Plans For Florida Healthcare/nurses Union

  1. I'm considering establishing a Healthcare Workers Union in Florida and would appreciate any input/advise.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   sjoe
    Sounds like an excellent idea (though I live in California). According to the Florida State board of nursing (or whatever the name is), the average RN wage in Florida is between $17 and $18. I decided not even to consider moving there because of that, though I had been thinking about it. I'm surprised there are enough nurses there at these wages to keep even one hospital open. If I were doing it, the first place I would check out would be the Teamsters union. Maybe they would be interested. The nursing unions to which I have belonged (CNA, SEIU) have been too weak to make needed changes and have been co-opted by management, but maybe the Teamsters, with their tough reputation, would be more helpful. Good luck.
    Last edit by sjoe on Aug 13, '02
  4. by   nursing 101
    I'm a nursing student in FL and most of the classe that graduated this year started with $21/ hr... I hope it's true 'cause the cost of living isn't that cheap either (specially south of FL).
  5. by   -jt
    SEIU is the largest healthcare workers union & already is in Florida. Also, The Florida Nurses Association has a union branch that represents only RNs & is part of the United American Nurses/AFL-CIO - the largest RN union. Maybe it would be easier to hook up with one of these.
  6. by   sjoe
    nursing 101: Hopefully your are right and Florida's web site simply needs to be updated. But I'd not count on it. More likely, many RNs in your State are working for much less than $21/hr (probably LTC nurses) in order to bring the average pay down so far.
    -jt: My experience with these unions has already been stated, but perhaps they have more courage and will in Florida. Pigs may also fly. Good luck.
    Last edit by sjoe on Aug 16, '02
  7. by   JailRN
    My parents live in Fla, and I want the very best care for then. Whatever it takes to get the brightest, most compassionate people into healthcare AND retain them. Go for it!!
  8. by   SherRN
    Betts
    Interesting idea you have there. Nursing is career number 2. I worked for the airlines in career 1 and was in the Airline Employees Assoc. (Was a Rep. for 10 years) and the Teamsters. When I see some of the stuff that goes on I wonder why we do not just get a union. However If you have ever listened to Laura Gaparis Vonfrollio or her tapes she says we should all join together and form a corporation and market our services back to the hospital. I must admit that is a very good idea. ER nurses as a corp. and market/ICU nurses as a corp. and market. Stepdown/Telly as a corp. and market/MedSurg as a corp and market. I will tell you what is the main problem with either idea although it hurts my feminist heart to say it. The main problem is getting a bunch of females to agree on something. Tell me more. Sherry
  9. by   sjoe
    SherNR: Unfortunately, all my experience (8 different kinds of nursing jobs in 3 different States) supports your conclusion.
    JailRN: (I was a jail RN myself for 4 years). If your parents are unable to utilize a Magnet facility, the only thing I have found that works for friends and family is for a healthcare provider friend/family member to spend hours with the patient every day while he/she is hospitalized. In my experience, that entails doing most of the nursing care as well, since the other nurses on the ward will simply spend their time with other patients, figuring that someone who cares and know how, will provide the bulk of the needed care (including medications, feeding, baths, etc.) for that patient. Perhaps others' experiences have been different? So my suggestion would be to make sure your relatives stay healthy AND make some good RN/LVN friends in their local Florida area or be prepared to spend some time there if they wind up in the hospital.
    Last edit by sjoe on Aug 16, '02
  10. by   GailWHNP
    I live and work in FL and would back it 100%! When a newly graduated nurse is making more than I, something's definitely wrong! And FNA's union branch is nothing more than a bargaining agency for state-employed nurses. It does *nothing* for nurses working out of that system. And even working with the state, it's doing a ****** job.

    I would certainly assist in any way to get something done in the nursing field. Of course, if you even breathe the word "u n i o n" in the hospitals where I work, that's grounds for immediate termination. I don't want warm fuzzies or free pizza; I want more pay, more respect, and the end of being dumped on!
    Gail
  11. by   sjoe
    GailWHNP: You go girl!
  12. by   karmcq
    I have only worked in florida, so not sure about other states, but didn't they just cap us out at 24 dollars an hr?? (staff positions, that is?).....if anyone needs a union.......its is Florida!!
  13. by   SherRN
    As a 12 year RN that precepts for the college and orients most new hires in my hosp, I should be so lucky to be "Capped out at $24.00." Sherry
  14. by   -jt
    <It does *nothing* for nurses working out of that system.>

    Right now, FNAs union branch represents RNs in the VA system in Florida. But it can & will represent RNs in any setting where the RNs want it.

    No union can do anything for nurses who havent asked them to. A union cant work for people who havent voted for them to do that work. A union cant just go into a place & say "we're here". The nurses have to invite a union in, evaluate their info, & then vote for or against becoming a part of it.

    Nurses in the VA system did that. If nurses outside that system want any union to work for them, all they have to do is ask, too.

    But unionizing itself may not be enough in right-to-work states. The biggest hurdle for the nurses & the unions is those damn right-to-work laws, which strip the workers power & block a lot of what unions can otherwise do in free states, weakening the union & diluting its effectiveness. The laws are really right-to-take-away-your labor-rights laws.

    Even after you are unionized in a right-to-work state, its still an uphill battle for it to be effective because those state laws are geared in the employers favor, weaken the unions power, and strip the worker of certain rights the rest of us have.

    Gotta get rid of that right-to-work stuff so your union (which is the workers) can legally have some teeth.
    Last edit by -jt on Aug 21, '02

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