Union or Fairshare? - page 2

I will be starting my first nursing job in a few weeks. My small community hospital just came through very contentious negotiations and now have a union. There are still a lot of strong feelings on... Read More

  1. by   vicki444
    hi shav--did you notice we're both in oregon--soooooo hello neighbor--are you in negotiations?---40 is hi for union dues-i wonder what other states pay or if it's related to cost of living in your area--if you have 40 nursesx$2 a payperiod x26 x2yrs =4160 collected or the nurses who don't belong could pay something = to dues--i think it would raise/help a lot. talk later
  2. by   -jt
    In the New York State Nurses Association, for RNs that are represented for collective bargaining (unionized), our dues are only about 1% of the BASE pay (starting salary - differentials not included) - so since each facility has a different starting salary depending on what the RNs there negotiated, the dues are different facility to facility but always about 1% of the base. Student Nurses, retired nurses, senior citizen nurses, and other non-union nurses in our organization pay reduced-rate dues that are even less than ours.

    About the active RNs who volunteer their time to work to make your bargaining unit strong & effective:

    We dont get paid anything extra for being on labor/management committees or negotiating committees because it is our responsibility to work for ourselves & to ensure our own voice in the workplace but we DO have a clause in our contracts that says these RNs will be released for these meetings on hospital time. Meaning we get paid & its counted as a day worked on the schedule. During negotiations, we schedule ourselves to be on for the days we will have negotiations & we come to work those days dressed for negotiations & even if negotiations last just 3 hrs one day, we go home when its over & are paid for our regular day of work.

    If we have a labor/management meeting scheduled or the date of a negotiation session is changed & we happen to be off that day, if we come in for it, we are given "time-owed" - which means it is counted as an extra worked & they owe us another day off. I had so much of these time-owed days that when I was recently hospitalized, I didnt have to use sick time or go on disability - I just used my negotiations time-owed (left over from last June-December's negotiations) until I went back to work.

    We dont get paid extra for doing this work but we dont do it on our own time either. Also, we have a clause in our contracts that provides for us to be given days off with pay (counted as a day worked) to attend our association's annual convention, so we dont have to use a day off or a continuing ed. day for it. The clause also allows for us to be released with pay on hospital time to attend staff RN union meetings that we have to conduct regularly for the nurses at our facility.

    Maybe this kind of thing would be easier to obtain than trying to get people to voluntarily increase their dues. Just an idea.
  3. by   -jt
    one more thing.......

    we are closed shops. Being in the union is a "condition of employment". An RN applying for a job is told of this fact by the HR dept . If the potential new-hire doesnt want to be in the union, she has the option of not taking the job. I dont know how you can get anything accomplished if only some of the nurses who work in a facility are in the union. Kind of defeats the purpose of UNIONizing & UNITY if the bargaining unit is split like that. It doesnt seem fair. I wonder if it would breed contempt & division in the ranks if only some were paying & fighting but all benefitted from the sweat & tears of those who "paid their dues".
    It reminds me of the old welfare rolls, when able-bodied men would sit around on street corners waiting for their "government check", while the rest of us break our backs working only to pay taxes to give them a hand-out, while they did nothing to help themselves. I dont think I could work in that kind of situation. At the very least, those who dont want to be in the union, but want to enjoy all that the rest of you & the union fight for & obtain, should have to pay something to the union for its work. To borrow from the NY state lottery motto: "Ya gotta be in it ta win it"
  4. by   vicki444
    thanks jt--interesting remarks--fair share was next to wages on the table-but the reason management didn't want to go for it is because of the nurse shortage- they don't want to run anyone off--our dues are deducted each pay period and run $20 x 26 pay periods--step 1 starts at 18.44 +5% jan002,then 4% jly002. what is your start and top scale? Our top will be $27.45 jan002. interesting comparing coast to coast(Oregon to NYC)
  5. by   shavsha
    Jt - Yes, there is one unit in our hospital who didn't join the union and refuse to pay fair-share because they just didn't want to be out the money...but they did take the pay raise the union brought! And yes, it is a source of bitterness which is totally understandable. I was told our union tried to get a closed shop but was unable. Without the "teeth" of a closed shop I think there will be very few like myself who would truly voluntarily pay fairshare.

