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Got a letter today, asking me to join hospital union - join or not join?

Posted

Hey fellow colleagues.

So I have just graduated from nursing school this past May, passed my nursing board exam, and have started working as a nurse aid at an acute-care hospital about a month ago.

I am just waiting for the new graduate program to open up at my current facility.

Today, I got a letter in mail from the hospital's union (union for the nurses, nurse aids, LPN's etc.), telling me congratulations for working at my current facility. But in addition to that, has paperwork in the envelope asking me to fill it out, sign it, and mail it back to the union's headquarter.

The form basically allows the union to automatically deduct "union fees" from my paychecks. But it doesn't specify how much the union fees are. I know that I will call the headquarter office up, come Monday.

From you experienced nurses point of view, what are the benefits and detriments of joining a union?

From what I understand, the union have representatives who supposedly is there to protect you from unfair managers, or employees, who try to cut corners to make your work environment bad.

In my experience union dues were two hours of regular pay per month.

My union dues are less than one hour of regular pay so it varies quite a bit. I love being in a union. Unions created the first nurse-patient ratio laws in CA. I am less likely to be fired because of a personal vendetta. And I get paid much more than surrounding hospitals due to my union. I also have regular pay increases. The only thing I do not like about being in a union is that seniority rules. It doesn't matter who the best, hardest-working nurse is. The one who's been there the longest will get the promotion/vacation time/day shift/etc. There are pros and cons but I will happily stay with my union hospital throughout my career because unions have made nursing a safer and more respected profession.

Muser69

Specializes in Critical care. Has 42 years experience.

I wouldn't work unless there was a union. It's a small price to pay for not getting railroaded.

suanna

Specializes in Post Anesthesia. Has 30 years experience.

Many states you cannot be compelled to join the union. My question: Are you planning to accept the benefits of union protection? If a manager starts unfairly targeting you- will you expect the union to have your back? If you bid in a new position in a year, are you going to be OK with the DONs' new grad niece getting it over you? Do you expect your wages to be based on seniority and skills, not some secret formula that you "aren't allowed to talk about with any other employee". If you accept the benefits of working in a unionized nursing department, you should participate in that union- at least to the extent that you pay your dues. Otherwise- go work for a hospital that has no organized bargaining agreement. You may do better, you may do worse, but at least you won't be enjoying the gains won by collective bargaining without supporting the people that made those gains possible. Me, I'd never work for an institution that didn't have a collective bargaining agreement. I like to know that everyone is playing by the same rules and just what the rules are.

icuRNmaggie, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience.

Yes. Join the union and be thankful you have that protection.

Gabby-RN

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 4 years experience.

When I was hired at a union facility there was no option to not join. Being in the union was a requirement. Unions have many great advantages but also some disadvantages. I have been passed up for a promotion because someone with more seniority bid on the same job as me, even though I was better qualified. I do think it is good that they gave her a chance even though it didn't work out for me. The good outweigh the bad in my opinion.

RNforLongTime

Specializes in Med-Surg Nursing.

I agree, the good outweighs the bad. If I had been in a union in my job in 2006, there's NO way I would've gotten fired because the boss had a personal vendetta against me. My union would've had my back. I'd have grieved it and likely won! Well, karma came for that boss. She herself was fired in 2013 and is no longer working in that sacred managerial position. Last I knew, she was working PRN in a small hospital ER! LOL!! It might've taken 7 years but the karma bus came & got her! HA!

My new job at a state correctional facility is a union one :D

SeattleJess

Specializes in None yet..

I agree, the good outweighs the bad. If I had been in a union in my job in 2006, there's NO way I would've gotten fired because the boss had a personal vendetta against me. My union would've had my back. I'd have grieved it and likely won! Well, karma came for that boss. She herself was fired in 2013 and is no longer working in that sacred managerial position. Last I knew, she was working PRN in a small hospital ER! LOL!! It might've taken 7 years but the karma bus came & got her! HA!

My new job at a state correctional facility is a union one :D

I am so glad to hear that the karma bus is running!

PS: I was honored to join the union at my job. SEIU has made huge advances for healthcare workers in Washington. Union levels the playing field where I work.

xoemmylouox, ASN, RN

Has 13 years experience.

Where I live they have pretty much eliminated unions so there aren't any options for me. IF I had the option I would join one in a hot second.