Unions - page 7

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   fergus51
    Yes, it would have been illegal to hand in resignations en masse though each individual nurse could have done so. No, it would not have effetuated change as it should be noted it was only about a quarter of nurses who were willing to do it in the first place and since the contract has been imposed we have seen more nurses come to the province, they aren't leaving as much.
    The union did engage in illegal walkouts and such, but individual nurses are not willing to put it all on the line by resigning en masse. I firmly believe the union would've handed them in had it not been declared illegal (it wasn't an empty threat). It's the individuals that don't have the guts to go through with things here. It's why I am planning on leaving in the next year or so.

    Individual nurses here can not effectuate change outside of the union as our contract is negotiated with the union, not with individual nurses. It is like jt said: The employer doesn't have to negotiate with a group, they do have to negotiate with the union (here anyways).

    If individuals had negotiating power we would be working in a sh*thole I am sure because I don't believe individual nurses are able to work together in bargaining without some sort of organisation. I have not seen any evidence that individual nurses can get together, set common goals and go about getting them. Put a group of nurses in a room and your lucky if they can agree on what color the walls are. I can't emphasize this enough. For those here who complain about the contract I ask them if they even submitted their resignations in the first place. More often than not they say no. This is the apathy I see in individual nurses. There are those who are willing to risk it all, but they are few and far between. It's the union that got nurses to refuse OT, to participate in walkouts and to submit resignations in the first place, NOT individual nurses.

    Our gov't won because they legislated us to accept the contract. They can do the same to individual nurses or union nurses. They control ALL the hospitals in the province. In the end it was a take it or leave it situation. Like I said, a lot of nurses are happy with the gains made. I don't see a "group of individuals" doing any better than the union. I have never seen a group do that.
  2. by   fergus51
    Wow that wa unclear! Here's another go. The reason individual nurses couldn't have done better is because they couldn't organise a mass resignation campaign either as it would be illegal for them as a group to do it, just like it was illegal for the union as a group to do it. The only way it would be legal is for a nurse like me to just go in and quit WITHOUT getting other people to or making sure that they are. In other words, no organisation at all thus no real power.
  3. by   shanzah
    Originally posted by shanzah
    I am truly shocked.... I am also a nurse in texas.... and when I graduated 10+ years ago they told us there will never be unions in the state of texas because they are illegal according to our nurse practice act....... All things considered... unionization would be a good idea.... maybe then the management would stop recycling the same old "game plans" under new titles... you know the "new idea that's going to make life a whole lot easier for everyone"... yeah right Now, if you know of an area in texas that has unionized nurses... please tell me where.. I am looking into making a change in the near future... that might be the place to go

  4. by   donmurray
    Maybe it's a Texas nurse who doesn't want anyone to know she is in a union!
  5. by   crystalhawk
    Originally posted by shanzah

    okay, finally... sorry shanzah.. I posted this the other nite, along with some others that were credited to you... some kind of screw up in the system.. I actually had to re-register in order to respond Please let it be known that Shanza's name is not taken in vain... and I am not a nurse in texas hiding to avoid folks knowing I am in a union... I know of no unions in texas, but am interested in learning about them. I don't know if they are the answer, but mayhap they will provide a clue
  6. by   shanzah
    Originally posted by crystalhawk

    okay, finally... sorry shanzah.. I posted this the other nite, along with some others that were credited to you... some kind of screw up in the system.. I actually had to re-register in order to respond Please let it be known that Shanza's name is not taken in vain... and I am not a nurse in texas hiding to avoid folks knowing I am in a union... I know of no unions in texas, but am interested in learning about them. I don't know if they are the answer, but mayhap they will provide a clue
    Thanks for the clarification! and for the record I'm not in a Union either
  7. by   Jay Levan
    Unionization IS what our profession needs! However it does not need a Union here and a Union there, rather a National Union for Nurses , with duly elected State Representatives, and with the inclusion of elected Lobbyists from each state. In this way we would have the number of Nursing Representatives equal to or more than there are Senators and if necessary they could Lobby there own Senator with nationally approved agenda items. Of course the small percentage of National Leadership in the ANA would disapprove or try to wrestle control of this National Union, so that they may continue the "status quo" but if we bedside nurses stuck to our agenda we (I believe) could and should win that battle Of course when one undertakes such a huge task, they should always expect the unexpected, a National Union would be debating many issues with many foes, and as always in these situations Primary Goals can and do get watered down or obliterated, if leadership does not hang together for the good of all. I know this is very generic in nature, however when attempting to achieve those primary goals elected leadership must be focused on those goals, and they must be "our" goals, not a small group of people who call themselves Leaders, yet make our jobs harder and more precarious
  8. by   RNPD
    Jay-there is already a national nurses' union-called the UAN (United American Nurses). It is affiliated with the AFL-CIO as of last summer and should begin to have increased clout as a result. It is the labor arm of the ANA (American Nurses' Association). To learn more go to


    and click on the UAN link.
  9. by   wildtime88
    RNPD, you dare to bring up a union that is headed by an association who is right now pushing for legislation that will actually take bargaining power away from nurses. Now I have heard everything.