    Vicki444- I noticed your are from The Dalles - My husband grew up there and we visit often. How do you like the hospital there? I heard it is state-of-art- beautiful....Is it designed well for nurses?
  6. by   -jt
    <our dues are deducted each pay period and run $20 x 26 pay periods--step 1 starts at 18.44 +5% jan002,then 4% jly002. what is your start and top scale? Our top will be $27.45 jan002. interesting comparing coast to coast(Oregon to NYC)>

    Congratulations on your accomplishments!!! Being in your seat for many years now, I know how hard it is to do!

    Before I list the numbers youre asking for, you have to understand that I work in Brooklyn, NYC. Salaries are higher in NYC because we have been unionized for decades & have fought a long time for them & also because we probably have a higher cost of living than other places (excluding LA, San Fransisco & Hawaii). Salaries outside of NYC in other places thru our state are a little lower than NYC salaries. I dont know what the comparison would be to your neck of the woods but if you take my numbers from a hospital in Brooklyn, & plug them into the salary calculator for your city, then compare the result to what youre actually getting, that should give you a good idea of where we stand. Let me know how it turns out : ) Heres a link to the salary calculator... http://www.homefair.com/calc/citypick.html


    Our dues are deducted from one pay check, once a month. They are about 1% of the base. The base is the starting salary for a new grad ADN/diploma RN. At my hospital the base salary (starting salary) is $54,109 as of this July 1st.
    (that's about $27.80/hr)
    (this is a mid range starting salary in NYC - not the highest)
    It increases to $55,188/yr on July 1, 2002.

    In addition, several differentials have to be added to the base salary of each individual RN as applicable. There are experience differentials of $1,000 for each year you have been an RN, up to 25 years ($25,000/yr) & that is received on your anniversary date of hire. Nurses with more than 25 yrs experience receive an additional $1,000 lump sum payment above that. So I guess thats the top base scale - base pay plus $26,000 - not yet counting all other differentials.......

    The other differentials are included for each individual RN as applicable:
    Specialty certification differential (including med-surg certification & all other areas) is $2,000/yr , increasing to $2,100 next July 1. Eves & Night shift differential is $5,300/yr. Charge nurse (assistant head nurse) differential is $3,500/yr.
    Education differentials are BA/BS/BSN = $1,400/yr, MA/MS/MSN = $1,700/yr, Ph.D. = $1,800/yr.

    Our across the board raises with this contract were an insult - 3% - 2%- 2%. Not even double digits in total! But that wasnt important to our nurses this time. They wanted staffing ratios & restrictions on mandatory OT along with increases in our pensions. We got all of that & more, so they gave the hospital a break on the raises. ; )
    But How did you pull off 19%?????? Thats got to be a record! Congratulations on raising the standard of pay for RNs in your city!

    I'm a staff RN, work day shift, have an ADN & 19 yrs experience & have put off sitting for my specialty certification exam. Still my salary is OK - even in NYC.
  7. by   -jt
    <one unit who didn't join the union and refuse to pay fair-share because they just didn't want to be out the money...but they did take the pay raise the union brought!>

    Ohhhh puleeeease! They didnt want to be out the money???? $20/mth????? Whats that? 2 movie tickets? Dinner at McDonalds? But they gladly took everything everybody else fought for, paid for & won??? They should be ashamed of themselves!!! You know, they export leeches from New Orleans. In the old days, there'd be a shipment arriving in Oregon right about now.... special delivery to that unit.
  8. by   -jt
    <I was told our union tried to get a closed shop but was unable. >

    In places where the administration has a choice, they resist closed shops. The whole purpose of trying to stop the union of nurses from becoming a closed shop is to keep the nurses divided, prevent a unified voice, & facilitate disharmony in the ranks, thus weakening the nurses bargaining power. If the nurses are fighting amongst themselves, they wont have the focus or strength to fight the administration. Its no suprise the hsopitals resist a closed shop. Its to their advantage if there is not a closed shop. Preventing a closed shop is just another union-busting tactic.... & one that usually works by driving a rift between the workers. Of course, when the nurses & their union cant be fully effective because their own fellow workers are fighting against them, you can be sure that the workers who are fighting against the union & causing it to lose bargaining power will be the first to say "see! the union isnt effective!"
    As my 14 yr old daughter would say....... "duhhhhh"
  9. by   vicki444
    HELLO to Lebanon and NYC--i don't see an area to respond separately so i'll respond to both---yes MCMC is a planetree hospital and beautiful as you heard--this is my 28th year--of course you always have some around who aren't happy--problems are common everywhere with the shortage and management seems to handle it as best they can(as well as most nurses) we just added a state of the art cancer center-it has the latest in radiology,waterfalls,hottub-many plus'with the patient in mind(in fact we're hiring in that area,as well as ICU and others) THERE is a relocatin bonus but nothing like NYC--do they make you sign for a certain length of time to collect that 26k. I will compare the cost of living chart & let u know vjg
  10. by   vicki444
    i forgot to answer the other question-- we were 6mon in to the new contract with no settlement--so ADM offered a 10%,no retro but added 5% jan002 and 4% jly002 to run until jly03. Since the 19% was offered in the next 11months,it's like comparing the retro as one check but the gain goes on, year after year. You add our $4 noc diff(8300 a yr)and that's hard to beat. Let me know if you do! call time will be 3.25(OR earns excessive call, for over 16hrs at$4hr),wkend is $1hr plus $50bonus/8hrs/when you work extra--vjg
  11. by   -jt
    <THERE is a relocatin bonus but nothing like NYC--do they make you sign for a certain length of time to collect that 26k. >

