I'm considering establishing a Healthcare Workers Union in Florida and would appreciate any input/advise.
Aug 13, '02
Sounds like an excellent idea (though I live in California). According to the Florida State board of nursing (or whatever the name is), the average RN wage in Florida is between $17 and $18. I decided not even to consider moving there because of that, though I had been thinking about it. I'm surprised there are enough nurses there at these wages to keep even one hospital open. If I were doing it, the first place I would check out would be the Teamsters union. Maybe they would be interested. The nursing unions to which I have belonged (CNA, SEIU) have been too weak to make needed changes and have been co-opted by management, but maybe the Teamsters, with their tough reputation, would be more helpful. Good luck.
Last edit by sjoe on Aug 13, '02
Aug 14, '02
nursing 101: Hopefully your are right and Florida's web site simply needs to be updated. But I'd not count on it. More likely, many RNs in your State are working for much less than $21/hr (probably LTC nurses) in order to bring the average pay down so far.
-jt: My experience with these unions has already been stated, but perhaps they have more courage and will in Florida. Pigs may also fly. Good luck.
Last edit by sjoe on Aug 16, '02
Aug 15, '02
SherNR: Unfortunately, all my experience (8 different kinds of nursing jobs in 3 different States) supports your conclusion.
JailRN: (I was a jail RN myself for 4 years). If your parents are unable to utilize a Magnet facility, the only thing I have found that works for friends and family is for a healthcare provider friend/family member to spend hours with the patient every day while he/she is hospitalized. In my experience, that entails doing most of the nursing care as well, since the other nurses on the ward will simply spend their time with other patients, figuring that someone who cares and know how, will provide the bulk of the needed care (including medications, feeding, baths, etc.) for that patient. Perhaps others' experiences have been different? So my suggestion would be to make sure your relatives stay healthy AND make some good RN/LVN friends in their local Florida area or be prepared to spend some time there if they wind up in the hospital.
Last edit by sjoe on Aug 16, '02
Aug 21, '02
<It does *nothing* for nurses working out of that system.>
Right now, FNAs union branch represents RNs in the VA system in Florida. But it can & will represent RNs in any setting where the RNs want it.
No union can do anything for nurses who havent asked them to. A union cant work for people who havent voted for them to do that work. A union cant just go into a place & say "we're here". The nurses have to invite a union in, evaluate their info, & then vote for or against becoming a part of it.
Nurses in the VA system did that. If nurses outside that system want any union to work for them, all they have to do is ask, too.
But unionizing itself may not be enough in right-to-work states. The biggest hurdle for the nurses & the unions is those damn right-to-work laws, which strip the workers power & block a lot of what unions can otherwise do in free states, weakening the union & diluting its effectiveness. The laws are really right-to-take-away-your labor-rights laws.
Even after you are unionized in a right-to-work state, its still an uphill battle for it to be effective because those state laws are geared in the employers favor, weaken the unions power, and strip the worker of certain rights the rest of us have.
Gotta get rid of that right-to-work stuff so your union (which is the workers) can legally have some teeth.
Last edit by -jt on Aug 21, '02