Union, yes or no? - page 4

I am a new nurse and have recently heard that the nurses at my hospital are considering going union. It seems (at least on my unit) that the biggest issue is pay. Are any of you guys union and if... Read More

  1. by   -jt

    You and I know that - or at least thats how it is in our RN union.
    I guess its just hard for others who have never had this experience to understand the concept that there is no middle man. But its true - if youve organized into the right union. Then "The Union" is the nurses who work at that facility. THEY are the ones calling the shots and there is no "third party."
    Last edit by -jt on Nov 11, '02
  2. by   bungies
    I might not be understanding this correctly, but in the US, is it the HOSPITALS that are union or non-union, rather than the NURSES?

    In Australia, at least where I've worked, it's an individual choice, and not that big an issue - you are or you aren't, and the only people who care whether you're union or not are those who have strong beliefs one way or the other. (It helps that nurses in the public system are paid on award rates.)
  3. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heart of texas

    This subject does keep coming up. There are some very interesting arguments presented for bith sides. But I for myself, will continue unwaveringly. Some have referred to unions as empowering themselves. I have always empowered myself to get the best deal possible for myself. And I will continue to do so as I feel is necessary for my career choices. The main trouble I have with unions, is that besides telling administration what is necessary, They start telling nurses what they can and cant do. It raises collective bargaining which seriously hampers my individual bargaining. And my individual bargaining has kept in good position throughout my career.. Do I think that a union could have done a better job for me, HELL NO. Also, nobody would care for me as much as I care for myself.
    Besides my work and my beliefs in patient care, which are very important in my life. I and my family and their well being are of greater importance to me. And there is not a union out there who is going to recognize my values. I am an Individual with my own thoughts and dreams and goals in life and I have met most of them with individual bargaining. This is something that unions will take away from you. You find yourselves getting drawn into the collective bargaining mass. < sounds like something out of startrek with the borg collective>... It just doesnt work for me. But for those it does work for I wish you the best and God Bless you.
    Yes. I look forward to crossing strikelines also.

    doo wah ditty
  4. by   charissa
    the union has been at my facility 30 years now, and has yet to tell the nurses whatt to do, it isn't some weird entity, its us, and yes,. bungies in the US its hospitals that are union or not. They recognizew my nursing values because they aren't like the painter's local 137 or soething, it is that state nursing assoc. although i dont think that non state assoc. unions represent nurses as well, they aren't nurses and as such are not held to our standards and cannot be expected to sign on and keep in line with our values.
  5. by   mamabear
    I'm currently employed by a Catholic hospital. I have no idea what their position is on unions, if they even have one.
    Things couldn't get much worse: the staffing ratio is outrageous, certain people get preferential treatment, e.g., they never have to take a low census day, or they get away with murder: allowing an incompetent, obnoxious male RN to remain on the job because 1. He's willing to work midnights (less patient contact), 2. He never calls off (we all wish he would) and 3. he's a "male presence". This is the same idiot that hides out in the med room or staff lounge when things get difficult.
    Maybe I'm naive, but couldn't a union do something equal treatment?
  6. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heart of texas

    Well mamabear, I cant tell whether you are catholic bashing or male bashing here.

    doo wah ditty
  7. by   JustMe
    My first job as a new grad was in a non-union hospital. Nearly finished with my BSN, I took a job in a union facility that would give me a pay raise for my BSN and later for my CCRN. I became active in my union because I believe that the nurses ARE the union and that if you don't like what the union is doing--CHANGE IT! The members ARE the union. The union at that time was a professional organization and was a member of ANA. A large coalition of union nurses within the organization took charge through the election process and voted to disassociate from ANA, claiming ANA wasn't doing anything for us. Many were not in favor of this move, but were out-voted. I went through a mourning process over that loss and resigned from all my union activity. But I remain at my union hospital and pay my union dues because I believe in the process, and I pay my dues like I pay my malpractice insurance--to insure against wrongful termination. I miss my colleagues but found another outlet for my activism. I no longer participate in union activities but I sleep better at night.
  8. by   -jt
    <I might not be understanding this correctly, but in the US, is it the HOSPITALS that are union or non-union, rather than the NURSES? >

    Its the nurses who decide if their hospital will be union or not. If they decide to unionize, they are union nurses & their hospital becomes a union hospital, whether it wants to or not. The hospital itself has no say in the matter - although most try to prevent the nurses from choosing to unionize because then it must share control with the nurses & it doesnt like to do that. But its a federal law that employees (excluding supervisors) have the right to unionize & to unionize with any union they choose. Its against federal law for the employer to interfer with that (but they do try like hell to get around that)

    Some states like NY have "closed shop unions" which means that once the nurses make the hospital a union hospital, EVERY nurse who works on staff there (excluding management) becomes a member of the union. Some states use the union-busting tactic of allowing "open shops" where, once the nurses make the hospital a union facility, they then have the individual option of either joining that union or opting out of it. In that case, the hospital will do all it can to keep more nurses from joining the union once its there, thus diminishing the strength of the union in that facility.

    "Closed shops" are more united, stronger, & more effective. In "open shops", those RNs who choose to join are the ones who take the actions & fund the efforts, with their membership dues, to improve their workplace & win contract improvements in compensation, benefits & working conditions. Those who choose not to join, can sit back & pay nothing, but since the contract will pertain to all the nurses who work in that union hospital, these non-members tail along & reap the same benefits from the membership dues & hard work of their colleagues who are paying members.

    If a hospital cant stop the nurses from unionizing by its intimidation tactics & empty promises, it will push to have an open shop so it can keep the nurses divided & their union weaker.

    Open shops defeat the whole purpose of a union - which is strength of unity.
    Last edit by -jt on Nov 17, '02
  9. by   mamabear
    Hey teeimuptom:
    I am not Catholic-bashing. I would say the same thing if I worked at Mount Sinai or Cook County.
    The "male" I'm allegedly bashing could better be described as a non-female!!:chuckle
  10. by   Gomer
    Catholic hospitals (those owned and operated by "religious" of the Catholic church) are almost schizophrenic about unions. The Catholic Bishops Association and the Pope both support unions and have stated that people should be allowed to form and join unions. Those running the hospitals (and schools, for that matter) live in the real world and know the effects unionization can have on the business of hospitals (or schools) . So while their religion supports unionization, their business sense rejects it.

    As for an open shop defeating the purpose of a union, I agree with your statement; but an open shop allows for personal/individual freedom which I believe is more important than the group/herd mentality.
  11. by   ANnot4me
    At my facility you don't have to join the union, but you still pay the dues as you benefit from the presence of the union. I am for the union because I feel protected against the whims of the management and viscious coworkers.
    Last edit by ANnot4me on Nov 18, '02
  12. by   Gomer
    Remember, if you are required to pay union dues, but disagree with the union's political agendas you can request that any part of your dues used as political donations and/or pacts be withheld and sent to the charity of your choice. (Drives the unions nuts when you do this)
  13. by   catbao
    want all info for Unions in NC for LPN, tired of no back up.wrking in a nursing home. We need help ASAP.burned out,over wrked, and ofcourse under staffed.Replys welcome at catbao@webtv.net Thanks and God Bless