Voting question

  1. I work in a union hospital and we recently had a vote to decide if a trial of 12 hour shifts would begin. Our bylaws state in writing that votes must pass by 51%.
    The result was 19 for and 19 against. That means 50% voted for not 51%. The people for it are demanding a new vote due to the tie. As I see it 51% did not vote for it so no re vote is needed. I should add that all of our union reps are for twelves.
    What does everyone else think?
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   emily_mom
    I would say that you're right.

    Kristy
  4. by   -jt
    The bylaws say a vote must be passed by 51% (the majority wishes) so there may also be lanaguage that addresses a tie. A 50-50 vote is not usually just left like that. Its not a decision by the majority either way. It doesnt represent the majority's wishes. So there is usually a procedure in the bylaws to allow for a tie-breaker.

    We have to have an official re-count of the ballots first. If the vote remains tied, we have to run a tie-breaker vote for a specific period of time - usually its just one day - contact those who didnt show up for the first vote, explain the situation, & let them know that there is a good chance their choice will not be the one that wins if they dont get down there & make their voice heard one way or the other by vote. When the tie-breaker voting closes, the ballots are recounted again. Majority rules.
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 7, '02
  5. by   -jt
    BTW, we had 12 hr shifts for 13 yrs but our contract once said that the employer could not eliminate 12 hr shifts if 51% of the nurses were working those hrs. So, when they wanted to get rid of the shift about 5 yrs ago, the hospital created all these 8 hr positions & filled them with new grads. They froze vacant 12 hr positions when RNs resigned & eventually had 49% on 12 hrs & 51% on 8 hrs. The minute they had that, they took us to court to eliminate the 12 hr shift completely. They won because of the contract langauge, but then they couldnt get anybody to work except new grads. There was a mass exodus of experienced RNs from the hospital, an increase in incidents, and a decline in quality care. We got our 12 hrs back wherever the RNs wanted it & got that language out of the contract for good.

    Since we float to units within our specialty, and the majority of maternal chlid & critical care RNs wanted 12 hrs, we switched those entire divisions to 12 hrs for easier staffing. But on the med-surg floors, there are some floors where the RNs did not want 12 hrs. So some med-surg floors are 12 & some are 8. Its not an all-or-nothing kind of thing. The RNs on each floor decide.
    Maybe that would work for your place.
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 7, '02
  6. by   Jenny P
    We have both 8 and 12 hour shifts on my unit; and we even have some of us that work both 8hr shifts during the week and 12 hr shifts on weekends (I've been doing that for the past umteen years becasue then I only had to work every 3rd weekend). I work in a busy CV-ICU and this system has worked for us and for several other units; but it has not worked on all of the units throughout the hospital here.

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