Union- good or bad? - page 2

A hospital in my area that I was hoping to work at once I graduate recently held a nurses vote to go union. It passed, but not overwhelmingly. I was wondering what are your thoughts. Are unions... Read More

  1. by   HM2VikingRN
    See American Labor Studies Center for a history of the labor movement. Most progressive reforms for the US were originated through the efforts of the labor movement. (40 hour work week, Social Security, time and a half for OT etc.....)

    Other examples from the Progressive Party platform:

    We pledge ourselves to work...for:
    Effective legislation looking to the prevention of industrial accidents, occupational diseases, overwork, involuntary unemployment, and other injurious effects incident to modern industry;
    The fixing of minimum safety and health standards....
    The prohibition of child labor;
    Minimum wage standards for working women, to provide a "living wage" in all industrial occupations;
    The general prohibition of night work for women and the establishment of eight hour day for women and young persons;
    One day's rest in seven for all wage workers;
    The eight hour day in continuous twenty-four-hour industries;
    The abolition of the convict contract-labor system....
    Standards of compensation for death by industrial accident and injury and trade disease which will transfer the burden of lost earnings from the families of working people to the industry, and thus to the community....
    Establishing...schools for industrial education under public control and encouraging agricultural education and demonstration in rural schools;
    The establishment of industrial research laboratories to put the methods and discoveries of science at the service of American producers;
    We favor the organization of the workers, men and women, as means protecting their interests and of promoting their progress....

    We believe that the remaining forests, coal and oil lands, water powers and other natural resources still in State or National control (exception agricultural lands) are more likely to be wisely conserved and utilized for the general welfare if held in the public hands.
    Progressive Party Platform, 1912

    America benefits from a strong labor movement!

    Right to Work= Right to Work for Less.

    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Aug 19, '06
  2. by   Ann RN
    "As for me, I would not work at a union hospital nor would I join a union.

    I can "bargain" for myself."


  3. by   Dabuggy

    I have worked for two unions in the past and if given a choice would do it again. I like the retirement plan, health care options, Dental plans, scheduled pay raises, security knowing they need a reason to terminate employment, paid vacations, paid personal days, having a union steward with me if I should need it, etc. Now non-union shops may argue that we have that. But do they really? The only thing I dislike about unions is I give up the right to be represented by an attorney if I should need it. I would rather have someone knowledgeable in law representing me from day one.

  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    Nursing Activism forum houses many threads on subject.

    Search engine located on gold tool bar for "Nursing Unions", "Benefits of nursing unions" , "Pro's and Con's of nursing unions" to look for exactly what you want.
  5. by   WDWpixieRN
    My .02....my father worked in a warehouse for many years, raising 4 kids....as he got nearer to retirement, it started looking more and more enticing to him as talks of breaking up the union happened....the words he said to me were: "It's the young kids out there. They don't remember what it was like before the unions. They've done a lot for us."

    I know I've heard a lot of people say they hate the power that the unions have...some hate being required to pay dues...some resent that there are employees riding the coattails of those paying dues by not joining the union themselves...

    I, for one, worked for the civil service on the West Coast, and the union did wonders for us at bargaining time, helped ensure security on the job (unlike my most recent employer where I survived 2 layoffs, but I watched GOOD employees get walked out the door due to arbitrary decisions by upper-upper management. Even immediate supervisors weren't consulted about who got let go), and ensured great retirement benefits.

    Once I'm out of school, if I'm offered the choice between union or non (we have both in this area), I'll lean toward union everytime.

    But the subject's very close to political discussions, and I can only imagine where that has led on previous threads!!
  6. by   npmaui
    I think unions can be good or bad. I say ask some airline workers or united autoworkers how the unions did for them. In some instances unions take a stand which just doesn't make sense businesswise. In some instances with the airlines and the autoworkers, the unions played a dangerous game of roulette with the workers being held hostage. Back and forth, and eventually the businessess were not able to sustain themselves...and then everyone lost everything; both shareholders and workers. Unions have their place in advocating for workers rights, but when they operate in their own interest - to sustain their power, and advocate for the worker as a distant second...the worker loses.

    This is almost like a history lesson. Take a look at the teamsters union and how successful they are now as a lobbying group. When the unions hold you hostage for benefits or wages that don't make business sense, the hospital eventually falters and you lose when the hospital goes away. It's like mutually assured destruction. As a worker in a free market economy, you can vote with your feet. When that happens supply and demand takes over...and wages/benefits will rise and fall according to fair market value. At that point shabby operations (and workers) will falter, and solid operations (and workers) will thrive.
    Last edit by npmaui on Sep 2, '06
  7. by   lannisz
    I work at a union hospital. I find it interesting that we have a "choice" to join the union, but if we don't, we are required to pay what's called a "fair share" - pretty much the same amount as the dues - every month to a hospital charity or foundation. The money is automatically deducted from our paycheck every two weeks, and there is a clause in the paperwork we sign that says if we do not pay our dues or fair share we will be terminated. Don't really understand it.......isn't there a name for that? Also our wages are exactly the same as the non-union hospitals in our area.
    Last edit by lannisz on Sep 2, '06
  8. by   npmaui
    In the last california election, the unions from various industries were self promoting very heavily. One point they were adamant about: employees are never required to join a union. They said that workers can opt out of unions.

    However, I have heard from various nurses, they had no choice, and that some places are union shops, so you have to join. I'm curious to hear more about this. We don't necessarily need to hear propaganda here...this is not the right place. We just need to hear the straight facts.
  9. by   caba35
    You're typically better off in a nurse union. My benefits are great, though my union is weak. I would like to see nursing benefit from unions as I've seen other areas like the construction industry and auto industry
  10. by   emsrn1970
    I think you will find that unions benefit the more worthless employees. It is harder to fire the slackers and it creates an air of mediocrity. I worked at a Kaiser facility in California and the trash was overflowing from the cans at times the place was dirty and all anyone could talk about was money this and money that. I had nurses leave me a written report for shift change and were gone when I arrived. That would not be tolerated in a non union facility. Would be interesting to see patient outcomes in union vs. non union facilities. Unions served a valuable purpose in the early parts of the past century but now they are strictly self serving.
  11. by   VivaLasViejas
    I don't believe generalizations such as the above are at all helpful.

    Not all unions are bad. Not all management is good. There are too many variables involved to make sweeping judgments like this.

    I've worked in both union and non-union workplaces, and NOWHERE was it OK to leave your patients until someone was available to replace you. In fact, where I come from, that is one of the definitions of abandonment, and I can't imagine why any institution that cares even a tiny bit about its funding sources---let alone its patients!---would tolerate it.
    Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Sep 2, '06
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    If you choose to work at a facility where the nurses are represented by a union it may be:
    1. Union Shop. This means all employees as defined in the contract must pay dues. There are some exceptions for religios reasons. Seventh Day Adventists and others may donate to a charity instead.
    2. Fair Share means a choice of joining and paying dues or paying less to cover the costs of bargaining and enforcing the contract.
    3. Open Shop means you have a choice about whether to join and if you choose not to join you pay nothing. The union is still required to represent you. An example would be if you were not paid overtime for working a holiday in the contract the union would be required to represent you and get proper pay.
  13. by   nicolel1182
    Quote from begalli
    moongirl why not do a search of this website.

    There are tons and tons and tons already written on this topic and these threads always end up closed.

    actually I did a search and it looked like one 3 out of 275 threads were closed. Don't know where you think they always end up bad. Seems pretty civilized to me