RNs demand union action against their own "homegrown" scabs - page 2

New York State Nurses Association REPORT: December 2002 NYSNA Disciplines Nurses Who Crossed Strike Line What could be more hurtful to RNs on strike for better staffing than to watch other... Read More

  1. by   Stargazer
    Excellent posts, as usual, fergus.

    (Is there any point in telling Tom that -jt is a woman? Nah, probably not.)
  2. by   sjoe
    Fergus writes: "I would like to say no one is forced against their will to be in a union. No one holds a gun to your head and makes you apply for work in a unionized facility any more than in a non-unionized environment."

    What if you are already working in a facility that unionizes and becomes a closed shop? What if the only reasonably nearby and convenient facility happens to be a closed union shop? The only "freedom" in these examples, is to quit.

    Would you say the same thing to someone who wanted a union brought into a facility that is non-union? "If you don't like it, quit." I doubt it, but that is the same "freedom" you are suggesting for others.

    By the way, I am pro-union, but ONLY if they are strong and willing to stand up to management--a group in which I do NOT include SEIU or CNA, for example, but DO include the Teamsters. A company union is worse than none at all, as the history of nursing unions has more than proven.

    IMHO.
  3. by   fergus51
    Originally posted by sjoe
    Fergus writes: "I would like to say no one is forced against their will to be in a union. No one holds a gun to your head and makes you apply for work in a unionized facility any more than in a non-unionized environment."

    What if you are already working in a facility that unionizes and becomes a closed shop? What if the only reasonably nearby and convenient facility happens to be a closed union shop? The only "freedom" in these examples, is to quit.

    Would you say the same thing to someone who wanted a union brought into a facility that is non-union? "If you don't like it, quit." I doubt it, but that is the same "freedom" you are suggesting for others.

    By the way, I am pro-union, but ONLY if they are strong and willing to stand up to management--a group in which I do NOT include SEIU or CNA, for example, but DO include the Teamsters. A company union is worse than none at all, as the history of nursing unions has more than proven.

    IMHO.
    Freedom doesn't mean that you only get good choices or convenient ones. Saying nurses don't have the choice to work elsewhere is a very vicitm like response and I don't buy it. If a union is voted in by your nurse colleagues, then you can choose to work there or choose to go elsewhere. Either decision has consequences and one of them may be getting disciplined for crossing a picket line. I don't like people who make decisions and then whine when they have to live with the consequences of those decisions.

    I would in fact say the same thing to someone who wants a union in a place where staff do not want to be unionized ("Quit or stop b*tching") because that is what I do. I choose to work in a unionized environment and will not apply for work in a non-union hospital. I did work in one as a new grad and left it, even though it wasn't convenient to find another job elsewhere in a unionized hospital. I am an adult and have control over where I take a job. Period.
    Last edit by fergus51 on Dec 19, '02
  4. by   Glad2behere
    Teeituptom,

    While I am not prounion nor antiunion, more of a live and let live I suppose, I think you're being very hard on jt for making a very simple news announcement with some well restrained editorialism. While I am not prounion, I am very willing to graciously admit and accept nursing unions contributions that has affected issues concerning nurses in Texas, realizing Texas is an antiunion state. I also realize I don't know a darn thing about conditions NY nurses must work in. If they feel they must strike and that many of them feel that way there must be some substance to it that we well treated Texans are clueless about. What works for them may not necessarily work for us and viceversa, but all things change. Jt simply showed us a snapshot of that change, a change that you and I may benefit from one day.
  5. by   2banurse
    As a former NYer, a possibly a future NTer when I finish with nursing school, I really appeciate -jt's informative posts. The NYSNA seems to be a union that is really working for better conditions for nurses, and the truth is that there are other hospitals these nurses could have worked in if they really needed to. There are quite a few hospitals within only miles of each other.

    JMHO.
    Kris
  6. by   -jt
    <in an organization I don't believe in and was forced to join>

    Its a much different mentality here. Nurses have been unionized in closed shops in this city since the early 60's. But nobody is "forced to join". You are informed upfront by the hospital when you first apply for a job that the nurses are this union & that if you take a job at their facility you will be part of it too.

    You then make the decision for yourself.

    If you do take the job, you agree to uphold your responsibilities as part of that union & to behave in a manner that is not injurious to your fellow union members. If you then choose to do injurious things like cross your own strike line, you have knowingly violated that agreement and can be held accountable by your colleagues like these nurses were.

    If you dont want to be part of the nurses union, you dont take the job. Period.

    But in NYC, you might have a hard time finding a hospital, nursing home, dialysis center, surgery center, home care agency, school nurse job, city nurse job, or any other direct-pt-care staff RN position that isnt union because 90-something % of them have been union for decades already and their nurses are not giving that up.
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 19, '02
  7. by   -jt
    Btw, the RN union does not "force a contract upon" anyone. The MEMBERS themselves negotiate it and only the members vote on its acceptance. Union officials have nothing to do with the members decision. And nurses who have been barred for acting against their own union can have no say in any of it. I can see how someone who isnt used to having any say in their conditions of employment & is used to just being told what they will work for & how they will do that work might think that having no right to a vote or any say is not a big thing. It is. One cant understand what these nurses will be missing if one has never had it themselves.
  8. by   nightingale
    Originally posted by Stargazer
    Excellent posts, as usual, fergus.

    (Is there any point in telling Tom that -jt is a woman? Nah, probably not.)
    lol and ditto stargazer...

    No one holds a gun to your head and makes you join a union and make the initial commitment, gain the benefits and union job, and forces you to work one facility over another when you do scab.

    Shame on them... they did have options.

    As tempting as crossing a picket line is... I do NOT sympathize or empathize with their choice.

    I rarely speak negatively about my colleagues. We nurses make many unpopular decisions throughout the day and I embrace us all for having to keep looking forward. We make daily decisions that affect our families, livelihood, patients, and license. To say nothing of the tired and aching feet and psych that stresses us like few other professions.

    By and large, in the "wild west" we are, "Right To Work" and non-unionized labor and professions. Interesting how the AMA (American Medical Association) has a national lobby group that defends their every decision. Let me tell you, here in the west: the wages stink, the benefits are sorely lacking, and the treatment is as whimsical as the hospital wants it to be. We have no real backing, and facilities like HCA and its managed care tactics are having a free for all with its biggest labor market..... uh NURSES.....

    Shame on those who decide to ditch at the first heat of a struggle; particularly those who do have options.

    Accountability.... that will make them THINK the next time.

    I loved it.. when I did work in a unionized office; after I won grievances for employees they would ask for a retraction. I told them no every time. Why? Because we need to document what we are doing. The positive and the negative so History does not have to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over....

    whew..... just my HO
    Last edit by nightingale on Dec 19, '02

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