Union! yes/no - page 2

Hello. I am a new nurse in the NICU. Currently our (LARGE) hospital is going through a union/non-union battle. It wasn't when I started. What are the pros and cons of the union. If it comes in,... Read More

  1. by   cmo421
    I worked in a union facility for the first 22 yrs of my career, it was great. The union never interferred,unless asked. They had fair,well written contracts. The union heads in the hospital,where wonderful people. I had no issues at all. They protected us,the pts and our enviorment. Then I went to a very large facility. The best of the best I heard all the time. The union ran this place. I saw the most unprofessional,abusive behavior I had ever seen. Ot was paid real well and so abused by nurses. Management almost had no control. The union had been able to micro manage this place and when new ,fresh management tried to change things ,it was almost imposssible.They r paid well,ot pay is great,but the focus is all on the union,not the pt enviorment. The pendelum has swong from one direction all the way to the other,not so unusual in that state.
    So, I guess my opinion is ,it depends. Without unions we would not have the better pay tables we have now, we would not have the job protection and benefits we have now. I just think the pendulum has to go closer to mid line, so that we r protected and supported, but so aren't the pts and their enviorment.
  2. by   HM2VikingRN
    As for me I am a Union Man.
  3. by   Freedom42
    Quote from James Huffman
    Unions seem to reduce nurses to the level of Teamsters. And I don't ultimately think that's good for us, or our patients.
    As a former Teamster with a college degree, I don't understand what you mean by this remark. It suggests that you don't know much about the Teamsters.

    Given the hefty pay cut I am taking to become a nurse, I can only hope that nurses are elevated to the level of Teamsters sometime soon.
  4. by   James Huffman
    Quote from Freedom42
    As a former Teamster with a college degree, I don't understand what you mean by this remark. It suggests that you don't know much about the Teamsters.

    Given the hefty pay cut I am taking to become a nurse, I can only hope that nurses are elevated to the level of Teamsters sometime soon.
    I am talking about pop culture stereotypes of Teamsters.
  5. by   cmo421
    Quote from Freedom42
    As a former Teamster with a college degree, I don't understand what you mean by this remark. It suggests that you don't know much about the Teamsters.


    teamsters have always been very supportive of nurses. On the picketline and in the workforce. I think that he only meant that teamsters have long been known for their"incredable strength" in their activities in protecting unions. Maybe Jimmy Hoffa kinda comes to mind,,,lol.

    Given the hefty pay cut I am taking to become a nurse, I can only hope that nurses are elevated to the level of Teamsters sometime soon.
    I can only hopenthat we reachthe levelof pay some teamster get,but I hear that their union fees are huge,is that true?
  6. by   MB37
    Was my mother a "tradesman" or a "teamster," what ever stereotype that is meant to imply? She holds a master's degree in education and ran the remedial reading and math programs at two elementary schools for the last 20 years of her career before she retired in June. She also belonged to the teacher's union throughout her career. I remember being nervous when a neighboring district went on strike when I was a kid, since if hers did she wouldn't receive a paycheck for the duration, but she was willing to do it if necessary.
  7. by   lindarn
    Quote from MB37
    Was my mother a "tradesman" or a "teamster," what ever stereotype that is meant to imply? She holds a master's degree in education and ran the remedial reading and math programs at two elementary schools for the last 20 years of her career before she retired in June. She also belonged to the teacher's union throughout her career. I remember being nervous when a neighboring district went on strike when I was a kid, since if hers did she wouldn't receive a paycheck for the duration, but she was willing to do it if necessary.
    And the reality is, there are not enough nurses who are willing to "suck it up", and go without the paycheck to go on strike for the better good that the strike is about. No, I don't go along with the arguement that nurses can't afford to go on strike, and that is why they reject this the concept. Other occupations that pay fay less than nursing seem to realize that they have to give to order to make things better.
    Unfortunatly, there is also a plethora of "martyr mary" nurses who refuse to strike because, "who would take care of my patients?" Hospitals took advantage of this attitude to the max.

    If done right, and if it had been done in the past before the "strikebreaking" agencies came about, nursing would be alot better off than it is now. As it stands now, we are light years behind other professions because we have taken so long to organize. And there are still pockets of the country where nurses aren't unionized. In case no on noticed, these are also the lowest paid areas, with the worst benefits, and workplace protections.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  8. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from TazziRN
    Union. California Nurses' Association is one of the strongest. They saved my job at my first facility.
    And that is the story of many people who are faced with arbitrary and capricious management....

    I did a presentation on collective bargaining laws today for nursing leadership. I was criticized by one classmate for being too prounion. (Frankly, I did not care.) I presented the benefits attained by the collective bargaining process for society.

    The point is that collective bargaining has done wonders for improving the economic climate for families in this country. (If you don't believe it compare the health and educational statistics for RTW states against states with a strong collective bargaining tradition. The non RTW states have better overall outcomes for their populations across the board.)
  9. by   HealthyRN
    I started my career at a non-union facility and I have recently taken a position at a unionized hospital. I am amazed at the difference. The biggest difference is in staffing and patient ratios. On a med-surg floor, I have four patients. Four!! At the previous hospital where I was employed, the floor nurses had 8-10 patients on days. The starting pay is not much different, but the pay increases are significantly better and you know when and how much of a raise you will be getting. The hospital really works on retention of nurses. I'm still new, but there doesn't seem to be an obvious "them against us" mentality. Even if there is, that exists in most places anyway.

    I believe that unions are exactly what nurses need. Just read some of the posts on this site. The working environment that nurses are dealing with are horrendous. The individual nurse truly lacks any influence over their working environment. If you express any concern, nothing usually changes. Nurses are treated as disposable and easily replaceable employees. I don't believe that unions cause nurses to lose professionalism. As another poster pointed out, other professionals have been unionized for many years (i.e.- teachers).
  10. by   nurserynurse55
    Thanks for all of the feedback everyone. I few of you commented about "Teamsters". I don't know what that is, and I have never even heard of it. Could someone please fill me in?
  11. by   cmo421
    Quote from valerieaq
    Thanks for all of the feedback everyone. I few of you commented about "Teamsters". I don't know what that is, and I have never even heard of it. Could someone please fill me in?


    Teamsters are one of the oldest,biggest and most influential unions in the country. Always imerged in some kind of conflict in past and present. I believe in started on the docks and with truckers. There is a teamster that posts here, I am sure he can fill u in. Meant time there is a movie about the teamster and its one time leader, Jimmy Hoffa.

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