Is it ever okay for nurse union to make concessions to management??


Our hospital is fast approaching the end of our contract negotiations and things are not going well. :banghead:

Apparently, a huge sticking point is our healthcare and retirement being under bargaining. Currently it is. That being said, I don't know of another career that the employees decide what their contibution and coverage will be with the expectation that the employer makes up the difference. Nursing is not my first career, so I know this option is usually not out there for the rest of the working world. According to the union, this is a non-nogotiatable to them. It is considered a "step-back". One of many the hospital expects the nurses to take.

On the flip side, the hospital was also offered the option of keeping the current contract for another year to allow both sides to hash soemthing out that is mutually acceptable. The union was pretty much told where to stick that.

Both sides are not willing to bend or compromise to the point of being unreasonable. They are both fine purveyors of bullpuckey and drama. I have no reason to trust hospital management given their past track record. I don't really have reason to trust the union that much more. It seems like the union reps are made-up of very few that are level-headed and living in the real working world. Insead, they're mostly a bunch of drama-queens that are blind to reality.

I don't have any solutions, nor am I trying to solicit any. I just want to let of some steam before I have to put on my game face for the patients tonight. Hrumph!:stone


805 Posts

Specializes in Psych , Peds ,Nicu.

It's called negotiating , both sides gain something both sides lose something , in the end you come up with something everyone can live with ( not necessarily like ).

From the union point of view , no point in asking for something you know the employer will not give and the members will not take action for .

From Management point of view no point in rejecting something you are prepared to accept , when you know that will provoke employee action .

VMC Insider

1 Post

I've got to agree about the comment "They are both fine purveyors of bullpuckey and drama."

I recently relocated from a part of the country with few nurses' unions, to one where everyone is unionized. I give credit to union representation for moving nurses to a decent wage, and some workplace protections they would not otherwise have.

But, during the contract renegotiation, I was offended by the posturing from the union at the opening session. I made a huge effort to change the process to one of respectful, interest based negotiation. I fell flat on my face. My executive colleagues, and union negotiating team members (privately) told me to get over it, and play the game the way it had always been played.

Unbelievable what we have come to.

allnurses Guide

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

I have worked at one unionized hospital and several that were not. My attitudes toward the whole thing are pretty consistent with what the posters above say. While I appreciate some of the benefits the union had won ... the posturing and drama set human civilization back significantly.

Contract negotiations are a dance that make all the dancers look and sound ridiculous. I have little respect for anyone involved who doesn't realize that -- and admit that -- in private.


453 Posts

Specializes in He who hesitates is probably right....

The dance has finished at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania urged us to vote on yet another weak contract, citing "tough economic times". Some of us wondered out loud who they worked for, and several nurses asked the SEIU organizer (whatever that is) why our union dues remained at 1.8% of our salary if times were so tough. No answer. The SEIU showed graphics of health insurance CEO salaries. What the heck does that have to do with our contract? Nurses asked the "organizer" what the people at the top of the SEIU made, again no answer. End result, the contract is crap, we continue to be robbed by our "union", and some questions just never get answered :angryfire.

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