Why no union! Without Nurses the hospital can't run! - page 4

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   NurseyPoo
    Quote from MAISY, RN-ER
    Work at a union hospital-not impressed with their contribution to our causes. As our negotiations started-contacted for information-no one ever got back to me-4 months! Had no idea what we were getting-no contact now=not impressed. I make less money than neighboring facility, but I like my hospital, and the people I work with. A couple of dollars either by increased salary, or union dues would change my decision to work here.

    Former business manager-always discouraged union formation in my facilities-the facilities we had with unions always got less in pay, training and benefits, than our other facilities due to their poor negotiation skills and inability to interact with management. The employees actually suffered and had to pay for it.
    Which Union and what State?
  2. by   MAISY, RN-ER
    New Jersey-NJNU. Was a brand new nurse with questions-still don't know the answers. Still have not received any emails back-gave up. For all I know my weekly contribution goes off shore for someone's vacation fund. If you ask nurses within my dept the questions I sent to the union-they will all give different answers. So, I know it isn't a matter of time on the job.
    Oh, and correction. I meant to say I like my job so much that regardless of other facilities making more money, or union dues. I would choose to be there because of the people.
    And since I am jumping into it, I find it odd that due to people not wanting to contribute $50.00 monthly(family) to their benefits for a PPO nationally recognized go anywhere health insurance-we ended up with minimal cost-only our facilities health insurance that is no good out of state and workers have problems using. This was part of my union questioning-I truly believe the nurses were not represented properly.
    Can I help myself? No, I must go on. I do not believe people without business experience should ever represent the masses. They get slaughtered when encountering management whose only purpose is to do so. While I believe unions can make a difference in bad situations, I also believe in a free market. I don't think I should be making the same amount of money as someone with +5 yrs ER experience-yet I do. Maybe in smaller areas a union would have loads of pulls, but as we have seen in Robert Woods and Englewood-in the metro area-there is none. Oh, and since I can bet someone will say, well you have business experience-you should do it. I would probably end up having a nervous breakdown if I had to work with people who can only see what is in their face-I have encountered many-they win the battle, but lose the war.
  3. by   NurseyPoo
    I am from NJ and have several friends who belong to the Union. None of them have a negative view of the Union. Maybe it is the actual Union your hospital has. I know that there are different Unions and some are not very good, but I have also heard of some that people love. It is terrible that you feel so strongly against the Union. I personally would love for the Union to come into the Hospital I work for.
  4. by   MAISY, RN-ER
    Dear NurseyPoo,
    Be careful what you ask for...that's all I have to say.
    I am not against unions, however, I am against non-information, incomplete information, false information, and a select few rallying and(making decisions) for the masses. I don't believe my interests were served at the last negotiation, but then again, I wasn't made a part of it as dues paying member or a member of the hospital. The only useful information I received was from management and the rumors heard on the floor by other nurses (in the know, or as by my last post...NOT) . I guess I'll never know what the union could have added-they never bothered to answer my questions after multiple emails-they did manage to collect the weekly dues.

    True democracy would consist of a side by side comparison of all requests and offers made by both sides. Totally not impressed with the way this was handled-will never know what managment offered-it wasn't published. All I can say as I hear other nurses complaining of their lot is "Thank God my husband has good benefits!" I believe that to be a sad statement for a healthcare worker to make about her own hospital's medical benefits .
  5. by   teeituptom
    Quote from insightful
    Anyone who thinks they can represent themselves is naive. I have been in the business too long and have seen many nurses attempt to stand up to management --- these nurses were soon looking for a new job. There is strength in numbers. Unfortunately nurses are not good at grouping together to change things. A union can form a cohesive group that has real muscle behind them.

    I would recommend anyone who is wary of unions do some research on all that the nurse union in California changed.

    Unfortunately, hospitals are not employee friendly. Nurses are extremely important to the success of any hospital and yet we are treat poorly.
    I the king of naive then. I have represented myself, gotten the jobs I want, the salary I want. I have made 6 figures every yr fir the last 15 yrs now. And those 6 fugures are to the left of the decimal point.

    You say there is strength in numbers, yes there is. However I will not allow myself to be aligned in any group of nurses. In any profession you have the doers, the ones who hold on to you and the ones who benefit from what you do without their ever doing a thing. Personally while I like everyone, thats my rule in life. I dont have to associate with ones I dont respect. And I fully have no respect for about 50 percent of the nurses out there. Why should I, they dont respect themselves. They function under the guise of mediocrity, they thrive by being mediocre at best. Now you can not bring ADN vs BSN vs MSN into this. This is strictly individual. There is maximum strength for yourself as long as you dedicate and represent yourself appropiately. And strive for the best. Over fifty percent of the nurses are just there to do what it takes to survive. You cant blame them, or fault them, they just were not raised as I was with superior work ethics., superior team work, superior leadership initiative. Are you one who is happy during evaluations with acceptable, or do you prefer being above average, superior, displaying initiative, self motivated all those nice little superlatives.

    I personally find it more naive to think you can lump all nurses under the same umbrella for collective bargaining. Where is the reward for beiing, better than mediocre.
  6. by   Gromit
    Quote from insightful
    Anyone who thinks they can represent themselves is naive. I have been in the business too long and have seen many nurses attempt to stand up to management --- these nurses were soon looking for a new job. There is strength in numbers. Unfortunately nurses are not good at grouping together to change things. A union can form a cohesive group that has real muscle behind them.

