What's the deal with unions? - page 2

Hey everyone, I just had an interview at a hospital that is a union facility. They informed me that they had occasional mandatory overtime. They also float nurses to other units (but you only... Read More

  1. by   Genista
    I think you need to look at each union & facility individually. As for me, I worked a non union hospital where the staff meetings were basically a talking head manager monologue. Staff had little to no input. Pay was a joke. Breaks didn't exist. There was no support. There was no bargaining. "Take it or leave it," was the philosophy & guess what, I left. They had high turnover at that place. You reap what you sow, I guess.

    I went over to another hospital with a strong nurses union. I didn't go there for the union necessarily, but...the working conditions were reputed to be pretty darn nice. I think the union is a big part of that. We have educated union professionals to represent us in bargaining. We need them, because frankly,many of the upper management are like a bunch of sharks in a tank. They would have nurses working for free if they could. At my union job, we have meetings where our opinion is heard and counts. We vote on issues that are important to US. My pay has jumped dramatically. Our contract had "no mandatory overtime" written into it. Any extra shifts worked are voluntary, and we get bonus incentive pay to work them. My ETO earnings are generous.

    I went to some of our union meetings the last time we were bargaining for a new contract, and you should have heard the greedy and insulting propositions on the part of hospital management. They were trying to take drastic amounts of benefits away from RNs who worked 20+ years at that place. It was disgusting. Thank goodness we came together as a team, and had our union reps who are knowlegable to back us up. All we wanted was a fair and competative package, which is all anyone ever seems to want. Yet in some instances, you can be treated like a lowly slave unless you have some union backing.

    I don't think it's fair to lump unions as all good or all bad. Take it into consideration.My experience with unions has been positive by far. And I gladly pay the $25/month for the top notch pay, benefits, and experience the union has helped us to get. Anytime a staff nurse has a grievance, the union is there to back us up.

    My union rocks!