Why are Nurses in MD not organized labor wise?

  1. It seems from my observations that the nurses in many of the big hospitals/employers in our area are non-unionized. I talked to one of my clinical instructors about this and she said that as soon as theres some talk of union organizers coming around to see if they can get a vote going or organize in any way, management gets into super defensive mode and discourages the nurses from interacting w/them. Other than this being against labor laws, why do have we allowed this to happen?

    Just curious as to see what the atmosphere is in terms of labor in our area these days. I can't help but notice that working conditions, wages and benefits are taking a generally downward trajectory when nurses are the backbone of healthcare.
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    About Agrippa

    Joined: Feb '08; Posts: 597; Likes: 900
    Psychiatric Nurse; from US


  3. by   Cthulhu
    I wish we were unionized. I have seen Maryland nurses take a lot of abuse from management. I've been thinking of moving to a union state just for that benefit.

    If you can get a full time job with a county health department, you can be in a union. If you can become a school nurse, you can be part of a union. Other than that (as far as I know) there is no opportunity for union nursing in MD.
  4. by   colesedwards
    I have also wondered why MD Nurses were not unionized outside of government work. I have been looking into and if you get more information i would be interested in hearing about it!
  5. by   maria10rn
    I was in the National Nurse United Union for several years. I left my hospital because of the Union. Nursing Unions only serve to protect sub-standard nurses that you don't want to count on. These nurses were an embarrassment to our profession and I actually advised family memberts NOT to use our hospital. The Union took our dues and did nothing for us except create animosity when they forced us to strike. By the way, I lost 3 weeks pay during this strike! Based on my Union experience and the experiences of my friends that have been in Unions, we have all determined that the only ones who write positive comments in these forums are Union reps, shop stewarts, or under-achieving nurses that have no business being in this profession (by the way, my shop stewart was the ultimate biatch). I will NEVER work at another hospital that has ANY Union representation. Likewise, if I sense that management is poor, I WON'T stick around for that either. At least, I have time to determine that while someone is NOT reaching into my purse for dues.
  6. by   Agrippa
    Well I know at my hospital at UMMC, the NNU is now trying to organize a vote to at least come into the hospital and start a discussion. I welcome it. Seems like you had a bad experience, but I don't think the only people who are pro union are "union reps" or "under-achieving nurses).

    Many of the nurses at the hospital are suffering. Unit managers are being fired and ICU's are being consolidated management wise with IMCs. Experienced nurses are leaving d/t no decent raises and in their place, the hospital is hiring unexperienced new grads who are a bargain at $24.19/hr. We are paying more for our benefits, parking, etc. When the SEIU and NNU came to the hospital to give out info, management started making an active effort to deter people from sending in anonymous cards (to management) to start a dialogue.

    I say bring on the unions. The management is using their "collective" power to decrease "costs" and meet the bottom line so that they can get their bonuses. Why shouldn't we? Past 5 years nurses and other staff (not physicians) have done our share to weather the burden of the financial hardships. But management has not shared in our burden - they have gotten much higher annual raises and bonuses. Maybe it's time to start a dialogue.
  7. by   kanling
    Maybe I'm stupid, but it seems to me that if I don't like my salary or work environment... then I quit and go somewhere else.

    Adding union employee salaries and the new salaries for the extra employer management that is then needed doesn't magically release free money.
  8. by   Sugar Magnolia
    Howard County General has a nursing union.
  9. by   db2xs
    I am opposed to unions for nurses, esp BSN-RNs and above. Unions are for jobs like plumbers, electricians, construction workers, where it's primarily manual labour. Having said this, perhaps unions are good for nursing assistants and medical assistants.

    Maybe they were good for the 1950s, but in this day and age, esp with all the EBP and theoretical stuff you learn in school, as well as the level of assessing nurses have to do, unions are not appropriate. You don't see doctors or pharmacists or lawyers setting up unions. Just my opinion.
  10. by   Nursextine13
    When nurses are uniformly treated as professionals as are pharmacists and physicians, perhaps unions won't be necessary. However, you are fooling yourself if you think it is not a management ploy to convince BSN nurses that they are too "professional" for a union. Do you make an hourly wage--not a salary? Then you are not as white collar as you think you are.

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