    I think theres a misunderstanding here. That additional $26,000 is not a bonus, committment, or relocation money. That is regular salary for RNs with that many yrs experience. On top of the base salary, RNs receive another $1000 for every year that they have been in nursing (anywhere in nursing), up to 25 yrs. After that, RNs who have been RNs for more than 25 yrs receive the $1000 for each of those yrs ($25,000) and an additional $1000 ontop of their 25 yr salary. That is the additional $26,000 added to the base & thats their yearly salary. If you are a newly hired RN at my hospital but have been an RN for 10 yrs, your salary would be the $54,100 base PLUS another $10,000 added in to compensate you for your 10 yrs experience as an RN. Then if you had another degree, worked nights, were assistant head nurse, or held specialty certification, you add all those other differentials to your yearly salary. This is your regular pay - not a bonus. And on your anniversary date of employment, you'd get another $1000 raise to recognize another year of experience & skill. If you have 25 yrs experience as an RN, that comes out to an additional $25,000/yr above the starting salary. We utilize this in place of a merit raise system.
  12. by   vicki444
    thanks again jt--would you ever be interested in a program where the hospitals would let us have a penpal(professionalpal)ha,where we could take turns visiting each others unit for a couple weeks--i can only imagine the work load a brooklyn hospital must carry compared to my planetree hospital here. AND thats got to be the difference in that payscale--cost of living is 20% higher,yet pay is 50% higher. you see for 28yrs,my scale is 54000(whew)but i couldn't trade spots-happy monday soon!
  13. by   -jt
    <i can only imagine the work load a brooklyn hospital must carry compared to my planetree hospital here.>

    I can tell you right now......copied straight from the Safe Staffing Clause in my contract.....

    <<MINIMUM allowed RNt staffing ratios - may be adjusted to provide more RN staffing when acuity is higher but RN staffing may not be reduced below the following set ratios......

    Maximum number of pts that may be assigned to an RN:

    ICU, CCU, Peds ICU, NICU = 1:2
    Telemetry = 1:6/7 with 1 PCA per 10 pts
    Resp step down = 1:6 with 1 PCA
    Neuro = 1:7 with 1 PCA
    Stroke Unit = 1:3/4 with 1 PCA
    Surgery = 1:7 with 1 PCA per 12 pts
    Psych = 1:9 with 1 psych tech per RN
    Medical = 1:7 with 1 PCA per 10 pts
    Oncology = 1:7 with 1 PCA per 10 pts
    Renal = 1:7 with 1 PCA per 9 pts
    Rehab = 1:7 with 1 PCA per RN
    Mother/ Baby = 1: 6 pairs
    Pediatrics = 1:7 with 1 PCA per 7 pts
    Step down Nursery = 1:4
    ED (for average 155 visits per day) = 8 Rns, 4 Med techs, "Fast Track" MD ER Office - 1 LPN
    OR (for average 1200 cases per month) = 19 Rns, 16 Surg Techs
    Ambulatrory Surgery = 8 RNs, 2 PCAs
    PACU = 6 RNs, 2 PCAs >>

    All of these are the minimum staffing allowed & the RNs on each unit decided these ratios themselves - floor by floor.

    BTW, about the 20% higher cost of living and the 50% higher salaries, besides cost of living, you have to also take into account that we have been unionized for more than 40 yrs - fighting for & obtaining those higher wages & benefits for decades, so we're a bit ahead of the game. ; )