Unions/Attitudes - page 3

:( I am a Clinical Educator and part of a large corp. hospital system. Over the last two yrs, there has been lots of Union activity in our area. Not all of it is at the corp I work for. There are... Read More

  1. by   -jt
    <(Have you ever spent anytime talking with nurses who have come from unions? Just curious. >

    constantly ; )

    did you read any of the articles I reposted here? Those improvements were made by union nurses who used to be in the same situations Veggie descibes. They arent anymore. Why? Because their unionizing efforts worked.


    <It's no rumor that pts were refused. I heard it!!!>

    And did you also hear the circumstances of the situations for which those nurses objected to the assignments?

    Like maybe the CCU RN was floated to L&D & expected to care for a woman in labor? Or the telemetry nurse was floated to Peds & expected to care for children - and give them their meds? Or the ICU RN was floated to med-surg and expected to care for 9 pts? Or the med-surg RN was expected to care for 12 pts on her own floor? Or the nursery RN had 10 new born babies to care for and no other personnel assigned to the nursery with her? Or the RN was expected to also be the transporter, messenger, unit clerk, housekeeper, & supplies-searcher?

    It used to happen everyday - before we unionized. prior to that, we just had to eat it & could say nothing about the abuse we were taking. After we unionized, we obtained contracts that strictly forbid all of the above & give us the ability to refuse based on safety & standards in the event it does happen. If the assignment is then not changed, we only accept it with objection & protest it in writing - which makes the hospital & the staffing manager liable.

    You may have heard that THIS is what is happening. Unionized RNs are able to advocate for their pts safety & their licenses without fear of losing their jobs. Thats a good thing.
  2. by   CANRN
    Before I went into nursing, I worked in a union 'shop', UAW to be precise. When I went into the nursing profession, I could really see the difference in NOT having a union, maybe not so much a union per say, but being ORGANIZED and UNIFIED. Nurses were being stepped on like door mats. I am not a young person, nursing is something I went into when I had my 'change of life'

    Some, and I mean very few, facilities RESPECT their nurses, and PROTECT their nurses and the patients. Profit margin has become the most important factor in providing healthcare, not patient safety and certainly not providing quality care. As managers looked only at the numbers, care of patients fell apart. Patient satisfaction went into the basement, and nurses left the bedside in mass numbers. This is mostly a result of MANAGED CARE!! :0
    Insurance companies and MEDICARE dictate profit for hospitals. So to stay in the 'black' hospitals started cost reducing efforts. The sad thing is, they looked to the nurses to do this and in turn, shot themselves in the feet. I do believe that most facilities are seeing this now and a shift is happening.

    Gypsy, I used to be a manager. I left and went back to staff nursing because I just could not tolerate some of the assnine decisions being made that directly effected nurses and patient care and not for the better I might add. I felt I could do more for my profession and my patients on the floor than I could in a managers meeting. As a manager, I felt I was a "voice" for the nurses I REPRESENTED. The rest of the "management team" did not see it that way.
    I have also worked PRN and trust me, it is NOTHING like working full time day after day on the floor. So there is NO COMPARISON!! I say this from personal experience.

    I am not saying unionization is the only answer. But there has to be clear and precise guidelines that BOTH the management and the staff have to go by. It is wrong to fire someone on the spot, an investgation should be done and if there are 'steps' to follow then they should be followed. this is not just for the protection of the employee, but also management. There are Human Resource laws for each state and I believe if you did some research, you would find you can't just fire someone without first doing an investigation and having DOCUMENTATION concerning the incident.

    Unions can be both good and bad, depends entirely on the members. Unions can and do bring unity to the entire structure of a facility. Much good comes from them for BOTH sides of the table. A large medical facility in Northwest Ohio recently unionized, (UAW) and the moral of the staff, the patient satisfaction and overall profit for this facility has soared!

    Please, look at the WHOLE PICTURE, there is much to see and by doing so, you can make more informed decisions and judgements.
  3. by   -jt
    Unionized nurses are the ones who are getting the legislators to listen & learn about what is happening to nursing and those are the people who are in the position to do something about it by enacting laws that mandate better conditions and take the control out of the employers hands. Unionized & other organized nurses groups are the ones making the difference........

    <<The Las Vegas Sun
    February 19, 2002

    Nursing Shortage Blamed On Hospital Working Conditions:

    "Nevada's nursing crisis won't be solved until hospitals improve working conditions", Senator Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday.

    Reid joined Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.; Assemblywoman Ellen Koivisto, D-Las Vegas; and Sen. Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, at a town hall meeting sponsored by the Nurse Alliance of Service Employees International Union Local 1107.

    "We don't have a shortage of nurses," Senator Reid told an audience dominated by union members. "We have a shortage of nurses willing to work."

    The meeting took place at the Winchester Community Center in Las Vegas on the same day that the union released the results of a survey sent to the more than 1,400 nurses who left Nevada hospital jobs in the past two years.

    Of the 190 nurses who responded to the survey, more than 70 percent cited poor working conditions and under-staffing as a reason for quitting.

    "Nurses are overworked, underpaid and you don't get the respect you deserve," Rep.Berkeley told the standing-room only crowd of about 100.

    Union spokeswoman Christy Sawyer said at least 2,000 registered nurses in Nevada are working in other fields, more than enough to fill the state's 1,200 hospital vacancies.

