Why no union! Without Nurses the hospital can't run! - page 2

Don't take me the wrong way when I ask this question. I will be graduating in 08 and there are several things I question about nursing. I have seen who truly runs the hospitals in which truly I... Read More

  1. by   insightful
    Does anyone seriously consider the ANA as the union representative for nurses? I know that the ANA touts that they represent nurses. However, over the years I have not seen anything the ANA has done to improve nurses work conditions, benefits or pay. My perspective of the ANA is that it is more academically inclined rather than dealing with the day-to-day issues facing nurses.
  2. by   Gromit
    Agree with Lizz. Generally speaking, a union isn't even something most would considder -unless there are real issues or problems and the employees feel that its not resolvable.
    I don't considder the ANA as much more than a club. But thats my opinion. I know other nurses who think fairly highly of 'em. Personally, I don't think they have much of a backbone -or if they do, they have little power to push their agenda. But again, thats just my opinion -and opinions are subject to change without notice
  3. by   Spidey's mom
    I wouldn't join a union. I'm perfectly capable of representing myself.

    steph
  4. by   nancykday
    A union is only as good as it's members. Everyone has to work collectively together for the greater benefit of all. There can not be individual intrests, nurses have too all work together amd not expect a few to carry the entire load. If you are covered by a CBA it is only good if all members insist tat managment abide by the CBA. Ther is power in numbers and that is how a union can help by providing a common loud voice that will help all.
  5. by   BULLYDAWGRN
    Lord I would just love to see a nrsg union come to any hospital here in Ms. Every administrator and "Head Bean Counter" would have a fit... But I can imagine all the anti- union and union busting activities that would go on. But mainly I'd just like to see one get started here just so nurses here would have a voice that people will litsen to.
  6. by   obme
    For the last two years I have been actively involved in a nurse union campaign. I have never worked at a "union" hospital, but I have met many nurses who do. All I can say is that unless nurses stand together and act collectively WE WILL NEVER HAVE A VOICE. As more and more hospitals become a corporate model, we will continue to loose ground. Bedside nurses who have the experience and expertise in patient care are left out of the most important decisions that impact our profession and ultimately patient care like; safe staffing ratios, budgets, retention and recruitment just to name a few. (Why are patients admitted to hospitals? Oh yeah, nursing care) Why is it that there are projected nursing shortages in the next 20 years of 500,000? Why is it that the number one reason that nurses leave their profession is burnout? Why do hospitals engage anti-union campaigns? Why is it that when nurses raise these issues they are branded trouble makers? If unions are the vehicle to bring us together to enact change, raise public awareness of the current and pending nursing crisis, and allow me to sit across the bargining table with administration, then count my vote as being a union nurse.
  7. by   gospel Rn, BSN
    Quote from nancykday
    A union is only as good as it's members. Everyone has to work collectively together for the greater benefit of all. There can not be individual intrests, nurses have too all work together amd not expect a few to carry the entire load. If you are covered by a CBA it is only good if all members insist tat managment abide by the CBA. Ther is power in numbers and that is how a union can help by providing a common loud voice that will help all.
    I agree with ya Nancy! Most of the time folks blame unions instead of blaming workers who lose faith in what they are standing up for. It is very easy to back down when being threaten with your job. My father worked in the coal mines for 20 years. My father-inlaw begged him to join the union but he declined saying he was a company man. That remark landed him out of work and his retirement gone, while union men where working and drawing a union retirement when reaching their 20th year. My father is in bad shape financially now and has never recovered from his decision.
  8. by   ShayRN
    I live in the heart of union country, where jobs like Packard, GM and the old steel mills use to be a dime a dozen. Now, they are mostly gone. I place part of the blame on the unions and part on the companys... This is how I see it:

    Recently, at Delphi, 11 men were arrested in the parking lot on their lunch break for selling and smoking pot. Caught, red handed, at work. The union will send them to rehab and they will have their jobs back within 2 months. It has happened before. Why would the union protect them? By coming back in to work impaired like this they put themselves and co-workers at risk. Not to mention, in this town, with sky high unemployment rates, there are MANY people who would kill for the opportunity to have the job they do.

    My hospital was part union (aides, laundry, unit clerks, etc) and non union (nurses.) Had the shop stewart on my last floor and she tried to file a grievance (sp?) because for 2 years an aide requested second shift, when she left the dayturn girl had to help cover. She felt after almost 30 years in the hospital she should get straight dayturn:angryfire She lost, ofcourse, but how much time and energy was spent on that non-issue.

    The other local hospital is a unionized hospital, for everyone. They are going bankrupt. This is in part to poor management, poor collections processes and also some perks in the union's contracts. They have NO co-pay on their insurance coverage. Where do you get that now-a-days? (Except maybe Congress ) Even knowing that their organization is in trouble, they won't even talk concessions.

    When I was in college I decided not to work there because:

    1)New nurses could not get a summer vacation, it was all based on senority.
    2)New nurses could not have Christmas or Easter off, because those days off were also based on senority.
    Where I am now, these are rotated.

    The good things the unions have done in this area? Raise the bar for wages. I was in Georgia visiting my sil and was shocked at the starting wages there. Also, my mom retired as a supervisor from Delphi, she has to pay a large co-pay on her insurance and also took a hit on what she pays every month, the union retirees haven't had to, so far anyway. So, I guess you take the good with the bad, no matter what.
  9. by   gospel Rn, BSN
    Quote from ShayRN
    I live in the heart of union country, where jobs like Packard, GM and the old steel mills use to be a dime a dozen. Now, they are mostly gone. I place part of the blame on the unions and part on the companys... This is how I see it:

    Recently, at Delphi, 11 men were arrested in the parking lot on their lunch break for selling and smoking pot. Caught, red handed, at work. The union will send them to rehab and they will have their jobs back within 2 months. It has happened before. Why would the union protect them? By coming back in to work impaired like this they put themselves and co-workers at risk. Not to mention, in this town, with sky high unemployment rates, there are MANY people who would kill for the opportunity to have the job they do.

