How Many Nurses are Glad They Have a Union - page 3

I think it would be very helpful to nurses out there to know how a union either helped them OR did not help them in their jobs as nurses.Please tell your union story are the union dues worth the... Read More

  1. by   paphgrl
    I wouldn't work in a non union hospital. Last year, our contract was negotiated to include twice a year salary increases. Within months, the other two non union hospitals in the area had to increase wages to retain nurses. So the nurses who work in our local non union hospitals can thank our union for their wage increase.
    Because of union oversight, the management in my hospital is less likely to be unfair to workers. Because of this, Individual grievences are rare.
    While I have not had to file a grievence, I take comfort in the fact that I have an advocate if I need to. do so.
  2. by   Grace RN USA
    Have worked in unionized hospitals twice, and very glad I did. No union gets into a health system that treats their staff fairly.

    If all one ever gets for their union dues is due porcess of law regarding their contract, and a legally binding grievance and arrbitation system, you've gotten your moneys worth and then some. It will never solve all your problems-there are still people left in positions on both sides you don't like.

    Except one side has legal protection. You may not appreciate that unless you saw a nurse fired for no good reason, without any appeals process. (I saw one- a dotor told the DON to get rid of the nurse as he didn't like her. So she did-fired her on the spot.
  3. by   busylady61
    Quote from Grace RN USA
    (I saw one- a dotor told the DON to get rid of the nurse as he didn't like her. So she did-fired her on the spot.

    That is scary.

    Coming from a union background in my current public school teaching job, the idea of not working for a unionized group makes me nervous. Still, I am moving forward with my plans for nursing school.

    I sure wish we had unionized hospitals here in Orlando.

    I have heard good things about our local Florida Hospital system (Seventh Day Adventist)... apparently they have been chosen one of the top hospital systems in the U.S. for several years in a row by U.S. News and World Report, for whatever that's worth. I hope there is some substance to that.
  4. by   AfloydRN
    Our Union dues are approx 600 $ a year. Our pay is AWESOME and our benefits rock. I can't complain a bit.
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from ingelein
    could anyone speak to the issue of protection, how has or has not a union rep helped you out in a tough spot?
    [font="comic sans ms"]i never got into a tough spot where i needed help from the union -- knock wood! but dh was a union rep -- in fact, he was the rep who helped nurses out of a tough spot! it's a good thing i'm not the jealous type, because there were crying women calling him at all hours of the day and night when they needed help!
  6. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    Yes, apparently SEIU has a local in Orlando. Scroll down for the links. I have no idea which facilities they serve.

    SEIU Florida Healthcare Union
    Well, that explains it. While SEIU has done some good things they haven't been nearly as effective as CNA, IMHO. SEIU represents too many other workers with competing and/or conflicting interests, while CNA focuses exclusively on nurses and, by and large, is run by nurses.

    The only good thing about SEIU is that they're so big, they can have more political clout with legislatures but, they also do some really dumb things.

  7. by   MsPiggy
    I am in a unionized postion, we are acutally represented by the Teamsters, which is primariliy a trucking/factory uinion. My experience is so far they keep the cost of our health benefits reasonable, other than that are pretty much useless. If you took the $ we are paying in uinion dues monthly that would probably make up the difference in health insurance costs.

    I did file a grievance last year against my immediate supervisor who changed my my annual review AFTER we both signed off on it. He admitted it, apologized but HE and the director of human resources determined it would stay in my employee file anyway, the union rep told me that there was nothing they could do. Since when does the person you filed a grievance against get to decide the outcome? It should have been a impartial party. So I am pretty un-impressed with the union.

    They also allow a LOT of discrimination and Hostile environment including physical threats to continue even after they have been reported in writing to our Union Rep many many times.

    Personally, I think they are dirty and taking $ in exchange for doing what management wants here...That's been my experience as a Union employee the past 3 yr.s.
    Last edit by MsPiggy on Dec 16, '06 : Reason: my dyslexic spelling!
  8. by   AfloydRN
    I work at a union hospital and our pay and benefits ROCK!!!!! I cannot complain one bit. Ours is a nursing union.
  9. by   chibear55
    No union alot for nothing
  10. by   talaxandra
    The Australian union situation seems to be very different than the US version. There's one nurses' union in each state (all affiliated with one national organisation). Conditions are maintained and improved by tri-annual Enterprise Agrrements, negotiated between the union and the state government - one agreement for all state-employed nurses, and separate agreements for nurses at particular private hospitals and networks. The conditions and wages apply to all nurses working within each system, whether or not they are union members.

