Professionals or "workers" - page 5

I am attending nursing school in Michigan, a very "union" state. I have recently moved here from Texas, a right to work state. There is a big political issue going on here about Right-to-work. And... Read More

  1. by   sapphire18
    Quote from PMFB-RN
    *** B.S.! I have never heard any nurse say they are aginst higher education. I sure as heck am not, I have not read any anti higher education message here on AN. If you have please provide a quote.
    That said the fact is that higher education traditionaly has not been rewarded in nursing. Only very recently has there been any incentive at all and that incentive prety much disappears as soon as an RN gets her first job.
    I'm not talking about anything specific in THIS thread, but just read the numerous ADN vs. BSN debate threads. You yourself have said that you won't allow your SICU to hire BSNs because they are not as good as ADNs.

    *Sorry OP, I know this is off-topic. Not trying highjack.*
  2. by   RNdynamic
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    The person who should have left his or her feelings out in order to have a serious discussion was the original poster who used some mighty inflammatory language, then claimed she wasn't challenging, she just wanted information. I agree with MN-Nurse; RNdynamic is out of line.
    Which portion of the OP's post utilized inflammatory language? I didn't see any words or phrases that were inflammatory. The OP asked a legitimate question.
  3. by   multi10
    It's all about being Respected and Valued as a Nurse and as a professional. We have to fight for our rights. That's where unions come in: To collectively help us construct a wall against management abuse.
  4. by   exit96
    Simply stated: with a Union you have a seat at the "table"
    Without a Union, THERE IS NO TABLE- you will take what they offer or "hit the road"- my Union Dues pale in comparison to that alternative.
  5. by   amoLucia
    Many of the positive benefits of unionization have been discussed. A BIG negative brought up was that of TENURE (as opposed to seniority). The negative is that tenure protects the jobs of marginal employees. They become "lifers", who just float along in their positions, barely performing the base requirements of their jobs. No more; no less - just there getting by. And yes, there ARE professional "lifers" in healthcare.

    This brings me to the issue of performance rewards. Where else but in a non-union healthcare environment would 'professionals' be expected to rejoice over 1%, 2% or 3% raise increments?? Newbies, earning say $20/hr, receive a 1% raise. This is a whole big 20 cents/hr. A whole year of experiences with accrued knowledge and skills has earned a big 20 cents/hr. BIG WHOOP!! Go ahead and telll me that 20 cents/hr is worthy compensation for professionals!!!! Healthcare seems to think so.

    I know of those in private industry who received professional compensations of $5000 for successful projects, pro-sport box seats access, stock options and 6 digit figure salaries with a few years longevity/expeirience.

    Unions negotiate decent raises and cost-of-liviing adjustments into their contracts. Other benefits, ie PTO, good healthcare , travel, housing and relocation bonuses are negoitiated. Tuition reimbursement, educational and certification differentials are negotiated. Child daycare, adult daycare benefits... Meal discounts, uniform allowances, ... Workplace environments...

    There are a few non-union facilities (most likely the chains or university/teaching-affiliated) that pick and choose a few decent benes. But they are becoming few and far between.

    Do you think unions would settle for hiring so many workers as PRN or perdiem so benefits could be avoided?

    I think I'd like to be a unionized professional anyday!!!!
  6. by   workingharder
    I don't see unionization as degrading the profession any. Many professions employ the use of collective bargaining. Off hand I can think of unions that engineers belong to. Teachers, of course. Airline pilots. Athletes. I believe there are also Physician unions (not sure about that one).
    There has always been a tug-of-war between owners/managers and workers. Management has the power of the paycheck and facilities. Unions (in the modern sense) were created to balance that power by giving the workers the ability to act as a cohesive unit.
    I haven't belonged to a union in close to twenty-five years, yet I am cognicent of, and grateful for the benefits they have helped to create.
  7. by   anotherone
    I believe physicians are prevented from unionizing in many places. i would lol to see that day come and work hours for residents really enforced. nurses are skilled workers for the most part. most nurses and the public sees us that way. i dont think anyone places nurses on the same level as an engineer or physician or lawyer. just how i interpret public perception. i am not too familiar with nursing unions as i live in a pretty anti union location.
  8. by   workingharder
    Quote from anotherone
    I believe physicians are prevented from unionizing in many places. i would lol to see that day come and work hours for residents really enforced. nurses are skilled workers for the most part. most nurses and the public sees us that way. i dont think anyone places nurses on the same level as an engineer or physician or lawyer. just how i interpret public perception. i am not too familiar with nursing unions as i live in a pretty anti union location.
    Your point is taken. I live in Texas so Nursing Unions are not well known here, either. But, what I was getting at is that there are other professions which unionize.
    Last edit by workingharder on Dec 12, '12 : Reason: No reason, I just like the edit button.
  9. by   KelRN215
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Congratulations on Michigan's new "Right to Work" laws. You sound like the sort of person who would be thrilled about such a thing. You should be frightened; you should be very frightened. But you'd rather be considered a "professional" than enjoy the benefits unions have bought us over the years.