    Nurses won't be tempted back to the job unless the hours, pay and benefits are significantly improved, she said.........

    Maryanne Dawicki, a union spokeswoman, said Monday no hospital administrators were asked to be panelists because the goal was a non-threatening environment for the nurses to talk with the legislators.............">>

    full article at: http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/st...513060214.html
    Last edit by -jt on Mar 2, '02
  4. by   veggie64
    Veggie64

    Probably it would be a good idea that before you say that I said something, make sure your right!! It's no rumor that pts were refused. I heard it!!!

    Gypsy, to find out the real story about this, you can always come to a meeting when the unionized nurses meet to find out. Everyone who posted about the Assignment despite object forms are right. That is what they are doing, not refusing all patients. They are tired of putting their license on the line everyday, and are standing up for themselves. But, they still have patient loads.

    You really need to be sure you know what your talking about.
    The "Right to Fall" comes from HFCA.

    So what, as nurses we should just accept this? Unions do more than just change working conditions, they help change the entire spectrum of pt care thru legislation and action. Shouldn't nurses as pt. advocates do something about this ridiculous idea? Who cares who came up with this unbelievable statement. It must be changed. I shudder to think of a family member of mine, being confused and helpless, and having their nurse and protector letting them fall because supposedly it is their right. I have asked many people I meet what they think of this, and every reply has been if they knew a hospital had this has their policy, they wouldn't go to that hospital, so who actually came up with this brain surge of an idea?

    What makes you think I haven't done something. I work extra as staff many times. This gets me close to the situation, and allows me to discuss situations with the staff.

    Gyspy, Working extra and discussing problems does nothing to improve anything. It is action that improves things.


    You are quite the amazing individual.
    Thank you, Gypsy

    I must say you have a lot to learn. (Have you ever spent anytime talking with nurses who have come from unions? Just curious.

    Every person in this world has a lot to learn, including me. And, I have spent days, weeks etc talking and debating with unionized nurses. I have definitely seen the light. All positive things happening in our profession is because of unionized nurses.IMO it is the nursing professions only chance of stopping the decent of quality in patient care, and the decline of our profession.
  5. by   SoniaNurseRep
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by -jt
    [B]<the current trend toward unions will not work.>

    Right on, jt. Thanks
  6. by   SoniaNurseRep
    Unions protect the rights of Nurses and fight to improve working conditions both locally and legislatively. Without a Union, Nurses are at the mercy of employers. Why are employers intimated by the presence of a Union? Is it because they'll have to do what's right for a change and not what's profitable? Ask yourself what the pros and cons are for unionism and you'll understand that anyone working without a union needs their heads examined.
    Last edit by SoniaNurseRep on Mar 2, '02
  7. by   -jt
    <the current trend toward unions will not work.>
    >right on!

    Sonia I know you really meant "right on!" to the part that came AFTER that sentence from the person who thinks unionizing wont work...

    <<Long-time unionized nurses would beg to differ with that statement because they know from experience that the opposite is true......>>
  8. by   SoniaNurseRep
    Yes jt. Unionism may the best tool Nurses have to effect change and become empowered.
  9. by   chocolab
    I have been a unionized nurse for the last 15 years. I work in a community hospital that has been sold 5 times and have had to deal with 5 new administrations. Some of been very favorable to their nurses but others, like the one we have now, have done nothing but tear down moral, make working conditions very bad(to save money),short staff, cancel and treat their staff not as professionals but something much less. We are in the midst of contract negotiations and salary has never been an issue. We all care about our patients and see them as the victims of inadequate care because of staffing,etc. Hospitals are not caring facilities any more..they are big business and the goal is to make money regardless of who it hurts.
  10. by   SoniaNurseRep
    Betty, you are not alone and I agree with your assessment. If you are now in negotiations, you're in the best position to demand improvements. Let your negotiating team know what the Nurses need and want. The Nurses must remain unified and determined if they hope to improve contract language. Participate, be active, be empowered, then they (management & politicians) will have to listen and act. We must make them care about our patients; we're they advocates.
  11. by   chocolab
    Sonia, thanks for the support. Our union submitted questionaires to us last summer with our main concerns for this contract were. Needless to say better treatment, no cancellations of fulltime and parttime regularly scheduled people were among the tops. Wages never even entered into it.It just amazes me how much nursing has turned around and the people in positions of power just can't understand why women are not going into this field.
  12. by   Jenny P
    "The "Right to Fall" comes from HFCA."
    Gypsyrose, HFCA is now "The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)" and I recommend you read the following newsletter they have on their website:
    http://www.hcfa.gov/publications/new...997/rr0997.htm

    which says that "even in the face of some unfortunate legal decisions in the past, the best strategy for hospitals from a purely self
    interested point of view remains good treatment based on the what is now known about restraint use, and not a reflexive return to bad medical practices because of some perceived threat of legal suits."

    Somehow, to me at least, "the right to fall is within the realm of a "bad medical practice."

    I strongly urge you to investigate the CMS site yourself and not let your facility tell you what "HCFA says."
  13. by   Riseupandnurse
    I work at a Missouri hospital that is going into a union vote in about a month. (very new for Missouri!) This is a question for nurses who went through this. We are being lobbied by both sides. What made the nurses in your hospital want to unionize? What made them not want to? Any advice for us?

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