Union- good or bad?

  1. 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 wonderful or terrible?
    thanks for your thoughts and opinions!
  2. Visit moongirl profile page

    About moongirl

    Joined: Apr '06; Posts: 728; Likes: 133
    OB RN
    Specialty: OB


  3. by   labcat01
    Let the games begin!
  4. by   Bala Shark
    Wal-Mart is non union, the cashers make around $8.00 an hour...The supermarkets in my area are all union, the cashiers make $20.00 an hour..You can figure this out...
  5. by   moongirl
    ok, so they help keep wages fair. What else? I am ignorant as to the ways of a union. I have never worked under one, or known anyone who has. What else does belonging to a union mean, specifically from a nursing standpoint?
  6. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from labcat01
    Let the games begin!
    Oh, for the moment, I think I'll sit this out.

    Except to say, LOL, (see how I'm sitting it out) that unions are good for SOME places, and non-unions status is good for SOME places. It depends on the local administration, AND on the local union itself.

    BALA points out that there can be distinct advantages to unionization for non-skilled laborers. But, you won't find that salary difference in nursing. To an extent, we are 'fungible': the fixed price on us is dependent upon the general demand for our fixed supply, and not a specific employer's demand. Simply put, there just aren't 30 million others just like us waiting to take our jobs.

    And that itself is power, whether we choose to individually OR collectively use it to our advantages.

    Now, back to the sidelines. . .

  7. by   moongirl
    ok.. so if it is not to ensure fair wages, what would be the advantage? i am not trying to start a war- seems this is a touchy subject (?). But the votes that put this union into place at this hospital were def. split. It only won by 12 votes. that means that close to 1/2 of the nurses did not want the union. To me this says something and I am wishing someone here would tell me ! please??!??
  8. by   Bala Shark
    In a union, nurses can negotiate about wages with the employer. Nurses can walk out and strike if they are dissatisfied with their wages or their health benifits..In a non union place, employers have the upper hand on how much you get paid..With a union, termination would be tougher since the union will protect workers to an extent from an unjust termination..

    As you can see having a union is a lot better..The union is basically on your side and it could never be bad
    Last edit by Bala Shark on Aug 19, '06
  9. by   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.
  10. by   Bala Shark
    Workers join unions for dignity, respect and a voice on the job in addition to increased pay and benefits. A newly released survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics details the increased benefits received by union workers compared to non-union workers
    After years of service, workers deserve a secure retirement. Unfortunately, only 44 percent of non-union workers receive retirement benefits; either defined benefit, defined contribution or both. Just 14 percent have a defined benefit plan that pays out a set amount every month, regardless of fluctuations in the stock market. Thirty-six percent have riskier defined contribution plans like 401(k)s whose payouts rise and fall with the investments that make-up the plan. As employees at Enron and WorldCom have discovered, defined contribution retirement funds may not be there when it's time to retire. In stark contrast, 83 percent of union workers have retirement benefits and nearly 70 percent have the safer, defined benefit plans.
    Health care
    In the absence of universal health coverage, most Americans count on employers to provide medical, dental and vision care. Leaving the provision of these benefits to employers means that nearly 50 percent of all workers have no medical care through their employer, and far fewer have dental and vision coverage. However, for union workers that is not the case. Seventy-five percent of all private sector union workers have medical benefits, 53 percent have dental care and 41 percent have vision care.
    Life Insurance
    Life insurance is an important benefit for working families, and once again, union workers are much more likely than their non-union counterparts to receive it, 82 percent compared to 51 percent.
    Short and long term disability benefits provide income security in the case of a disabling accident or illness. While there is not much difference between union and non-union workers in their receipt of long-term disability benefits, 28 percent and 25 percent respectively, there is a large gap when it comes to short-term disability. With 70 percent of union workers receiving benefits, compared to just 30 percent of non-union workers, the advantage of union representation is clear.
    Paid Time Off
    Trying to balance work and family is difficult at best, but it's even harder without paid time off. This is yet another area where union workers fare better than non-union workers. Ninety-three percent of union workers receive paid vacations, versus 79 percent of non-union workers. Similarly, union workers are more likely to receive paid holidays (89 percent compared to 76 percent).
  11. by   moongirl
    Thanks Bala, begalli and Timothy for your replies. I know there has to be ALOT to say about unions, otherwise a vote to go union wouldn't come down to being so close. If they were great, it would be a landslide, if they were terrible, it would be a landslide. At this hospital, it was clearly divided almost equally, which REALLY makes me wonder. Since I havent a clue about unions- and how it affects nurses- I was hoping for some insight.
  12. by   LadyT618
    Last edit by LadyT618 on Aug 19, '06
  13. by   HM2VikingRN
    As for me I will always support the Labor movement and the right to collectively bargain for wages, and conditions of employment.
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    Thanks "Lady" for supplying some of the many many threads here about unions.

    I too suggest searching for the threads re: unions. There are simply thousands of replies there.

    Maybe a mod could link to more?

    As for me, I would not work at a union hospital nor would I join a union.

    I can "bargain" for myself.