    Nurses need to be protected because management, more and more, is trying to take away our professional status in the name of making us "more professional." Rather than letting us continue to enjoy the autonomy we've enjoyed for decades, management is forcing us into color coded scrubs, putting us "on salary" so they don't have to pay us for the nights, weekends and holidays that we work and so that they don't have to pay us overtime. (A union would have nipped that in the bud.)

    Rather than the staffing ratios unions have fought for, we now have to take care of as many patients as management can cram into our space while working short handed. Gone are our floating protections -- we're considered interchangeable cogs. A Cardiac nurse can float to L & D and a nursery nurse can float to rehab. A nurse is a nurse is a nurse you know. Unions fought against mandatory overtime, but nurses don't need no stinkin' unions, so I guess we'll be doing the mandatory overtime again. Oh, and some of that overtime is covering strike shifts for the unlicensed personnel who WILL be striking because they weren't stupid enough to think they didn't need unions.

    Unions gave us the right to actually USE our vacation time, but now management is free not to grant it because "we're short staffed." We're always short staffed. Without union protection, without staffing ratios, we can just run short staffed.

    The language you've used in your post is mighty inflammatory for someone who isn't challenging but just wants to learn.

    Unions have given us a number of protections and benefits over the years. As much as you might want to believe that your nursing degree automatically confers professional status upon you, that really isn't so. And it's becoming less and less true as time goes by because more and more people like you believe that unions are demeaning.

    I guess I'd just rather be demeaned and get paid for the weekends, nights, holidays and overtime I work. I'd rather be demeaned that be floated everywhere in the hospital because nurses are just interchangable cogs. i'd rather be demeaned and be able to use my vacation time, protect my job from the manager who wants to save money by firing the most senior folks and hire newbies instead, and be able to care for my patients safely because the union has forced the issue of staffing ratios. And I'd much rather be demeaned by union representation than wear the silly, cheap, shoddy scrubs my employer is forcing us to wear because they now own 52% of the company that makes said silly, cheap, shoddy scrubs.

    THIS. At my non-union hospital, management had a standard line about nurses being "professionals" for their justification for not paying us for the lunch breaks we worked through, not paying overtime for > 40 hrs in a week, not getting paid for staying late to chart or to code a patient, etc. Meanwhile, as we nurses busted our behinds for 14 hrs a day while getting paid for 12, the real "professionals" were coming in whenever they felt like it, taking 1-2 hr long lunch breaks, going to a few meetings and then leaving early... all the while making at least double our salary.
  10. by   wooh
    "professionals OR workers"....
    Can't we be both?
  11. by   BeagleBabe
    These posts are depressing to me. I'm a pre-nursing student, and on leave from my teaching job. You guys have all the same complaints about nursing as I do about teaching, and I was hoping nursing was a better profession.

    We teachers may have a union, but management has found ways around it, with the help of anti-union politicians. They give the older (read: more expensive) teachers the worst kids to make them quit/retire early, or put them in grade levels they don't want to teach and are not good at so they can find things to write them up for to fire them. Our unions aren't powerful enough to protect us from a determined principal. They even passed a law that we can't be moved to another school if we're on an improvement plan, therefore dooming us to be fired. charter schools are another way to break unions: most of them aren't unionized and teachers are fired at will. Then there's paying raises by test scores, which they call "merit pay" so the public will get behind it. (In other words, most teachers will not get good raises anymore, only a small number will have their students get high enough test scores to get the good raise).

    I don't need anyone to kiss my rear, but I want to be in a line of work where my salary will go up, and I will not be targeted because of it. Do the NP's and CRNA's have these problems?
  12. by   PureLifeRN
    My union has negotiated a whopping 2% raise in 2011 and NO raise for 2012. thats right. There are a couple employees that should have been let go years ago for terrible job performance but they coast along, their jobs saved forever. My yearly evaluation means nothing because managment can't punish for poor performance and cannot reward for good performance. I know unions do good at other places, but not my hospital!
  13. by   leksie
    How exactly does one acquire the protection and representation of a union? My state has a nurse's association; do you just become a member of the association? Or must you work for an employer who has an agreement with the union, and if so, how do you find out which employers are and are not affiliated with the union? Excuse me for being so confused. Input appreciated, thanks.