1. Calling for a Union opinion! I work inthe North East region NJ, And work at a hospital in ICU. I have worked there several years and love my job. This week we vote for Union representation by NYSNA. I am anti union at this point because I feel our hopital is above all the rest in many ways. I came fom good old Long Island NY and had NYSNA as our Union and saw little change. I feel a union is necessary if truly needed. I feel many have not experienced the true heart felt shortages and pay issues. I would love to hear some replys from those who have had experiences with a union in the N.E areas to get some input on if they truly made a difference.
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    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 20


  3. by   Sunshine55
    Bedhead - I can understand anyone's reluctance to join a union especially if they've previously been a member and felt there was no benefit. But, remember there is strength in numbers. Union members can voice their concerns to union officials and have those concerns brought before management. A nurse here and there voicing their opinions to management on their own appears to have little effect. But, the voice of a large union body can have dramatic results. Also, the union is only as strong as it's members. Members need to actively attend union meetings, discuss and understand the issues, and at times support the group as a whole even if it may not be the opinion held by you. Many times I have seen negative comments by union members about their particular union and they NEVER participate or put in an appearance at meetings or vote for officers. It is also true no one group will agree on everything. From reading these boards, I am certain we can agree there are certain major issues among nurses that can be addressed by unions in contract negotiations. Pay, breaks, mandatory overtime, benefits, educational reimbursement, safety, job descriptions, retirement, etc. Many individuals complain constantly but fear making waves by going to the boss. Those are the same co-workers who allow other nurses to be their voice but don't make a peep when asked to stand behind the more assertive nurses. That problem is eliminated when there is a union steward. Certainly, some issues are considered frivolous and may not be considered for discussion. I belonged to the CSEA when working in New York for Monroe County and for the State of New York.
  4. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]I would love to hear some replys from those who have had experiences with a union in the N.E areas to get some input on if they truly made a difference.[QUOTE]

    We have NYSNA & we'd be dead without it.

    In 1983 we had had a trade union for 10 yrs but out of all 3000 represented members at our hospital, the RNs were a minority of just 700. Our professional issues kept getting put on the back burner because
    the majority (2300 others - housekeeping, kitchen workers, etc) had different issues to address. So the Rns decertified from that union & voted in NYSNA & it was the best thing we ever did for ourselves.

    The first day that our NYSNA contract went into effect, our salaries jumped 29% overnight & professional issues such as floating to areas we werent qualified to work in, continuing education reimbursement,
    labor/management committees, professional practice committees, and seats on the committees that developed nursing policies were addressed. We are obtaining contract language for staffing guidelines & safe staffing ratios, mandatory ot, salary & pension improvements,job security, and financial recognition for education, experience & certifications, among many other items. And no RN in this state who is represented by NYSNA has to pay for healthcare benefits for herself or her family.

    NYSNA nurses in this city, when looking for a new job, will usually take the one where they will still be represented by NYSNA.

    Its a strong union & very effective. You can check the website to see what we're accomplishing all over the state. Good luck with your vote. http://www.NYSNA.org
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    Not being from the northeast you may want to discount my opinion. In a democratic union like the NYSNA the activities of the union are determined by the participating members. Since your fellow nurses voted for representation being anti-union now will not help you at all. Attend a meeting, listen, think, and speak your mind. They may need your perspective. Being a part of the decision making cannot harm your situation. Letting others control what happens will only make you more angry. Working together the nurses at your hospital might just prevent some of the horrors that occur daily at some facilities. It is clear that you care so go for it.