Nurses' Unions - page 2

The topic of unionization has come up,lately, at work, and it got me wondering. So I'm hoping some of you nurses who are currently represented by unions could tell me what union you're with, and how... Read More

  1. by   HM2VikingRN
    Union for me! My Psych clinical instructor (who was a manager!) consistently shares how the union has improved working conditions overall for nurses in MN with her students.
  2. by   Shamira Aizza
    Minnesota is just about one of the most liberal states in the USA with an alleged higher comparative percentage of insured people...I wonder if there's a correlation between that and the need to unionize the hospitals in order to make them tolerable for nurses.
  3. by   Shamira Aizza
    PS...I'm also unsure if I think it's proper for a nursing instructor to be applauding and promoting unions in the educational setting.

    The fair trade-off would be if it were permitted for another instructor, or a guest instructor to share an opposing viewpoint on unions with the students.
  4. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from Shamira Aizza
    PS...I'm also unsure if I think it's proper for a nursing instructor to be applauding and promoting unions in the educational setting.

    The fair trade-off would be if it were permitted for another instructor, or a guest instructor to share an opposing viewpoint on unions with the students.
    The principle is called academic freedom which is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment. It is legitimate speech to reflect on the impact of labor relations history on working conditions and patient care.
  5. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from Shamira Aizza
    Minnesota is just about one of the most liberal states in the USA with an alleged higher comparative percentage of insured people...I wonder if there's a correlation between that and the need to unionize the hospitals in order to make them tolerable for nurses.
    Its called a functional social contract. Minnesota is one of the healthiest states in the country overall.

    http://covertheuninsured.org/states/?StateID=MN

    Quick Facts About Minnesota's Uninsured

    In Minnesota, out of a total population of 5,132,799 people, 8.4% do not have health insurance coverage. 6.5% of Minnesota's children are uninsured.

    http://www.unitedhealthfoundation.or...AllStates.html
    Minnesota is first this year, a position it has held for nine of the 15 years since the 1990 Edition. It was tied for first with New Hampshire in 2003.
    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Mar 29, '07
  6. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quick Facts About Georgia's Uninsured

    In Georgia, out of a total population of 9,072,576 people, 18.9% do not have health insurance coverage. 12.7% of Georgia's children are uninsured.

    and

    http://www.unitedhealthfoundation.or...AllStates.html
    Georgia is 45th this year, its lowest ranking in the 15 years of this report; it was 41st in 2003. Its strengths include a low number of limited activity days per month at 2.0 days in the previous 30 days, a low rate of cancer deaths at 203.0 deaths per 100,000 population and high access to adequate prenatal care at 76.7 percent of pregnant women receiving adequate prenatal care. Challenges include a very low high school graduation rate with 53.6 percent of incoming ninth graders who graduate within four years, a high incidence of infectious disease at 41.3 cases per 100,000 population and low support for public health with just 0.8 percent of the state health budget allocated to public health. Health disparities within the state's prenatal care program are low compared to other states, but more disparity is illustrated by the differences in premature death rates. Black non-Hispanic individuals experience 12,773 years of potential life lost before age 75 per 100,000 population compared to 4,360 years lost for the Hispanic population. Georgia is 45th for the combined measures of risk factors and 41st for the combined measures of outcomes, indicating the state is unlikely to change significantly in ranking in the near future.

    I think the relative performance of a liberal state versus Georgia speaks for itself on health outcome measures.
  7. by   Sheri257
    This is probably the strongest case for a union, as least in my immediate area. In just a couple of years since one facility was unionized, they've made a difference in increasing pay.

    The other hospitals have really been dragging their feet on pay raises, only giving increases when nurses leave to go to the union facility. And, even then, they still don't match the union pay.

    Union hospital pay differential versus non-union hospitals, day shift:
    At least $3 an hour more
    Total annual increase in pay: $5,600
    Minus union dues: -$800
    Total net pay increase: $4,800 a year

    The weekend differentials are a lot better at the union hospital also:
    Union weekend differential: $5 an hour
    Non-union weekend differential: $2 an hour
    Total annual union differential increase: $3,700 a year

    Plus, they've got more pay increases that are scheduled for summer under the union contract so ... I do think unions can make a difference with pay.

