I've been asked to be on our organization's union negotiations committee


  • Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

I am a nurse manager. I am also very pro-nurse, and feel that my main job as a nurse manager is to advocate for my staff. My boss's boss, one of the "chiefs" of the organization, asked if I would be part of the contract negotiations committee for the nurses' contract, to which I agreed.

I'm very trepidatious, because I feel like I'm straddling both sides here. I want to make sure our nurses get a good contract. But yet, I'm representing the "other side". Am I overthinking this? Is it okay to be part of this process when I have divided loyalties?

klone, MSN, RN

14,576 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

Turns out, there was no moral conflict or difficulty. Apparently the standard tactic is to ask for the world, and then meet somewhere in the middle. As pro-nurse as I am, even I was left saying "Um...NO" to many of the demands.

nursej22, MSN, RN

3,279 Posts

Specializes in Public Health, TB. Has 38 years experience.

I've participated in several union contract negotiations, at 2 different employers. We would survey the nurses to see what were the top 3-4 priorities, which usually included a pay raise. We based our ask on what other employers were doing, plus cost of living. The employer usually suggested a decrease in benefits and a freeze in pay.

We always got a cost of living increase, and 3-5% wage increase. The employer increased the FTE required to get benefits. 

The nurses would ask for something about staffing ratios, and the employer would offer to have ongoing discussions. I listened to a lot of discussion about how lazy nurses liked to game the system, and the employer heard about the insane work assignments and being unable to take more than 5 days of vacation.