Union vs. Non-Union jobs- What should I know?

  1. I keep reading about 401K and Union/Non-Union jobs. I'm one semester away from graduating and I want to be in the know about all the important things to consider when I apply for a hospital job. Why would I as a new nurse be concerned about pension and obtaining a union job? any help on this?
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    About truejewel82

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 67; Likes: 15
    from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in OR


  3. by   MrChicagoRN
    There are a whole bunch of threads on this subject. Just search UNION

    Chicago has very few unionized hospitals. Interesting, considering what a strong blue-collar union town it used to be.

    I've been a nurse for 24 years at medical centers with at least 500 beds. I really don't care if my hospital is union or not.

    I look for: Strong nursing culture & institutional respect & support for nurses, quality medical care, shared governence, a solid salary and benefit package, potential for professional growth, and a good fit with the unit and the institution. Large institutions have comprehensive HR policies that spell out rights, responsibilities, and disciplinary actions.
    Magnet status is always a big plus too.
    Last edit by MrChicagoRN on Jun 18, '07
  4. by   4fill
    I have worked in both union and non-union hospitals. I have found that on a day-to-day basis that non-union hospitals are easier to function in. Example given: If you have a bed that needs to be cleaned for an emergency admission, you don't have to wait around for someone to come who has that particular task in their job description.

    I am aware of one hospital in the area (I'm sure that the pattern is duplicated.) where the staff felt unjustly subjugated by administration. They contacted appropriate Union which did come in. If you had listened to their spiel you would believe that the union could solve all of their problems. One thing that the Union rep said that was never quite explained is that "This is your union."

    Well, the signatures were obtained, the staff vote happened and the Union was voted in.
    Eighteen months after the election nothing had changed, and the union reps were very scarce. You see the union now belonged to the employees. The only thing that changed was now on each of the RNs pay stub was the charge for Union dues. The staff returned to its prior feelings of apathy, such that there was not enough enthusiasm to vote the union out.

    One thing that the Union will never tell you is that a Union, regardless how strong...or weak... cannot dictate how a business is run.