Quote from wiseintulsa
You would be better off to stay away from the word union. :angryfire Unions had a legitimate purpose in the past. The word union is now synonomous with "make me a lazy individual that complains about everything, and will not do something I have to do until someone else does what they have to do because it's not in our agreement." Unions have helped to destroy our nation. Look at the UAW and the automotive industry! I've seen too many nurses spending their shifts on their rear ends going through the circulars of the weekend newspapers. All I'm saying is that there was a time and place for unions and it's not now. There is a chain of command and that should be utilized. The op-ed section of the local newspaper or the local news media is a viable means of expressing your discrepancies. From my experience, under-staffing is one of the biggest issues, and this can lead to compromising patient safety. Also, by the nature of the industry if you aren't happy where you're at you can easily go somewhere else.
Is it any surprise that states like Oklahoma, and the entire south and southeast, have some of the lowest pay, worst benefits, and NO workplace protections (Group One!) than the entire country?
Unions VERY definately have a place in todays workplace. As union membership has diminshed, pay, benefits, workplace protection, and outsourcing have become the norm.
I am sorry that some people generalize union members in the negative. Non unionized nurses and health care personnel give poor care because they have impossible workloads, miminum help, and no voice to make necessary changes.
You cannot be a good nurse if your hands are tied to refuse unsafe working conditions. You cannot be a good nurse if you have 15 patients under your care. You cannot provide, safe, effective nursing care if you have no supplies, too many patients under you watch, and are doing the work of three other disciplines.
In a nut shell, unions are needed now, more than ever. You cannot fight powerful, multinational corporations, or the Hospitaland Medical Associations, by your self. You cannot effect needed change by yourself. Sure, you can go elsewhere, but where? Most nurses are not unionized, and have no workplace protection. And "going some place else", is not an option for individuals who have spouses who have jobs that have to be acommodated.
The solution is for nurses to unionize, en masse, and have the protection to perform their work not they are supposed to. JMHO, and my NY $0.02.
Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN