How to start a Union??? (Long Term Care)

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    Last edit by mandykal on Apr 6, '04 : Reason: I want to delete post.....
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    About mandykal

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 372; Likes: 71
    Specialty: 16+ year(s) of experience


  3. by   -jt
    <Me and my co-workers would like to know what first step we can do to start a Union?>

    SEIU is the largest union for healthcare workers who are not RNs. you can find lots of info at their website
  4. by   Blackcat99
    When I was 17 years old I was a CNA. The director of nurses caught me on the phone asking questions about the Union. I was young and didn't really know if I wanted to join the union or not. The Union lost the election and I went elsewhere. 10 years later I went to that same place to get a job as an LPN. They were desperate to hire LPN's. They had the LPN jobs advertised in the papers for months. The first thing she said to me was "I remember you. You were the one who wanted the Union here. She "pretended" to do an interview but I knew she would never hire me because of it. I was right. I knew I had good references and still she would not hire me. Good luck to you and don't get caught! :chuckle
  5. by   mandykal
    Thank you for your input, it means alot.
  6. by   jae36
    to organize a union for nursing homes in CT, you should call 1199/SEIU at 860.549.1199 ask to speak to the organizing director - or go to their website at
  7. by   bukko
    I wish you luck with starting a union. SEIU is a good place to start because they have organizers whose job is to get unions rolling.
    I'm in a statewide union that covers the RNs in California. The LVNs, CNAs, housekeepers and others in our hospital are represented by SEIU. They have never had any complaints that I've heard. It's not like goons in pinstriped suits come around to collect dues money, or tell you "You can't empty that trash can in the patient's room -- union rules say only housekeeping is allowed to do that!" They negotiate contracts, which is good, because the union local reps (who are your co-workers, not outsiders) have specialized knowledge on how to do that stuff.
    Here's the bad side: it will be tough. Be REALLY committed to what you're doing if you do it. I've read a lot about union drives in other places. Management will resist as much as they can. They are not legally allowed to fire people who try to organize a union, but they will try to do it anyway. They will subject you to company sponsored "information sessions" until you want to puke. Your co-workers will SAY they want a union, but when it comes down to standing up for it, they'll be like the Disciples after the Romans grabbed Jesus. You'll hear all sorts of stuff from people who are philosophically opposed to unions, or had a brother-in-law who was in a union that was corrupt and sold out the workers.
    If you DO get a union approved, which will take a year or more of struggle, then you have to get a contract. Management will stall for years, freezing your pay because "the salary scale is under negotiation." They will raise the pay of non-union workers. What management hopes is that enough pro-union staff will quit or get discouraged so that they can have a vote to de-certify the union. There's a whole industry devoted to helping businesses break union drives.
    Is that scary or what? I hope you go for it, because we are working class people, and we need to stick together against the bosses who would pay us 50 cents an hour if they could get away with it. Even if you fail, you will get a great education in how the real world works. You will not be the same person you are now when it's all over.