Published Jul 11, 2009
So many nurses that I run into misunderstand the notion of having to join the union in order to work at certain jobs. They just accept it as a given that they'll have to fork over however much money the union is demanding. With the layoffs occurring at the hospital where I work I've heard so many nurses complaining about the MNA bungling up the process, catering to the hospital management rather than the staff RN's, ignoring contract rights, and overall being of little benefit. I always respond, "That's part of the reason why I'm not a member." And every single time I've heard, "I thought you HAD to be a member."
Minnesota is not a "right to work state" which means that we are not allowed to snub the union all together in our desire to gain employment with most hospitals in this state. However, there is a category called "Fair Share." Which means that you can resign, or opt not to join the MNA and become a "Fair Share Member" or "Non-member."
As a NON-Member you pay only the dues necessary for the MNA to run the contract (A rate I'm confident they still inflate, but reduced compared to member rates). MNA is still obligated to represent you in any disputes with the hospital or in any disciplinary action. The MNA contract still applies to you for any eligible benefits within. You do lose the right to vote in the MNA. That's really the only thing you lose, the right to vote.
In my mind there are several reasons not to join the union, or to resign from the union. For starters, if you are unhappy with the work they've been doing what better way to voice that than by taking cash out of their pocket? Secondly, look at who the MNA supports at each election. I know they supposedly advocate based solely on health care policy, but is that how you'd vote? Is that how you would advocate?
Yes, I am a republican. That's one of the biggest reasons I'm not in the MNA. I hate, and I mean HATE, the idea that any of the money that I am earning is being spent on pretty colorful flyers for democrat candidates. I don't give a rat's ptootey what their health care policy is when they are so far off from my belief system on every other single issue. Not to mention the fact that their health care policies frequently include socialized medicine which has been proven to be a disaster in every other country it's ever been tried. I don't want to nurse in a rationed health care system, I don't want to lose the health care that I've been paying for and working hard to earn. If I want to financially support a political candidate, I want to make that choice for myself, not because some union rep tries to extort it out of me on the threat of losing my job.
You do NOT have to be an MNA member! For more info here's an awesome website: http://www.nrtw.org/rtws.htm
For a sample letter to send to resign your membership take a look here: http://www.nrtw.org/a/a_4_p_a.htm
If you're a member, and think the MNA is awesome, and/or are a democrat and want to continue funding MNA approved candidates, I am not seeking to offend. I just want to get the info out there for those who are not happy with the MNA, for those who are not happy with being forced to pay to fund DNC campaigning. With all the layoffs I know satisfaction with the MNA is dropping, and nurses should know that there is a way they can voice their disapproval. The lay off process at my hospital has been horrendous, and the MNA has not been doing what they should be doing to help the nurses who are paying for their "help" in the process.
That's simply untrue. Socialized medicine has never been "proven to be a disaster in every country" in which it's ever been tried. Why do you think Cuba has the lowest infant mortality rates in the world when we're like number 40?
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