    :typing
  8. by   NurseyPoo
    I also think that it depends on the Union...I have heard horror stories and I have heard wonderful stories. The nurses at the hospital I work for have tried in the past and failed...you need 75% of the nurses for the union to come in...Most nurses are too afraid. If it fails the backlash is really-really bad. I would love to see the RIGHT union come in.
  9. by   Shamira Aizza
    Quote from HM2Viking
    The principle is called academic freedom which is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment. It is legitimate speech to reflect on the impact of labor relations history on working conditions and patient care.
    "Academic freedom" still has it's limits, which include avoiding controversial topics that are unrelated to the subject at hand.

    I seriously doubt that unionization was part of the course content, and I seriously doubt there would be similar tolerance for an anti-union presentation.
  10. by   Shamira Aizza
    Quote from HM2Viking
    Its called a functional social contract. Minnesota is one of the healthiest states in the country overall.

    http://covertheuninsured.org/states/?StateID=MN

    Quick Facts About Minnesota's Uninsured

    In Minnesota, out of a total population of 5,132,799 people, 8.4% do not have health insurance coverage. 6.5% of Minnesota's children are uninsured.

    http://www.unitedhealthfoundation.or...AllStates.html
    Minnesota is first this year, a position it has held for nine of the 15 years since the 1990 Edition. It was tied for first with New Hampshire in 2003.
    My point being...if it's so great, why the need to unionize?

    Unions are not designed with the interests of the patients in mind.

    Seems to me that the more 'universal' the system, the worse the working conditions.
  11. by   Shamira Aizza
    Quote from HM2Viking
    Quick Facts About Georgia's Uninsured

    In Georgia, out of a total population of 9,072,576 people, 18.9% do not have health insurance coverage. 12.7% of Georgia's children are uninsured.

    and

    http://www.unitedhealthfoundation.or...AllStates.html
    Georgia is 45th this year, its lowest ranking in the 15 years of this report; it was 41st in 2003. Its strengths include a low number of limited activity days per month at 2.0 days in the previous 30 days, a low rate of cancer deaths at 203.0 deaths per 100,000 population and high access to adequate prenatal care at 76.7 percent of pregnant women receiving adequate prenatal care. Challenges include a very low high school graduation rate with 53.6 percent of incoming ninth graders who graduate within four years, a high incidence of infectious disease at 41.3 cases per 100,000 population and low support for public health with just 0.8 percent of the state health budget allocated to public health. Health disparities within the state's prenatal care program are low compared to other states, but more disparity is illustrated by the differences in premature death rates. Black non-Hispanic individuals experience 12,773 years of potential life lost before age 75 per 100,000 population compared to 4,360 years lost for the Hispanic population. Georgia is 45th for the combined measures of risk factors and 41st for the combined measures of outcomes, indicating the state is unlikely to change significantly in ranking in the near future.

    I think the relative performance of a liberal state versus Georgia speaks for itself on health outcome measures.

    The Children's Health System of Atlanta is the number one ranked children's hospital to work for by Fortune. Top 10 in US News mag, and Child mag.

    HS graduation rates, and the rate at which minorities are killing each other in southern Fulton County cannot be placed on the shoulder of the health-care establisment. If so, then I'd like to hear the reaction of the Minnesota Dept. of Education and the Minn. Attorney Gen.when they are told that their graduation rates and crime is a reflection of their unionized health care system.
  12. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Shamira Aizza
    Unions are not designed with the interests of the patients in mind.
    The only reason California has a ratio law was because of unions. And it benefits all nurses in California, 80 percent of whom don't belong to a union.

    It also benefits patients because nurses have more time to spend on care.

    :typing
  13. by   HM2VikingRN
    MNA negotiated a nurse/patient ratio provision that in essence prevents unsafe staffing levels.

    In MN the highest quality hospitals are unionized.

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