Union nursing jobs vs non union

  1. How many of you would say hands down that a union nursing job is better than a non union and why? I've been working in a non union job for many years. The nurses were treated wonderfully until this year. We now have so many changes going on that everyone's head is spinning. It seems that the fact that we aren't union has allowed administration to do whatever they want to us. There is absolutely no appreciation for the employees who have dedicated many years to this establishment. Nurses are being treated so poorly bc administration believes it is an honor to work in this well known hospital..............
    Last edit by cappuccino on Aug 20, '07
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    About cappuccino

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 66; Likes: 13
    Specialty: 15 year(s) of experience


  3. by   Makadaja
    Union nursing jobs have pros and cons. Here is what I have noticed..
    Pros- Only if the union has negotiated well for annual pay increases, continuing ed, vac/sick time, grievance
    Cons- not all unions have the same priorities. Depending on the negotiators things like CEs, tuition reimbursement, clinical ladder advancement may not be important to them and placed on the back burner so to speak....leading to mediocrity and burn out.

    Basically union jobs are only as good as the negotiated contract.
  4. by   cappuccino
    Thanks Makadaja.
  5. by   JerseyGuy
    Oh boy....I'm glad to comment on this one.

    First, unions come into "being" because of a "management failure"!! That said, I've been involved with BOTH environments. And I'll tell you, there's not much a union can do to "protect" you. Unfortunately, in MOST unionized environments, there is an element of "mediocrity", and it's up to you to decide in which environment you wish to work.

    There's something to be said for the flexibility of give and take in terms of "time off" in a non-union environment, vs. the "seniority pig-gish" atmosphere in a unionized environment. Most non-union mgmt's do not wish to deal with a union, and will do "alot" to keep their employees happy and non-union. Now that said, don't expect a non-union facility to become a panacea (eg: keeping more nurses on duty than the census/acuity allows).

    You mentioned changes in your facility-----take a look around and my guess is that the "changes" you see are also happening at other unionized facilities as well. And if you find that's the case, then it's an "industry thing", and NOT your non-union employer just trying to "screw you".

    hope this helps.
  6. by   llg
    Having worked in both types of hospitals (union and non-union), I agree with the above posts. It has its pros and cons. Don't expect a union to solve all your problems -- though sometimes, they can help solve a few -- and sometimes, they create a whole new set of problems to deal with.

    In my case, the pay and benefits were outstanding at the union hospital. However, the atmosphere was horrendous because there was always an "us vs. them" mentality to everything. Management and staff never considered themselves to be on the same team -- and viewed each other as "the enemy" because of tension related to collective bargaining. That "we vs. them" mentality poisoned everything and just about every relationship between managers and staff. But yes, the pay and benefits were higher. I'd rather have lower pay and a happier work environment.

    On the other hand ... I have worked in a non-union hosptial that treated its staff so badly that I would have voted for a union. Sometimes, they are necessary.