    My hospital was part union (aides, laundry, unit clerks, etc) and non union (nurses.) Had the shop stewart on my last floor and she tried to file a grievance (sp?) because for 2 years an aide requested second shift, when she left the dayturn girl had to help cover. She felt after almost 30 years in the hospital she should get straight dayturn:angryfire She lost, ofcourse, but how much time and energy was spent on that non-issue.

    The other local hospital is a unionized hospital, for everyone. They are going bankrupt. This is in part to poor management, poor collections processes and also some perks in the union's contracts. They have NO co-pay on their insurance coverage. Where do you get that now-a-days? (Except maybe Congress ) Even knowing that their organization is in trouble, they won't even talk concessions.

    When I was in college I decided not to work there because:

    1)New nurses could not get a summer vacation, it was all based on senority.
    2)New nurses could not have Christmas or Easter off, because those days off were also based on senority.
    Where I am now, these are rotated.

    The good things the unions have done in this area? Raise the bar for wages. I was in Georgia visiting my sil and was shocked at the starting wages there. Also, my mom retired as a supervisor from Delphi, she has to pay a large co-pay on her insurance and also took a hit on what she pays every month, the union retirees haven't had to, so far anyway. So, I guess you take the good with the bad, no matter what.
    I agree with ya, you will have your downfalls but it seems to me with the right union it is very beneficial to nurses. I mean lets face it the hospital's don't fight againt it for no reason. They know it is beneficial to the employees if in the right hands. This has been a great topic and everyone has provided great information.
  10. by   SoxfanRN
    I have worked in a union system and in a non-union system. I was actually a union representative as well.

    Here's where the union helps:
    Wages, benefits, raises, time off, retirement, job security, support during remediation, staffing ratios, and political activity. If you have seniority, you can basically do whatever you want.

    Here's where it doesn't help:
    Everyone gets the same wages and raises whether you are the best worker or the worst; Those with seniority will always make more money, get their time off, and get everything they want over you even if they are the worst worker you have ever seen in your life; The "Us vs. Them": I was a union representative. When I took a job as a manager (because I was sick of busting my tail and getting less than those with seniority, or getting constantly mandated because the same people called out sick all the time), the union actually stopped interacting with me because I had "gone over to the other side." Our managers were part of the union as well, but still were segregated; To uphold staffing ratios, mandatory overtime is necessary since most unions will not allow a float pool; It is insanely difficult to remediate, even those that desperately need to lose their jobs for patient safety or do not do their job at all; There is no incentive to do more work than the job minimum; Some unions do not allow striking, so your dues will not be put toward wage replacement....they go somewhere else; The job security is dependent on available positions: If you get laid off, you have to take a job in another facility your union has membership even if it's across the state. And even then, those with more seniority will get the position ahead of you. Other than that, you are on your own to find another job.

    Basically, I am much happier in a non-union facility.
  11. by   BULLYDAWGRN
    All I can say, here in Ms. your butt can get thrown to the wolves for anything as a nurse, and if you say a peep, your butt is canned. The only person that has the say so and the final say so over anything is admin. Sometimes nursg admin. will try to stick their necks out for you, but heck I've even seen them get fired or even demoted for issues they belive in. And as long as the hospital shows a profit every year the ceo/admin. will get their bonus, and the board of directors really don't want to hear about how unhappy the nurses are. The point is you really have no real leg to stand on. Sure if all the nurses or even half would stand together on issues they would have to litsen, they can't fire 100 nurses with our nursing shortage in Ms. but they'll fire one or two in a heartbeat. I'm almost positive the only way we would get any type of mandated stafft ratio is through a union, cause their is to much money on the hospitals side vs the nurses, and politicians like money. And futhermore our board of nursing, "sho aint gona do nottin about it", sorry had to throw some country slang in it..they are more concerned following up on past dui's on nclex applications.
  12. by   Gromit
    Quote from nancykday
    A union is only as good as it's members. Everyone has to work collectively together for the greater benefit of all. There can not be individual intrests, nurses have too all work together amd not expect a few to carry the entire load. If you are covered by a CBA it is only good if all members insist tat managment abide by the CBA. Ther is power in numbers and that is how a union can help by providing a common loud voice that will help all.
    This is VERY true. If the membership isn't willing to go the distance, a union is little more than a club that collects dues every month. MOST even come complete with T-shirt or patch and bumpersticker.
    When I was with the teamsters, most of the members who worked with me, really weren't much in the backbone department. If management knows you aren't REALLY willing to 'go the distance', then you are at a distinct disadvantage before you even BEGIN to negotiate. Basically put, you've already lost before you start. Of course, it takes a lot of commitment, and you have to have most of the members be willing to commit as well.
  13. by   teeituptom
    Quote from RNperdiem
    To have a union can mean to trade one set of problems for another. Nothing comes without a price.
    When my husband works in papermills, union guys won't even hold the end of the measuring tape to help him measure anything-even if they are sitting right where he is measuring and not doing anything else at the time. Union rules, ya know.
    Unions promote a Dictatorship of Mass Mediocrity.

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