Published Feb 9, 2002
Do you belong to a union in your school district? Is it the teachers union or is it support services union? I am trying to find out what is going on in other parts of this great USA with the school nurses and representation. Are you considered instructional staff? Are you considered professionals? Please let me know and thank you!
I work at a school district in Illinois. I am considered a health aide. The one certified school nurse in our district does belong to a union. I think it's the teachers union. I am not certified because I don't have a BSN that is requierd for certification.
I work in Prince George's County, MAryland. Yes, as a School Nurse I am "forced" to be in a union. Forced because I must pay the same fee whether I join the union or not. To add insult to injury, I am NOT considered a professional. I am in the union with the janitorial staff, cafeteria staff, grounds personnel. When I reach the top level possible, the Cafeteria workers reaching their top will be making a greater income than the nurses in our county. The problem is that P.G. County is just changing(for the past 10 years) to RN's from Health Aids and the Union leader just this year admitted they did not know there was a difference between the Health Aid and the RN, or LPN. We have a very long way to go. Our goal is to be recognized in the professional union.
The nurses of my school corporation are part of the Teachers Union, but we are considered support staff. The union has helped us negotiate benefits, and raises...job security.
Membership is not mandatory. Out of 18 nurses, there are only seven members. Of course, the nonmembers benefit from our membership and efforts.
Our professionalism is not measured by our affiliation with a union...it is from our work ethic and how we relate to the students, teachers and administrators.
I am in a very small district in Suffolk County, New York. I am one of two RNs for 1,800 students. We are in the secretaries union (CSEA). The other nurse in my district tried about 2 years ago to get into the teacher's union but was shut down by our superintendant. He said that nurses are not professionals. He is retiring this January so we are going to give it another shot with the new superintendant.
Does anybody think that it's about time the ANA represented school RNs? Maybe through our state unions or something, like nurses in the hospital?
I don't know enough about how unions work. Does anyone have a good resource they could point me towards??
You want to belong to your teachers union - they very likely have a category for school nurses. Two nurses in their own union will have no leverage.
You need to contact your state School Nurse Organization (You are a member, right!!) and contact your state school nurse consultant. New York has a history of strong support of the school nurses through the consultants.
All the state school nurse organizations can be found: http://www.nasn.org/affiliates/governancemap.htm
New York: http://www.nasn.org/affiliates/newyork.htm
The list of each state's consultants is at the National School Nurse Consultant web site: http://lserver.aea14.k12.ia.us/swp/tadkins/nassnc/NASSNC_members.html
New York's Consultants:
Mary Capparelli, RN, CSNP
Administrator, School Health Services Center
New York State Education Department
43 Turner Drive, Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES, Spencerport, NY 14559
e-mail: [email protected]
phone: 716/349-7630 | fax: 716/352-9131
Arlene Sheffield, MPH, RN
Director, School Health Demonstration Program
Washington Avenue, Room 318 MEB, Albany, NY 12234
phone: 518/486-6090 | fax: 518/474-8299
Wow! Thank you so much!
My comment about the ANA had to do with ALL school nurses throughout the country not just in my district
Yes, but if you go on strike, your district only loses 2 employees, and it does not put any pressure on them to negotiate with you. You need to be in a union that employs a large number of people in your district. Who represents your teachers?
The teachers in my district are in NYSIT (I think that's how you spell it). I am aware of several school nurses in other districts nearby that are in that particular union.
So nobody likes the idea of ALL school nurses in the country or in their state in a union together?
Support your State School Nurse Org. Join. Our nurses have worked for the county health department until this year. There was a mass resignation due to working conditions and each of us was hired by the school district. We now(if we wish) belong to the teachers union in the non-instructional catagory. Some are RN's ( I am). Some of us are LPN's and some are Health Aids.We were all paid the same until the negotations just over. Now we have different pay levels.
Mrs. B - I like your idea. I have been a school nurse for 15 years and am in the teacher's union (NYSUT). I do not feel that the union looks to advance the nurses causes. I admit that we do have some job security but not tenure (since we are considered RN's only, not teachers) and we are not in the Teacher's retirement system either. We are in NYS retirement system. We pay the same dues as the teachers (over $500 a yr.) and are not paid the same. A techer that started the same time as I did makes close to $90,000!! I make just over half of that. Plus, the nurses are among the only group of employees that don't get longevity pay. So, in the long run the teachers benefit from our dues but we get very little in return. The CSEA union workers get better treatment from the district.
The CSEA employees may get treated better but under their contract I make less than some of the custiodians and secretaries!
Our nurse in the elementary school has been in the district for almost 10 years and doesn't even make $40,000/year!
As a new employee, I don't even make $30,000!
By joining NYSUT we were hoping to get a pay raise and a bit more respect. In CSEA we don't feel like we're considered "professionals."
I'm not looking to get paid the same as a teacher but I am looking to make a salary that isn't laughable...
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