    I would recommend anyone who is wary of unions do some research on all that the nurse union in California changed.

    Unfortunately, hospitals are not employee friendly. Nurses are extremely important to the success of any hospital and yet we are treat poorly.
    A union can ONLY form a cohesive group that has real muscle behind them -IF the members themselves are willing to stick to their guns and BE a cohesive group. If they simply wish to be a union 'in name only' then they are no better off with it than they were without it. A union with members who aren't willing to stand by their word (demands) is a pointless endeavor, and a serious waste of money, time and resources.

    You may realize also, that many of us who are wary of unions just may have a good reason (experience that wasn't quite so rosy) for our dislike of unions. After all, there is no research quite like living the experience for yourself -and not every 'union story' has a happy or productive ending. I'm real happy for the nurses in California. Their efforts paid off -their union actually stuck to its guns, and its members did as well. Doesn't always work, however, and each case is different.
  7. by   teeituptom
    Quote from Gromit
    Teeituptom -I assess each case on a case-by-case basis. While Unions as a general rule do not appeal to me -too much bad history -personally- but I never rule out the option. I'm a greedy sonofagun and if I can earn more by going union, I'll go union. It just depends.
    Ive always done very well, Taking care of myself. Bargaining for myself, selling myself. The collectivity of unions is a major turn off for me. I have always been a doer, a striver, a improver. I just dont just fit in with the mediocre crowd. Is my nose up in the air, yes. Guess what, Ive worked hard to get it there.
  8. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from Gromit
    A union can ONLY form a cohesive group that has real muscle behind them -IF the members themselves are willing to stick to their guns and BE a cohesive group. If they simply wish to be a union 'in name only' then they are no better off with it than they were without it. A union with members who aren't willing to stand by their word (demands) is a pointless endeavor, and a serious waste of money, time and resources.

    You may realize also, that many of us who are wary of unions just may have a good reason (experience that wasn't quite so rosy) for our dislike of unions. After all, there is no research quite like living the experience for yourself -and not every 'union story' has a happy or productive ending. I'm real happy for the nurses in California. Their efforts paid off -their union actually stuck to its guns, and its members did as well. Doesn't always work, however, and each case is different.
    Experience makes me agree.
    I think we nurses need to stand together for excellent patient care.
    Respect for nursing work expressed as safe staffing and other working conditions is ncessary for safe care.
  9. by   Gromit
    I agree. But while the 'pro-union' crowd is eager to paint all facilities with the same broad brush, not ALL of them treat nurses as second-class employees with total disregard for their needs. Some of them DO make an effort -I count myself as very lucky to have ended up where I'm at. I'd be hard-pressed to think of any other place I've worked at over the years, that would have made nearly the effort this one has, to accomodate my health issues over the last year. I'm completely unable to do the job for which I was originally hired (critical care bedside nursing). Many other places would have let me go -either by pushing me into pool and trangling my hours, or just outright letting me go. I know, because I've seen it happen to so many others. You can bet your bottom dollar their efforts and treatment of my case are not going unnoticed on my part.
  10. by   insightful
    I agree that there are good union stories and bad union stories. I also am not sure I want be in a union. What I do want is improvements in nursing work conditions, benefits, respect, and wages.

    The real problem that I see is nurses are not willing to join together to fight for better work conditions, benefits, and wages within their facility, city, state,etc. Nurses complain a lot but back away when it comes time for confrontation.

    I think our nursing culture fosters this inability for nurses to band together for a cause. Look back through the history of nursing and what you see is a common theme of subservience and sacrifice. Our profession's culture has not kept up with the changing American society as a whole. Nursing is no longer about subservience and sacrifice -- we need to be fighting for empowerment and respect.

    I worked in upper management in the healthcare industry for many years. The hospital management did not respect nurses. The common thought was tell the nurses how its going to be and don't worry ---they never fight back. That attitude from senior management is not well known among nurses. Remember, senior management is largely made up of MBAs. They don't have a clue as to what its like to work as a nurse.

    To the nurse that was proud that she was such a good nurse that she could stand up for herself....Yes you may get some concessions from management by speaking up. But does this change things for the better for all nurses? Also, I can guarentee you that when you try to buck the system by yourself on a major issue, you will find yourself looking for a new job. You may be good as a nurse but you do not have the power that you think you do.
  11. by   Gromit
    Quote from insightful
    The real problem that I see is nurses are not willing to join together to fight for better work conditions, benefits, and wages within their facility, city, state,etc. Nurses complain a lot but back away when it comes time for confrontation.

    I think our nursing culture fosters this inability for nurses to band together for a cause. Look back through the history of nursing and what you see is a common theme of subservience and sacrifice. Our profession's culture has not kept up with the changing American society as a whole. Nursing is no longer about subservience and sacrifice -- we need to be fighting for empowerment and respect.
    I think you had it right in the first paragraph. I don't know ANYONE who would considder myself, or others 'today' as "subservient" (if they did, then they REALLY need to wake up a bit and take a better look) -although the corporate policy does try to foster that image (by calling patients "clientS", for instance. Sorry, but I do NOT work in a hotel -much as they may like to believe otherwise). But in any case, the biggest problem is getting people to actually stand up, and band together, and be willing to face the consequences if the 'negotiations' go "sour". MOST of America is no longer unionized, it has nothing to do with OUR field, its a fact of our times. A union is toothless if its members are afraid of things going 'bad' at the negotiation table -and that empowers the company.

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