The Teamsters

  1. Hello,
    I work in a small office of about five full time nurses and we are considering unionizing. Does anyone know of any nurses that are represented by the Teamsters? They claim to represent some nurses but I want to try and get a source from someone other than them. PLEASE NOTE: this is not a question asking the pro and cons of unions. Also if we do unionize we have no intention of using the ANA or any of the traditional nurses unions because they have proven themselves near worthless at improving the conditions that nurses work under.
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    About Groovydogg

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  3. by   Level2Trauma
    I would like to take this time to elaborate on your misconceptions of the ANA and the individual "traditional nurses unions". I have posted several things below which indicate that you have not accurately assessed the ANA or other union affiliates. There is way too much to post but these few should give you an idea of what the ANA and other "traditional nurses unions" are doing for the profession. However, being open-minded, I am willing to read what the Teamsters have done for the nursing profession if you will post it.

    MN, WA Govs Sign Overtime Bans

    Governors Gary Locke (WA) and Jesse Ventura (MN) both signed into law within the last week bills that protect nurses from being forced to work overtime by hospitals. For more information on the Minnesota bill, go to; for information on Washington's, go to

    Alaska RNs Sign First Contract

    Nurses at Ketchikan (Alaska) General Hospital, who organized with AaNA/UAN last spring, have ratified their first contract. The two-year agreement includes strong union membership provisions and language stating that the hospital will cover 100% of health care costs for full-time nurses. For details, go to

    MN Mandatory OT Bill Passes Legislature

    MNA nurses celebrated the state House passage Tuesday of an initiative that prohibits mandatory overtime when an RN knows she is unsafe to work. The state Senate passed the bill last Wednesday; it now goes to the governor for signature. For details, go to

    Michigan Nurses Ratify New Contract

    Registered nurses at Allegan General Hospital, represented by the Michigan Nurses Association, overwhelmingly approved a new three year contract last week that grants 19 percent wage increases over the life of the contract. To read more about the contract, go to

    WA Passes Mandatory OT Ban

    The Washington State Legislature on March 8 passed a bill that will protect nurses from dismissal and discipline when refusing overtime work. Washington is the fourth state to pass legislation on mandatory overtime. The bill now awaits signature from Governor Locke. To read more about the bill, visit WSNA's website.

    St. Catherine's Nurses Approve Contract, End Strike

    NYSNA nurses at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, NY, approved a three-year contract on March 9 that brought to an end their 104-day strike. The new contract provides strict new limitations on the hospital's use of mandatory overtime. For details on the strike settlement, go to

    First Contract for Staten Island Nurses

    Nurses at Saint Vincents and Bayley Seton hospitals on Staten Island voted Feb. 27 to ratify their first contract, negotiated by NYSNA. The contract includes provisions to help improve working conditions and patient care. For more information on the contract, go to

    In addition, you may select the following link and read even more about what the ANA and other "traditional nurses unions" are doing for our profession.

    In all fairness, I explored the Teamsters website and found no mention of the nursing profession.

    Might want to reconsider!!!
  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    i've pasted below some articles re mandatory overtime that the states nursing associations and uan affiliated unions have helped to get introduced and passed this year.
    in case you are unaware, united american nurses ( uan) is an afl-cio affiliate. later i posted previous threads re known nursing unions.

    you are organizing a small group of nurses not all unions will be willing to deal with you. it will depend on what state you live in and the distance to other organized units in the unions whether you will be able to join them and be able to negotiate a contract.
    the union you choose should be able to provide you with labor representaion just not at contact signing but be available to impliment the contract rules, represent the nurses during any disciplinary actions and be available to attend union staff meetings for support and updates.

    a good overview of how to organize is at:

    good luck to you and i hope that you find what you need in order to improve your workplace environment.

    nj acting gov signs law prohibiting mandatory overtime
    approved january 2, 2002.

    washington state mandatory overtime bill signed into law
    washington state gov. gary locke has signed into law sb 6675, a bill that will protect nurses from dismissal and discipline when refusing overtime work. washington is the fourth state to pass legislation on mandatory overtime. to read more about the bill, visit wsna's website at

    american nurses association | nursinginsider news

    wa, mn nurses win mandatory overtime measures
    the washington state and minnesota legislatures passed bills in march that will protect nurses from the dangerous practice of mandatory overtime.

