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Lost 15 yrs of Senority by changing departments

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by Daytoe Daytoe (New Member) New Member

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I'd be pretty ticked if someone just walked onto the unit after I've been there several years and just starts making demands claiming seniority.

Do what you want, but expect it to grate against your coworkers who have stayed put to earn what you're asking.

I would hope the various replies have clarified for the OP that it's possible s/he has misunderstood how/when seniority applies. It makes sense that someone who has spent a long time on the originally-hired unit might misunderstand this, since for that person the seniority on the unit and the seniority associated with length of service within the organization have accrued simultaneously such that the person never really has occasion to consider the two separately.

The OP would be very wise to get proper clarification on all of this before pressing the issue. If it turns out that overall length-of-service seniority applies to unit-based procedures like vacation bidding (which seems unlikely based on the replies), then asking one's seniority to be recognized appropriately is not "making demands" and is not a valid reason for coworkers to pick a bone with anyone but the employer.

At this point the OP is only being unreasonable if s/he knows that the two are separate and is making an issue out of it anyway. It didn't seem to me like that was the spirit with which the OP was written.

ETA: The OP has also specifically stated that part of the reason for the assumption is because that is what was directly witnessed in the OP's original department. Those who came into that department with longer lengths of service were allowed to bid according to their LOS.

Edited by JKL33

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WestCoastSunRN has 20 years experience as a BSN and works as a CCRN.

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It sounds like this may very well be a case of "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means".

I think, often, seniority means institutional benefits -- not unit-based benefits.

Policy or not, it would be odd and ire-provoking for someone new to a unit -- presumably new to a specialty, even, to come in and get the best schedule.

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Policy or not, it would be odd and ire-provoking for someone new to a unit -- presumably new to a specialty, even, to come in and get the best schedule.

Yeah, I can kinda see it that way. But however odd or ire-provoking it may be, it all depends on an institutions policies. Seniority is an incentive so employees stay with a company.

Policies like this are normally covered at orientation. If those rules don't suit an employee they can always find a job with more agreeable terms. Free will, baby!

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NickiLaughs has 8 years experience and works as a RN, ER-Trauma/Critical Care.

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It sounds like this may very well be a case of "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means".

I think, often, seniority means institutional benefits -- not unit-based benefits.

Policy or not, it would be odd and ire-provoking for someone new to a unit -- presumably new to a specialty, even, to come in and get the best schedule.

It how my hospital system works. Seniority rules over everything. We have a couple people who came in with their 15 years seniority and killed all the vacation time, I've also lost jobs schedules to them. Every facility is different. I've also worked ar jobs where unit seniority reigned over facility seniority. No way to know until she gets polictly clarified.

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AnnieOaklyRN works as a RN, Paramedic.

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I think the seniority thing accounts for the amount of vacation time, and other benefits that come with being in the same hospital for that number of years, but NOT seniority within a department.

In my opinion you should not be upset, as people who have been in a certain department longer deserve to get first choice for their vacations etc. That is the sacrifice you make when you move departments. My sister just moved from regular X-ray where she didn't have to do a lot of hollidays and got first choice for vacations, to CT where she is the new person, and she is now working Christmas and gets last choice for vacations. She didn't loose of the benefits for her longevity, but she did loose seniority department wise.

Annie

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1,719 Likes; 4 Followers; 17,021 Visitors; 2,527 Posts

In my facility seniority applies to everything including vacation and scheduling. We are unionized and it is part of the contract. It does kind of suck at times but it's applied fairly across the board so most people don't complain.

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kp2016 has 20 years experience.

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Three factors; Hospital Policy, Unit policy and Unit culture. I would email HR and ask for a copy of the hospital policy related to holiday leave and seniority. I would also email whoever does the rostering / leave requests for your new unit and ask for a copy of the written policy they are using. I would then carefully review what is actually in writing to see if you are in fact entitled to retain your seniority or if that was just a policy of your old unit not a hospital wide policy.

Before taking this any further you should then very carefully consider exactly how unhappy your co workers in your very small unit will be with you if you push for this entitlement. I'm well aware that holiday schedule is a very big deal but so is working in a small unit with co workers who are furious with you. With 15 years of experience i'm sure you are well aware how long some nurses can hold a grudge. Best of luck.

Edited by kp2016

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NuGuyNurse2b works as a Student Nurse.

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It's the same policy at my facility. You move from dept to dept, you begin right at the bottom regardless of how long you were at your prior department. This has the added incentive of making people less likely to jump dept, or motivate people who jump dept every 6 months (we're allowed a move once per year) since it wouldn't affect them when they're constantly at the bottom each time. I came from a med surg into the ED. I had one year under my belt, so I was moving up the ranks and there were a few new nurses with me who left the med surg floor as well so I was steadily rising to the top of the seniority list. And then I moved and started at the very bottom again. It sucked but now with newer people coming into the ED I'm starting to move up again.

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WestCoastSunRN has 20 years experience as a BSN and works as a CCRN.

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In my facility seniority applies to everything including vacation and scheduling. We are unionized and it is part of the contract. It does kind of suck at times but it's applied fairly across the board so most people don't complain.

Consistency and clearly spelled out policies would help a lot. It sounds like these things are lacking at the OPs place of employment.

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kp2016 has 20 years experience.

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Because its small? In the ED in the same hospital (where I came from), new RN's from other units jumped to the front if they had the seniority. Why would it be different?

Unit Culture. Could be that the ER was attempting to lure senior staff from other units and a small unit may be attempting to keep its own already trained senior staff.

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psu_213 has 6 years experience.

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I would check the policy as to what seniority you keep. In mine, length of service with the facility means some things but other things (like vacation requests during summer months) is based on unit seniority.

Exactly. I worked on a unit where vacation requests were based on unit seniority; at the same time, if there was low census on a holiday, who got down staffed was based on hospital system seniority.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN.

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Because its small? In the ED in the same hospital (where I came from), new RN's from other units jumped to the front if they had the seniority. Why would it be different?

Are you still working for the Department of Nursing? Because in some hospitals, Interventional Radiology is Department of Surgery, or Department of Radiology. In my last hospital, transferring from the ICU to Interventional Radiology meant you were essentially resigning from the hospital and going to work for the university. You kept just enough seniority (about six months) not to have to be on probation.

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