Originally posted by nursling2001:
<STRONG>I am a student nurse about to enter my senior year after this grueling summer of ob and peds. during a nursing issues lecture we discussed how Duke University is considering a nursing union. Nursing unions are new to the south. Does anyone have first hand info. on the pros and cons of them? I love the south and the north, but will be residing in the south and entering my nursing career here. So much to think about.... unions, employee retention, nursing shortages, mandatory overtime in my local hospital.... etc.... Makes me want to stay a student for awhile. </STRONG>
I have worked in management, been a union member and worked as a union representative. The unions which do the best are the ones with the most active membership (not the largest membership) . A union with 500 members with fifty active participating members is not strong when compared to a union with 300 members and 150 actively participating. The leadership of your local in-house union is the key to union success. It is not the national leaders and their association that effect change at your local hospital. They are to effect national or state change. They will not throw the weight of their membership into your issue if it does not have a positive effect overall. No fault of their own, they do represent a larger base.
I worked at one place where the most active members and the leadership was comprised of 4 ICU nurses. If it wasn't an ICU problem, it wasn't a union problem.
In short, it is not the union, it is the local leadership in the union. Ask these questions?
Who are the local union leaders?
Are they good leaders?
How active is the membership?
How is the leadership divided?
Are they all from ICU or are they dispersed along service lines i.e. ICU, Med-Surg, Surg, L&D, etc.?
Is this a nursing union or a branch of a national labor union?
As to the pros and cons? It depends if you work for management or staff. Good luck