Unions are great if you are in a job that needs protection from unscrupulous employers. Unions are to protect employees from being screwed or put out of a job.
Very few hospitals suffer from this condition, so where is the need to unionize?
[Here's a hint.. in the professional arena it isn't about protection, its about MO'MONEY.]
I'll be the first to stand up and start a fight by saying unions have no place in healthcare among licensed professionals.
I did clinicals in a union facility, and worked an EMS service that was unionized so let me bounce a couple scenarios off ya:
I'm in a client's room and he can't get the phone to work. He wanted to call his wife and say goodnight. Thats all.
I took the phone and noticed the hangup button was slightly askew and stuck. I pulled out my pocket knife, opened the nail file and just barely pushed the button and it popped right out. So I tried to hand the client the phone, as an RN who walked in and saw me "fix" the phone grabbed it from me.
She was almost in a panic. She had already called maint. and reported the busted phone, and was babbling about overstepping the maint. dept. and how nursing didn't want another grievance filed on them and blah, blah, blah...
We even discussed why the guy still couldn't call his wife because they would know we "fixed" it and tried to take "their" job.
So she unplugged the phone and took it away to give to the maint guy when he came with a replacement. [Chastising me all the while.]
2 hours later the client got another phone from Maint., and wouldn't call his wife because it was then too late and he was too upset over the entire ordeal.
Earlier that day... someone spilled soda at the nurses station... everyone moaned then jumped up, grabbed their stuff, and moved to another desk where they called housekeeping to come clean it up, citing "Not our job." and "We're not allowed even if we wanted to."
As a student, I stopped many a person to ask for help and whatever. The one thing I noticed was the repeated use of "Honey, I can't help with that, you have to call [specific] Department to do that, or they will file a grievance on us."
Or the ol' reliable, "Sorry, not my job."
The EMS one is just as brilliant....
I hear a guy saying something about the only thing that matters is
you don't screw your union brother. This guy goes on to explain that even
if he sees someone walk out with a defibrillator, it is not his place to turn anyone in. That would be screwing your union brother.
I asked, then... if I rob the place blind and lie about getting skipped on the call-out list [for a free day's pay], enough times, the company will go broke and we are all out of a job. I said, seems to me stealing is screwing your union brother. Everyone in the room agreed with the first guy... even if we break the company, we "got something out of it" [dishonest money and stolen goods] and we happily go find another job, having not ratted out our wonderful union brothers/sisters.
So, as far as I can see, in the professional arena, unions only serve to give lazy folks and dishonest folks all the ammo they need to do their own foul bidding and make life worse for everyone else, including [and especially] the clients.
Now if you're a bus driver, miner or laborer, then the union may be the only thing that keeps you from getting the shaft by an unscrupulous company and I've seen it work. I give kudos to those unions and members.
As professionals however; I find it disgusting how unprofessional a union can make people become.
So.... flame away! :-)