it. They won't be able to stop unions if they win.
  13. by   massEDgirl
    To CindyCCRN.....

    I agree with you totally....work in a hosp that has been unionized for 2 years now.....the WHOLE process of getting the union in the first place was a nightmare.

    The nurses voted to go on strike before the union was fully in....not because of things that had actually happened (not even because of money!).....but because the hosp would not give them the wording they wanted in the contract.

    It was the worst thing that could of happen to us....it devastated so many friendships....and still after 2 years has left people divided.....I would not wish a strike on my worst enemy.

    Other than better wages I see little difference with a union... the hospital still gets to pretty much do what they want...and I see the union doing little to help the nurses to stop them. .....we have greived many issues and found the union to be LESS than helpful.

    To lever5...you CANNOT just throw a union out....it is not that easy.....as long as you have a small majority that feels the union is "gods gift" then you are stuck with it.

    It is mandatory, if you want to work at my hosp, to join the union....you HAVE to pay union dues......I feel it is nothing more than blackmail money.....which allows me to keep my job...if I don't pay...then I have to leave.
  14. by   fergus51
    I work union and kind of had the opposite experience of Cindy, I will never work in a non-union shop again. It was more like a sweat shop than a hospital. Here in my unionized environment, I like that the union provides an avenue for solving problems with management and we have better working conditions compared to the non-union hospital I worked in (like no mandatory OT!).

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