There are a bunch of threads on the union question ... try a search.
Much depends on the local contract and the local union. The only way to truly know is to talk to members and non-members of the specific union in the facility you're considering.
One of the main advantages, theoretically, to being in a union is the contract, which usually spells out work rules that govern how management deals with workers. You have more than just the employee handbook to fall back on in case of a dispute which could cost you your job, along with an advocate from the union.
How this works out in practice varies widely.
Jun 27, '09
I agree 100% with the above remark. I'd also like to add that union hospitals got that way for a reason; nurses in healthy work environments do not feel compelled to join a union.
Jun 27, '09
Uhm, maybe in the US but seeing as this is ALLNURSES, I'd just like to point out that nearly every Canadian nurse is unionized. The only ones who aren't work in doctors offices, are in management or in some small private clinic. Even then their employers attempt to match wages and benefits.
Our unions guarantee us living wages, safe workplaces, and additional benefits.
It was unions that obtained paid vacations, paid sick leave, paid time off for statutory holidays.
If you don't want any of those benefits feel free to tell your employer you don't want ANY of the advantages that unions have obtained for ALL workers.