What is wrong with unionizing? - page 4

All, It would seem that a union,with its power of cohesiveness to the issues,would be the only thing that a corporation would HAVE to listen to. The contract would HAVE to be honored. Forming... Read More

  1. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    "So if theres 2 NURSES & 10 pts, the RN is assigned 5 & the LPN is assigned 5?"
    So how does the RN end up with an acceptable load in this scenario?

    3-patients of thier own and assign 7 to the LPN?
    4:6?
    Give LPN's more responsibility and leave the assignment the way it is?

    What's the proposal?
    Last edit by Peeps Mcarthur on Jul 3, '02
  2. by   -jt
    <So how does the RN end up with an acceptable load in this scenario? >

    She doesnt. The SEIU proposal makes no distinction between LPN & RN. They propose 6 pts to each NURSE on a med surg floor. Theoretically, there could be 18 pts on the floor with 1 RN & 2 LPNs & they each get 6 pts - BUT the lone RN would still be responsible for ALL 18. What an improvement, huh?
  3. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    yes but how does the CNA plan get around that problem?

    I already had a "feeling" about the SEIU's plan and we KNOW what the hospital plan for staffing is

  4. by   -jt
    When it supported the original bill, California Nurses Assoc intended that the ratios they were discussing were for RNs. And did not include LPNs in the mix. CNA said max at 6 med surg pts to 1 RN. So if there were 18 pts on the floor, there would have to be 3 RNs. SEIU teamed up with Kaiser & jumped on the bandwagon to lobby for it to mean 6 pts to 1 NURSE - including the LPN. Since that leaves the RN with responsibility for the care & well-being of her own PLUS the LPNs pts, that plan is no different from what many RNs already have to deal with now.

    I think that the actual law that ended up passing reads NURSE - not RN & thats where the problem is. This could mean that a hospital could have 1 RN on the floor & staff with all LPNs to save money.
    Too many pts for 1 RN.
  5. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    But if that was the case in the 18 patient scenario, then either there would be no LPN's or there would be 3 RN's taking less than 6 patients of thier own but being responsible for RN only procedure on 6.

    Seems what you have there is either only RN's or an "overstaffed" floor.

    I'm sure this mess is not that simple though.:stone
    It would have to do with the needs of each patient.
  6. by   adrienurse
    Being a little bit of a fence-sitter, I have to say that I would rather work at a facility that is unionized -- as I enjoy getting such things as insurance, pension, rights, vacation etc.
    ON the other hand, from the employer's standpoint, their rights to run a facility with quality staff are sometimes impeeded by unionism. By this I mean being able to disclipline employees for VALID reasons without having to abide by the sometimes rediculas demands of that person's union.
    If you've ever worked with staff who feel they can do whatever the hell they please because they're unionized and have been there for 15 years and can't be fired, you know what I mean. Of course there are two sides to every story, and everything is good until it is allowed to go too far.
  7. by   adrienurse
    And another thing............I love to editorialize, in case you haven't caught on.

    I repeat, unionism is a good thing. Is essential for maintaining employee rights and safety.

    Unions can, however, be a pain in the a$$! I'm sure all of you are sensible, intelligent, well informed, independant-minded individials and that is good. Your union that you are involved in probably benefits a lot from this.

    However, not all people are. For some people, belonging to a union is the only source of power they have. These people tend to be stubborn, millitant and resistant to any way of thinking than the kind that they're used to. Although charismatic and often quite outpoken and eloquent speakers, and very good at drumming up support for their cause, these people can be quite problematic to the cause. This trait is directly related to the amount of education this person has, as well as their rationality and critical thinking abilities. That being not quite as developped as their need to enforce their point of views.
    Unions are FULL of these types of people! Are these the sort of people you want bargaining for your rights?
  8. by   donmurray
    But a solely Nurses union, will by definition, not contain any such uneducated people!
  9. by   adrienurse
    My answer is this:
    Being educated in nursing functions is not the same thing as being educated in social policies and labour issues.
  10. by   -jt
    <But if that was the case in the 18 patient scenario, then either there would be no LPN's or there would be 3 RN's taking less than 6 patients of thier own but being responsible for RN only procedure on 6.>

    In the CNA plan, LPNs would NOT be assigned pts of their own. The RNs would be assigned the 6 pts each & the LPN would assist the RNs with pt care. This issue is spelled out in detail on that organizations website. The articles there may help make things clearer.
    Last edit by -jt on Jul 6, '02
  11. by   -jt
    <being able to disclipline employees for VALID reasons without having to abide by the sometimes rediculas demands of that person's union.>


    But what can the union do to stop someone from being fired when the hospital has a valid reason? If it can stop the hospital from firing someone, then there wasnt a real valid reason for the firing after all. All the union can do is make sure the reason really is valid & the progressive discipline process is being followed properly. By the way, the progressive discipline process is not the unions rules - it the hospitals own disciplinary process. Its a process set by the HOSPITAL as a management right. Its called "progressive discipline" because there are different levels of discipline (including immediate termination) for different infractions. That is all spellled out in the hospitals Human Resources Manual - not our contract.

    If the hospital has a valid reason to discipline or fire an RN, the union cannot force them not to. It can only make sure that the 'punishment fits the crime', insist on a more fair 'punishment' when it doesnt, and try to help the RN when it does.

