Union

  1. Hi,
    I am a student nurse who will be graduating in May. Over the summer I externed at a wonderful hospital in Los Angeles that was a union hospital. I asked the recruiter what that meant and she got all secretive and said that it wasnt her place to tell us what the union was all about, that it was a personal decision that we would all have to make eventually. She made it seem like it was some secret society and said she chose not to join the union b/c of "personal reasons" but that we should make our own decision. WHAT?!?!

    My question is: what is this union business all about and why does everyone get so weird whenever we ask about it????
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    About HU_nurse

    Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 84; Likes: 4

    6 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    I don't know why people get so wierd. I knew my hospital was a union hospital and joined when I was hired because I prefer to work in a union hospital. She may have gotten some flack about not joining, so she is sensitive? I dunno. Being in a union just means you will be a member and your contract will be negotiated by the union and you will receive help from the union if needed on the job for any disputes.
  4. by   zippitydoda
    Nursing Unions are something I've always wondered about. As a military nurse, I haven't had to worry about it, but soon I will be entering the civilian sector and I need to make the decision. I spoke with one hospital and the Nurse Manager told me, "we're non-union and we want to keep it that way." What are the pros and cons of belonging to a union? Having grown up the daughter of a Teamster, I always felt that Unions protected the workers. But to be honest, I'm really uninformed on the topic. Anyone else have any insight?
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Wasn't there already a thread asking this exact same question?

    Maybe there is a rash of people telling new nurses we can't talk about unions.

    Your recruiter was being melodramatic. Talk all you want about union - pro and con.

    steph
  6. by   fergus51
    I would suggest you do a search. There are a lot of threads on the issue of union vs non-union. I prefer it for several reasons. In my experience, wages and benes tend to be better. There is a set protocol for the resolution of any disputes with the employer. There are protections in place for nurses, so you aren't as likely to suffer retaliation for advocating for your patients. There is just less room for your employer to screw around with you. Also in California in particular, CNA has made a lot of progress for nurses. The fact that they got mandatory ratios passed was a big factor in influencing my decision to work for a CNA hospital. Although ALL nurses in California benefit from that, I wanted to support that type of change by being a member. I believe in unionization for nurses, though I know there are several who don't. Most who don't generally think they don't need unions (because their employer treats them well) or they can negotiate better deals on their own, or they don't think unions are professional or they think unions protect mediocre nurses.
  7. by   Nancy2
    Quote from HU_nurse
    Hi,
    I am a student nurse who will be graduating in May. Over the summer I externed at a wonderful hospital in Los Angeles that was a union hospital. I asked the recruiter what that meant and she got all secretive and said that it wasnt her place to tell us what the union was all about, that it was a personal decision that we would all have to make eventually. She made it seem like it was some secret society and said she chose not to join the union b/c of "personal reasons" but that we should make our own decision. WHAT?!?!

    My question is: what is this union business all about and why does everyone get so weird whenever we ask about it????
    I am so glad that you ask this question. I am an RN with 20 years of experience and have worked in both union and non-union Hospitals.
    When you are a member of a union you have two contracts, one with your union and one with the hospital. If you are looking at joining a union you should look at the rules of membership(constitution and bylaws) Unions can make their own rules about dues, fines, fees and how they want to spend the dues collected. Usually about one tenth of dues collected are actually spent on the members and collective bargaining of contracts, the rest is spent on paying people to organize other hospitals, buying food for potential members, mailing flyers, putting ads in the paper, and donatiions to political organizations and candidates that you may or may not agree with.
    I personally choose to work only in non-union hospitals. I just don't choose to hire someone else to represent me with my employer. I am more than capable of negotiating my own deal. I am a professional!!!
    I think people should be rewarded financially for being exceptional and not put on a grid making the same as everyone else with the some longevity. I have worked with 20 year nurses that don't deserve the same pay as a 5 year nurse, so to reward people solely on seniority is appalling to me and that is EXACTLY what unions profess to be "fair". They consider merit pay to be favoritism. I do not.
    The reason your recruiter probably got so weird about it, depends on what hospital it was. If it is a Tenet hospital, CNA and Tenet made an agreement that NO management would give any response except for a pre approved (by CNA)scripted statement to employees, if they say anything further, legal action can be taken against the employer.
    I hope this helps.
  8. by   HU_nurse
    Yes it does help. Thanks to everyone for their replies. I guess I have some more research to do...

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