Unions - page 10

I was just wondering peoples views on Unions, from reading other posts I got the inpression that unions are not a standard thing. One of my lectures this semester was two of the big nursing unions... Read More

  1. by   ohlpn
    jerbear, you've been really helpful to me with your recent posts. Your explanation of service employee's unions & the different bargaining units has cleared a few things up for me.

    When our LTC employees tried to get a union to represent them a few years ago, our parent company put in a lot of time & effort to "protect us" from the union message. I've checked out this union's website & have concluded that our facility desperately needs union representation!

    If anyone is interested in the progress of my efforts to improve conditions at my job, I'll be periodically posting updates. I look forward to comments, pro & con, regarding union representation of nurses. Nance
  2. by   victoreia
    Originally posted by thisnurse
    i think it all depends on the union. i know that one of our sister hospitals is union, but its the service workers union, same as in grocery stores.
    why bother?
    there are more nurses quitting at that facility than the non union ones. there arent that many union hospitals in pittsburgh but i think that is going to change.
    we need ONE union with state chapters and speak with ONE VOICE.

    maybe we need to study what the teachers did years ago...we could take a lesson from them.
    I totally agree with the last part of your statement. If nurses want better treatment and wages... they need One Union and One voice. United we stand divided we fall.... we have no union in my town in Pa. They tried to get in but other people at the hospital (the CEO's) made the nurses believe all they would do was make them pay union dues and make less money. Hit them in the pocketbook. Falsified is what I felt they did. My husband is in an electrical workers union ( a large national union) and I thank goodness for that. Vicki, RN wish nurses would come together... I would just like to add.... I would not strike for better treatment or wages and put clients at risk or leave them without care (or at the mercy of just doctors)!!!! Union or not.
    Last edit by victoreia on Feb 5, '02
  3. by   victoreia
    Originally posted by jerbear6
    I know that the sate of New York has been a very pro union state. But there are many states who have not had that luxury. I too belong to a "service employee union" would not trade it for the world. We picked this union so that we could get all the employees in the same union , same local so that we may have a very strong voice in our hospital. The thing people forget is that the nurses are the union. It does not matter the name fo the union, what matters is that the members stand together and actively fight for what they want to achieve. It takes all the nurses to make changes. The problems are that we still have alot of apathy in the profession. We need nurses to to be activist, especially in this day and age when working conditions continue to deteriorate and nurses are leaving the acute care field. The only way we are going to make the changes is a strong solidarity of nurses as a whole. So unless you like working in dangerous conditions and risking your license on the floors, I say get involved. Do you realize if all the nurses would stand together and fight for our causes, we would not need unions, but that day is a way off and so we need the unions to help us get started. So I say lets get a fire lighted and keep it burning in order to save our profession.
    Sounds so easy. How do you get millions of nurses together to unionize when they are all working long hard rediculous hours? And how do you find your way through all the red tape and different laws? And how do you even go about getting union representation for nurses? These are all questions nurses need to know to even start to become united. Find me the answers and I'll get fired up with ya. I would love to see a united stand among nurses with one voice to represent them but how and where to start and where to find the time... Vicki RN
  4. by   victoreia
    Originally posted by Jenny P
    Okay, I'm not on the BB much for a couple of weeks, and Wildtime and JT are back at each others' throats again! C'mon guys, back off and count to 10.
    While reading through this thread, I see that there are a couple of comments made about both me and MNA.

    Wildtime, you stated "One union strike after another caved in without regard for the nurses at the other hospitals. I can still remember JennyP and others posting "next time we will........". So where is the true solidarity that you speak of? If this had been one large single group of nurses with the same demands and not willing to back down until all their demands were reached by all the hospitals in question, then things would have been far different. It would not have made one difference if they did not belong to a formal labor union. In fact, if the hospital could not count on reimbursement for the cost of temporary replacement nurses then they might have agreed with the demands much faster." Did you miss the part of it being different strikes? We had our union (MNA), but each hospital was bargaining separately with the union. And we were offered different contracts,- similar, yes, but different. It was not "WITHOUT REGARD"

