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Modern Healthcare: Laboring for union nurses

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NRSKarenRN has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

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I have to disagree with this comment. I am motivated to become a better nurse each day because that is the type of person I am. Most nurses I know are like this. They are professionals who take pride in what they do and want to do the best they can.

I worked in a hospital for several years that the union was trying to get into. I worked next to nurses who were pro union, nurses who were anti union, and those who were undecided. We never got to vote because the union pulled out???? Regardless, the nurses I knew who were pro union were some of the best nurses, the nurses I knew who were anti union were great nurses also. These nurses would be motivated to do everything they need to be the best they can be. I think for many nurses what we do is an extension of ourselves and we work hard and educate ourselves because of that, no matter how poorly we are treated by administrators and other nurses.

I am sorry, I may have taken things wrong that you posted. I guess I just found your post to be judgemental and insulting. And I'm not even pro union. Maybe I just misunderstood what you were trying to say??? But, I will stand by the fact that there is no outside management, or any other person that makes me strive to be the best nurse I can be. I do it because I am proud of what I do. And if I worked in a union state there would be no less motivation for me to work as hard as I do. Maybe things should be "better for everyone" because as a whole most of us really do take pride in what we do and we do work VERY hard. Maybe we deserve things to be better.

I worked in a union hospital at one time. I found that the nurses who were superb, became steadily less motivated to excel when they got the same raise as the nurses who were just doing "enough" because in a union environment you are not rewarded financially for your excellence, just seniority. Merit pay is considered "favoritism". No nurse becomes a nurse just for money, but it is nice to be rewarded and recognized for excellence. Union contracts are "one size fits all" and I have never worked with a nurse that would benefit from this mentality unless they are "just enough"

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6,620 Posts; 14,414 Profile Views

I worked in a union hospital at one time. I found that the nurses who were superb, became steadily less motivated to excel when they got the same raise as the nurses who were just doing "enough" because in a union environment you are not rewarded financially for your excellence, just seniority. Merit pay is considered "favoritism". No nurse becomes a nurse just for money, but it is nice to be rewarded and recognized for excellence. Union contracts are "one size fits all" and I have never worked with a nurse that would benefit from this mentality unless they are "just enough"

Then those are some weak nurses. Anyone who needs a certain raise to be motivated to be a nurse is weak.

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mysticalwaters1 has 3 years experience and specializes in ER (new), Respitory/Med Surg floor.

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I worked in a union hospital at one time. I found that the nurses who were superb, became steadily less motivated to excel when they got the same raise as the nurses who were just doing "enough" because in a union environment you are not rewarded financially for your excellence, just seniority. Merit pay is considered "favoritism". No nurse becomes a nurse just for money, but it is nice to be rewarded and recognized for excellence. Union contracts are "one size fits all" and I have never worked with a nurse that would benefit from this mentality unless they are "just enough"

See, my hospital the union has it set for raises a certain percent based on senority as well but our managelment still attaches the other part of the raise. What I'm finding is the management is giving the same exact raise to everyone and the tally on our review all evens out to average. I blame management not the union for this. I get really frustrated that we are not recognized. Well actually we are loosing staff on my unit, someone mentioned they dont' know why i'm staying and my review for this year I just got was actually wonderful. I was shocked. I mean i deserved it. YET it was the same raise as the previous year with just an average review. Come on!!! I was just happy with the positive got now. At least there's documentation I am good and appreciated. Just not paid enough! I haven't got the guts yet to say hey come on i deserve a higher raise! Only working 2 years in a profession period. It's not like i negotiated at burgerking and other cashier jobs. I was used to 10cent raises for every 2 years! (that was burger king.)

So i'm glad the union was there to mandage a raise in our contract but at the same time very annoyed at management for being very stingy.

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197 Posts; 2,382 Profile Views

See, my hospital the union has it set for raises a certain percent based on senority as well but our managelment still attaches the other part of the raise.

Which hospital is it? I'd love to look up the contract and see. It is extremely rare that a union will allow for merit pay increases. As a matter of fact that was one of the reasons the union went on strike at Scripps Encanitas 2 times.

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Everytime I have time to care for MY patients, I'm thankful I can do so without getting a letter from CNA threatening my job if I don't give my hard earned money over to them. On my check stub, there is no deduction for 'union dues'.

You're not looking at the big picture. In reality, you're not actually paying out anymore money for union dues. The reason is ... unions negotiate much better pay raises which more than cover the union dues and then some. You actually LOSE money without the union.

In 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that union members make, on average, about $9,000 more a year than non-union members nationwide.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm

In 2002, the U.S. Health Department did a study comparing nurse versus teacher salaries nationwide over 17 years. In 1983 elementary school teachers were making $4,000 more a year than RN's. By 2000, teachers were making $14,000 more a year than RN's. And, if you calcuate the difference on an hourly basis, teachers make even more since they have a lot more time off than RN's do.

ftp://ftp.hrsa.gov/bhpr/nationalcenter/rnproject.pdf

Why do teachers make more? Because 42 percent of teachers are unionized while only 19 percent of RN's are.

Even this accounting from an ANTI-UNION website acknowledges that unions do better. They compared CNA's better pay raise minus union dues at one hospital. Even with obvious bias against the union in these numbers, this website acknowledges the RN's still did better, even with union dues, than they did without the union.

http://www.stopunions.com/the_math.htm

You have to look at the big picture because, when you do, union members do much better, even when you consider the expense of union dues.

:coollook:

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nursecheryl specializes in inpatient hospice house.

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I'm a union nurse, when we (the nurses) are voting to strike or not to strike at the union meetings,getting a pay raise is the least of our worries. We are usually concerned about safety, work load and protecting our contract we have already fought for in the past. A lot of time we are voting to protect our patients. I can only speak about what i've seen, but with us anyway, it isn't the money that is making us vote to strike. I love the company I work for, I just don't want to see it change for the worse. When it is time for contracts the union and the agency/company is trying to change the contract. Unless you are in the negotiations you'll never know what is really going on. I've learned not to judge things when you are on the outside, because you just can't even guess the entire story. It is a lot bigger than the money. For example, one of the things they are fighting for in california is safety.

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If they come to Pennsylvania, I'm in. :)

I'm a RN and a member of a great healthcare union in PA, SEIU/1199P.

You should look us up. We've very politically strong in PA.

We're close to passing a PA ban on madatory overtime.for nurses.

We do loads of exciting stuff, try a web google of 1199P.:)

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I am a RN and belong to SEIU/1199W. We are doing great things in Wisconsin.Both of our contracts in Madison ban mandatory overtime and we are working on legislative efforts.

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