The advantages are the benefits and union. The major disadvantage is the pay compared to the private industry. I am an LPN, and HHC will start them off with anywhere from $32-37,000 yearly, the RN (associate degree) may begin with $59-62,000. I have made much more at my home care case for three days than I would make in two weeks, and I have had other friends that are RNs that have told me the same. One of my RN girlfriends told me that she has a home case for 5 hours watching SoluMedrol drip making $65 per hour and brings home more from THAT than she does from HHC in two weeks. But, we don't have a union or the same benefits.
HHC may pay your way to school for further your education, has a pension plan and you will see things there that would never been seen elsewhere....therefore, I can agree...experience-wise, you can't beat it.
The unions can also be a disadvantage because they keep the screw-ups along with the hard workers, and it is very hard to fire them. You may work side by side with people that do horrible things while the managers pretend not to see. Most times, you may be dealing with quantity rather than giving quality care, so, that may be a challenge to most that care. It does depend on where you work, I am sure, but I have not seen the civil service job of my dreams, yet. At the first better opportunity, I plan to leave once I gain experience.