    On top of it you want to suggest that they will gain clout as a result. You also suggest that this union and organization is the best thing for nurses. Just what nurses are you talking about? Are you talking about the nurses that are working at the bedside, or the nurses in the leadership of the controlling organization who are pushing for legislation that will sell them out.

    Talk about one hand not knowing what the other one is doing.

    As Jay said, we need national leadership that is dedicated to Nurses at the bedside.
    Last edit by wildtime88 on Dec 19, '01
  10. by   RNPD
    Wild-you show your ignorance with every post. The UAN will have increased clout due to its recent affiliation with the AFL-CIO. The ANA is behind the UAN 100%. Your twisted logic re this legislation you keep harping on is just that. Just as twisted as your arguments re the ANA's Code. If you don't understand something, educate yourself. I have stayed out of your ANA nonsense thus far because a closed mind has no interest in intelligent debate, and you obviously have an agenda. I will not respond again to your rhetoric.

    I suggest that anyone interested in the UAN or the ANA for that matter, become active in their state association. At the very least, read the ANA and your State Ass'n websites regularly. Keep informed and make educated decisions. If you have no need of a union, bravo. Hope it lasts. I happen to think that a strong group is needed to bring nursing into the 21st century, as the profession we want to be. Others may disagree, as is their right. We can debate it intelligently, or not at all. But use logic and education, not feelings, outdated thoughts, or pre-conceived prejudices when you make your decisions.

    TOGETHER we can become a respected profession. Let me put it this way-the state of nursing-and as a result, healthcare-is at it's worst since, I believe, the profesion began. What we've always done is no longer working-and never worked very well in the first place. Is it time for a change?
  11. by   RNPD
    I am also getting tired of the people who say the ANA dues are too expensive. I was also one of those people at one time I am ashamed to say. But guess what? $300-$500/year really isn't unreasonable. What does the AMA charge for dues?-and I know all about the increasing # of docs who say it's too expensive. In the end, YOU decide what you can & can't pay for.

    My point is this-I would bet that 75% or more of those who say they CAN'T afford the dues, actually CHOOSE not to afford them. How many of you spend more than $50/month on cigarettes, or junk food, or using gas to drive 1/4 mile when it would be cheaper and healthier to walk? I'm sure if you think about it, you will realize that most of you can pi$$ away 300-500 bucks a year w/o a second thought. Why not use that money to join your professional association and have a VOICE in what the ANA does, instead of complaining that since they only have 8% of registered nurses in the US, they can't be speaking for you. JOIN, let them know your feelings, and LET THEM SPEAK FOR YOU!

    I know that there is probably waste in the way some of the dues are spent-show me any large organization or bureaucracy in this country where that doesn't happen. But on the whole, I believe that ANA recognizes the plight of nursing today and is trying to correct it. If you don't like what they are doing, stop b!tching and TELL them what you want.
  12. by   wildtime88
    RNPD, well how about using a little logic yourself.

    The ANA is pushing for legislation to bring in a massive amount of new nurses at the taxpayer's expense with an obligation to work for a certain number of years at institutions of need. The needs being those areas and facilities including hospitals who are short of nursing staff. Many of these places can not keep staff because they refuse to change the basic working conditions. If these new nurses fail to fulfill their commitments, then they will have to pay back the money that was invested. The target group is those people who come from poor socioeconomic conditions.

    The other side of the coin is that much of the progress being made right now is due to the mere fact that there is a nursing shortage that gives nurses the power and shear leverage to use toward making changes.

    If you flood the market with nurses thus taking away the shortage while at the same time have them under obligation to work under a penalty of repayment, then what do you think will happen to the progress of the union movement. Do you actually think that hospitals will be as quick to bargain? Do you think that without a shortage of nurses the hospitals will be as quick to concede demands to nurses?

    The president of the ANA does oversee the UAN as well as does a few others in the ANA. This is written in the bylaws.
    Last edit by wildtime88 on Dec 20, '01
  13. by   RNKitty
    I think I am finally understanding what you are getting at, Wild. Hit me over the head with a hammer a few times and eventually it sinks in. So, tell me again who I contact legislative-wise to discuss this? (Anyone who doesn't want to know, doesn't have to look )

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