    There is a section in our contract that concurs with the management right to discipline & terminate & details the RNs right to representation in any case & how long the disciplines can remain in her work file. But thats it. If the hospital has just cause to fire someone, just cause is just cause, no matter how long they have worked there. The unions job is to make sure just cause actually did exist & the management action is appropriate.

    examples of some of our situations:

    1. An ER RN standing outside on the sidewalk at lunchtime waiting for her friend was punched in the face by another employee as he walked by & as he said he "didnt like the way she looked". He then jumped ontop of her & started beating her head onto the concrete. The RN was a VICTIM of violence & after returning from time off to recuperate, SHE was suspended without pay for "participating in the altercation" when she beat the guy off her as she lay on her back on the sidewalk - with the director of security watching from across the street. The other employee was immediately fired for just cause, so no fight there by his union. But we fought the RNs discipline because she didnt do anything wrong. This suspension in her file stated she engaged in "Workplace Violence" - a VERY Black mark on her permanent work record. It was not fair to have her labeled for that. She was attacked & yes she did hit back - because security wasnt coming to help her & she had to defend herself.
    The hospital felt it had valid reason to suspend her, but the union RN reps fought that reasoning all the way to arbitration & had the discipline & suspension removed from her file AND she received back-pay for the time lost during the unjust suspension.

    2. An MD wrote an order for a stat med to be given the pt & told an RN about it. That RN gave the med, didnt chart it on the MAR, didnt sign off the order on the order sheet, didnt unflag the chart to signify that the order that the order had been carried out & didnt notify the pts RN that she had given it. The pts RN sees the chart is flagged with an order, & picks it up. She tells the pt what she is giving him & he takes it (a 2nd dose). As shes charting that shes given the med, the 1st RN strolls by & tells her she gave the med already. The pts RN immediatley notifies the MD that the pt was given a double dose, etc etc. The pts RN is then disciplined for a serious medication error --- when she was the ONLY one who did anything the right way. The hospital felt it had valid reason to discipline the pts RN even though it was obvious how the error occurred & that it wasnt this RNs fault. We fought this unjust discipline with the VP of Nursing & it was reversed, removed from the nurse's file, & ripped up.

    3. A group of long-time nurses were fired en mass for "theft of services" - accepting being paid for a continuing ed day and not going to the seminar they had said they were attending. We are paid for continuing ed days to attend seminars a few times a year & thats counted as paid days worked. Some nurses were scheduling themselves to go to a seminar, get paid for the day, have an extra day off from the hospital & then not go to the class ffor whatever reason. The hospital viewed this as theft of service & fired them all. Most of them had worked there for more than 10 yrs. Some had graduated from the hospitals school of nursing years ago & had spent their whole careers at this hospital. The union could do nothing about saving their jobs because the hospital had a valid reason for the firing. All it could do was convince the hospital to let them resign & take all their accruals from their "banks" instead of being terminated & losing everything.

    4. An RN gave a pt an overdose of a narcotic. That would not have been a cause to fire her - she could have gone thru the progressive discipline process & learned from the mistake, but she was fired because in her anxious & frightened state, she lied about giving the medication, caused a delay in treating the pt for it, & then altered the narcotics record sheet to try to cover up the fact that she had taken all those pills out of the cabinet. After the hospital investigation, the RN was fired. The union could not do anything about saving her job because there was obvious just cause - falsifying medical records among other things. She was fired but the RN still has her license because she agreed to go thru retraining, medication & ethics classes.

    5. An RN employed at a hospital in one city entered a pharmacy in another city with a prescription for narcotics that was not filled out correctly. The pharmacist called the MD on the script to double check it & the MD said he had never written that prescription. The pharamcist told the RN to wait & he promptly called the police. She was arrested. The hospital fired her & was pressing charges to send her to jail. The union could not save her job because there was obvious just cause - the RN had stolen hospital prescription pads - but the union worked with the hospital to convince them to allow her to resign, collect whatever was in her bank, drop the criminal charges & avoid sending her to jail on the condition that she temporarily surrender her license & enter our unions Statewide Peer Assistance Program for Nurses with addictions. If she didnt have our union, she would be in jail -instead shes on the road to getting her life back.
    Last edit by -jt on Jul 6, '02
  12. by   donmurray
    Good examples, jt! As a union rep that is what I do, represent the member, not defend them. My role is to ensure that they get fair treatment, according to management's own rules, ( it's amazing how few managers know their own rules well!) and by any relevant employment legislation.
    I am a Registered Nurse, who also has undertaken training in trade union matters, provided by my union, the Royal College of Nursing.
    I also get paid time off duty to attend update study days, again provide by the union.
    Last edit by donmurray on Jul 6, '02
  13. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    LPN would assist the RNs with pt care.
    Oh yea,I bet they would

    I think I see were the SEIU started to hatch thier plan.

    But I'd have to really work in that enviroment to tell,but I'm LOVING the CNA's plan if i'm an RN in California and thinking it's a demotion in the foodchain if I'm an LPN.
    I'll bet they'd just be wonderful to work with after that huh.

    Anyway,it's all very interesting to see the story unfold and know that I'll be smack dab in the middle of something like it someday.

    Learning as I go.
    Last edit by Peeps Mcarthur on Jul 6, '02

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