    Thanks to the Victorian branch of the ANF (of which I am a rep), we were the first workplace in the world to have mandated nurse/patient ratios. I have been involved in cases where good nurses would have been fired without union representation. Without the local organiser we would still be getting rosters a week in advance, rather than the legally-required month+.

    My membership cost $38.55/month (at the annual conference job reps vote down decreased membership fees for reps) and is tax deductable.
  11. by   styRN
    I'm the chief operating officer of our union's local, representing RNs in hospitals, LTC, public health and community sectors, and personally work in a LTC facility. I have worked in several non-union environments (was fired from one for cost-savings, but was done unfairly and not by seniority) and singlehandedly organized my current workplace a few years ago to join the Ontario Nurses' Association, so I have a good perspective of both sides, as well as a keen knowledge of what a union can and can't do for a workplace and an individual employee.

    I would not work in a non-union environment again, regardless of how amicable the relationship is between employees and management. Good managers can change into bad managers. Good managers leave and are replaced. Without a collective agreement, employers can unilaterally make sweeping changes to your working conditions, salary, benefits, pension, hours of work, patient assignments, area of work...the list is endless. A collective agreement states clearly what the employer can and cannot do without the union's consent, and vice versa. A unionized environment does not make for bad relations between employer/employee, but rather promotes open discussion and creative collaborative solutions to problems, and involves the workers in descision-making.

    As for non-union nurses, they still benefit indirectly from the union's efforts in regards to wages, as benefits and working conditions are mirrored closely in non-union workplaces to remain attractive to potential employees. In addition, many unions, including the Ontario Nurses' Association, lobby the government at all levels for changes in health care which affect not only the unionized membes, but non-union workers and the public as well. For example, ONA was integral in getting a recent bill passed making safety-engineered needles mandatory in hospitals and LTC facilities across the province, in addition to countless other successful campaigns to improve the health care delivery system, protect nurses, and also in recruitment and retention activities.

    Unionized workplaces, where there are highly functioning union leaders, are safer places to work, both for the client as well as the nurse.

    Also, malpractice insurance and liability insurance is covered through union dues, in addition to free legal representation in civil and criminal court cases as well as any hearings before your province or state's nurse-licensing/governing body.
    Last edit by styRN on Jan 9, '07
  12. by   lindarn
    Quote from PACNWNURSING
    I am kind of nervous of unions because of hospitals are not money making businesses, though hospitals need nurses in order to function, I do not want nurses having to strike in order to get their way. Through all this the patients must come first.
    I don't agree with you. Please let me explain my point of view. What do you think the hospitals do with the money that they make? They pour it into "capital investments", and then pull the "empty pocket routine", when it comes to the new contract, and the subject of raises and benefits for the employees it addressed. They always have money for the Pet Projects the come up with, but come up short for the nurses that keep them in business.

    The "martry mary" mentality has been the downfall of nursing since the beginning of time. It will continue until we make a concerted effort to change our mentality. If the hospital wants/needs nurses to care for the patients, then they can pay the nursing staff appropriate wages and benefits. The needs of the nursing staff need to take priority! We cannot take care of others if we do not take care of ourselves.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  13. by   currentlytx
    Quote from ingelein
    I think it would be very helpful to nurses out there to know how a union either helped them OR did not help them in their jobs as nurses.Please tell your union story are the union dues worth the protection, did your union rep represent you adequatly? What union do you think has the most clout? Etc, etc. etc.
    Hello, I worked at a hospital for 10 yrs that had a union. In my nursing career it was my first experience with unions. Prior to that, I had worked for 10 yrs without one. In comparison, I would vote for a union! must be a nursing union. Basically, they protect you in dicey situations and disagreements with fellow workers as well as administration! They settle scheduling disputes and the like. I paid approximately $55/pay period. It was alot or seems so, but it was worth it and tax deductible! Like I said I vote yes. I currently work in TX and do not foresee any such organizations here, but there needs to be. Nurses are not treated well here!!!!!