    Wildtime, you keep knocking the ANA, but you don't offer anything better. I remember YOU saying that a group of nurses you worked with were b*#@$ing and you decided to be the spokesman and go into the managers office and complain; AND NO ONE BACKED YOU UP when the manager came out and asked others about your comments! That's the problem with nursing or trying to do things as an individual group of nurses. As someone said earlier on this thread, you can't get a group of nurses in a room to agree on the color of the walls in the room! There are always a lot of people who are willing to b*#@$, BUT NEVER GET UP AND DO SOMETHING TO FIX THE PROBLEM!
    So why knock JT and those of us who are willing to stick our necks out and do something for the profession? It isn't easy being involved as a rep for the union activities. It's a lot of hard work and it is something I choose not to do because I don't need that headache-- it isn't where I would excell.
    I'm a staff nurse in CV-ICU ; but I do enjoy being involved in my district, state and nat'l. nursing organizations. I am also a member of AACN, but because I invest my energy in ANA and MNA, I am "just" a dues paying member of AACN. My dues for ANA, MNA, and AACN are used for many different reasons, INCLUDING paying lobbyists to tell senators and congressmen what nursing (or at least THIS NURSE) desires.
    You talk about AHA and the AMA spending $$$ in Washington DC and elsewhere for their own interests. Well, ANA and AACN both do that too. MNA also sends out alerts with info so that we (the members) can also contact our legislators and tell them what we want. Here in Mn. we had a slogan several years ago that "1 in 44 voters is a nurse". Just THINK of the power we would have if each nurse contacted our legislators and told them what we thought of each of these bills or laws. Have you contacted yours? I do remember your saying in previous threads that you didn't think that government belonged in nursings' business. Guess what? The AMA and the AHA will take these issues to the government and make them into laws for their own good and we, as nurses, need to speak up for ourselves. And my membership in these organizations helps pay for our own voice in Washington DC. But I also use my personal voice because MNA and ANA encourage me to contact my legislators and tell them what I think.

    I'm sorry I'm off the topic here, but I did think it was necessary for me to put in my 2 cents worth also.
    this is not directed right at you. I just chose this spot to reply to the bashing I see going on. How can nurses stand united as one when they can not even get along on here? Every one is entitled to their own opinion and each of us should respect that. We are adults and should be able to express our opinion and get along without lashing out. The politics is what takes us away from patient care as it is and I see politics and different associations doing the same here, only it is taking away from nurses supporting other nurses instead of the client suffering it is us. Seems to me atleast that it is the political bull crap, from the hopitals to the ANA that hurts us.
    Last edit by victoreia on Feb 5, '02
  5. by   SoniaNurseRep
    Nurses that are not represented by a Union are at the mercy of management and have little to no rights. How could anyone working as a Professional Nurse not want better working conditions, as well as rules and regulations that management must abide by. It's time for us to effect change not only by having union representation, but by getting involved with your local Nursing Associations. Get empowered and have a voice.
  6. by   Ex130Load
    Well...I'm gonna try to ease into this discussion and hopefully avoid some of the hammering that's taken place...

    I'm not a nurse, but enter RN school in May. I'm changing careers after 24 years in the military. Along the way, I've collected some observations which I'd like to offer. I don't claim them to be absolute truths, just observations from my perspective. They are:

    Unions can often be refuges for the mediocre. Parallels can be found in federal civil service and tenured teachers. Getting rid of malcontents, the lazy, the unethical can often times be years in the making or impossible. That's one reason why merit pay is gaining favor with managers and the public.

    Outstanding performers often don't need a union. Somehow they just seem to do well on their own merits.

    History has often shown one voice can be lost in the din, but a crowd makes the most noise. Unions represent many and carry their volume. Unions have addressed horrors in mines, steel mills, and sweat shops; given decent living wages do many blue collar trades; and knocked assunder the likes of Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie (if memories of history lessons are correct!).

    Some union workplaces are an "us" or "against us" environment. To get the job, you gotta go union. If it's not a manadatory work requirement, sometimes it might as well be--your tires are slashed, locker broken into, etc.

    I agree with some of the other posts--do your own research to determine if a/the union fits you comfortably. If it doesn't and your job site goes union, I hope your union brethren will respect your right to disagree and treat with respect and professionalism. Afterall, you all are nurses before union members, right? It's about the patients first and foremost, ain't it? At least that's my perspective...

    PS Please excuse any typos and grammar errors! Miss my Spellcheck!
  7. by   sunnygirl272
  8. by   BadBird
    I am not a member of a unionized hospital but I wish I were.
  9. by   Iam46yearsold
    I am not a union supporter in any way.
  10. by   Medic09
    I was pretty much set to join due to my respect for the accomplishments of our local union.

    Then I saw that they actively campaign on political issues and support particular candidates. It happened that I have some different views and voted for other candidates. I thought it would be pretty ridiculous for me to pay dues that would then be used against my wishes and votes in the public arena.

    So, I did not join.
  11. by   nursesail
    Not a member, don't want to be a member. I don't trust the AFL-CIO or any other union for that matter.

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