Information & examples given at the United American Nurses (UAN) website
explains how to go about unionizing. It doesnt matter which state youre in or which union you choose. Its good info to start with. Its just gives you an idea of the process & what it entails. Click on the arrows on that webpage to follow the story.
Also, SEIUs nursing section - WWW.NurseAlliance.org
- has general information on how to go about unionizing. Doesnt matter which union you end up choosing - the process is the same.
Once you have an idea of what to do, then its up to you to call & meet with all the strong unions in your area that represent RNs.
Interview them all, check out previous contracts theyve negotiatied, speak to other nurses whom they represent & find out how well they do it, find out how important your professional issues are to that particular union & the kind of priority those issues are given - shop around - then choose the one that you feel will best represent you the way you want to be represented.
A lot of nurse unionizing is going on with many different unions. 27 State Nurses Associations provide union services for RNs only (even in the South), in conjunction with the UAN. Other unions provide services for RNs as well as other categories of healthcare workers. You can find more nurses unions at www.AFL-CIO.org
Most of the one there represent RNs with LPNs. There are also independent unions representing nurses in some states & some nurses at certain facilities have even formed their own unions that exist only at their own workplace & may be an affiliate of another union like the Teachers unions.
SEIU is the largest healthcare union in the country - representing RNs, LPNs & other healthcare workers - including doctors. In California, CNA is well known & is for RNs only.
Another of the major nursing unions in California is the AFL-CIO affiliated United Nurses of California (UNAC). They are the union that has recently filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against Tenet Healthcare Corp. The suit claims that Tenet Healthcare has "engaged in systematic understaffing of RNs throughout Southern California, and failed to pay them for legally protected work breaks". The RNs are asking the court to order Tenet Healthcare to provide adequate nursing staff for RNs to take lunches and breaks. They are also seeking back wages and damages for up to 7,000 Tenet Healthcare RNs who may have not been paid for work at 36 Southern California hospitals. All eyes are on this significant lawsuit.
In NY, the largest & most successful union for RNs is the New York State Nurses Assoc & it has a shared services agreement to provide union services for RNs in NJ & Vermont & are available to RNs in Connecticut & Pennsylvania as well. In between these 2 coasts, there are many unions courting RNs all over the country.
Theres a lot to choose from but most will not come to you uninvited or try to "recruit" you - you have to call & invite them to come give you their info.
Become an "educated consumer" & then make an informed decision - its an open market - & its your choice.