    "this is a huge victory for quality patient care," louise kaplan, phd, arnp, president of washington state nurses association (wsna), said of the bill that passed in washington state march 8. "forcing nurses to work overtime above their regularly scheduled shift is not safe for patients."

    the washington state measure, in part:

    *prohibits health care facilities from requiring an employee who provides direct patient care or clinical services to work overtime in excess of an agreed upon, predetermined, regularly scheduled shift not to exceed 12 hours in a 24-hour period or 80 hours in a 14-day period.
    *provides protection to nurses who refuse overtime by prohibiting employers from using the refusal as grounds for discrimination, dismissal, discharge, threat of report for discipline or any other penalty.
    *includes an exception in the case of any unforeseen declared emergencies when a health care facility's disaster plan is activated or any other disaster or catastrophic event that increases the need for health care services.
    *includes an exception for when the employer has exercised reasonable efforts in finding volunteers or temporary staff to work overtime. this does not apply in addressing chronic staff shortages.

    in minnesota, the mandatory overtime prevention act, which passed the state house of representatives march 19 and the state senate the week before, will eliminate the use of mandatory overtime when a nurse knows she or he is unsafe to perform duties.

    "we fought for this bill passionately," said minnesota nurses association (mna) board member patti koenig, rn, who testified before the senate. "we fought for our colleagues in many hospitals in greater minnesota who have worked eight hour shifts, were told to work another eight hours, went home and rested, and then had to turn around and return to the bedside. these nurses knew they were exhausted and lived in fear of committing errors, and yet workplace regulations overruled the good judgment of the nurse. this bill acknowledges the trustworthiness of nurses."

    nursing union threads:
    list of nursing unions + previous threads:

    cna, mna, pasnap and uhcw form national nurses association: aarn
  5. by   Groovydogg
    the teamster site does actually mention nursing, but only that they do represent us. No mention of where, who, etc.
    click here to go to the teamster site where they make a brief mention that they do represent nurses

    this is why I asked the question if anyone has experience with them.
  6. by   Cubby
    Nurses who work for the State of Oklahoma are represented by a
    branch of the AFL/CIO. I don't know a lot about them (not a member) but I do believe they have been instrumental in getting our benefit package increased. Don't hold me to that cause like I said I'm not a member. Could not strike if a gun was at my head- isn't that the underlying pressure of unions?
  7. by   Level2Trauma
    If your not a member of a union but other nurses are members then I beleive, that only those nurses who are members should benefit from the union, not the ones who will not stand up for themselves. That is what is wrong with our profession. So many stand in the shadows while others are out in the trenches working for reform. Yet, let the ones who are in the trenches gain some ground and increase their benefits and EVERYONE wants to reap the benefits. EVEN THOSE THAT AEREN"T MEMBERS!!! AND DIDN"T DO ANYTHING to help.
  8. by   BadBird
    Yes, the teamsters do represent nurses and other health professionals. I was a union leader a few years ago and we chose to go with the teamsters. I can tell you they were very professional, helpful. More so that the PNA, SEICU is the worst union anyone could join. Call the teamsters and meet with them, unfortunately we were not successful but it was a wonderful experience and I have nothing but good feelings from them.
  9. by   -jt
    Years ago, a branch of the teamsters union (paperhangers, I think) represented nurses at Robert Woods Johnson in NJ. I dont know if they still do. I would be concerned about going with any union that I couldnt find info on - that represents nurses and doesnt have much info about nurses or how it is succeeding for them on their website. If I was considering going with a union but couldnt find info on my group in it, that would send up a red flag for me & cause me to wonder about their committment to nurses. Thats not to say that the union cant do a good job, but that I would be asking many questions.

    The best advice I can give is to not limit yourself in your search when deciding on representation. Shop around like you would for a car. Youd visit Chrysler, Ford, Toyota and a whole lot of other dealerships before making your choice. Do the same with a union.

    Interview them all, ask many questions & compare. Ask to see their contracts. Ask to speak to other nurses whom they represent. Pay attention to the unions level of committment to your professional issues such as staffing levels, floating, continuing education, tutition reimbursements, health benefits, differentials for experience, education, and certifications. Take note of their voice in your state capitol on issues that affect nurses. How hard are they fighting for your causes to obtain laws that will improve the situation for nurses in your state. Visit other facilities where they represent the nurses & talk to some of them. Are they happy with their representation?

    The State Nurses Associations of the ANA that have union services are all part of the AFL-CIO (except Hawaii unless that has changed recently). You would be doing yourself a disservice by omitting them from your search & not learning more about what they are doing for nurses. In most states, they are the largest, most effective union for nurses, are leading the way, and setting the standard with the best contracts. They also have the recognition & clout for nurses in the state legislatures, & are the ones writing the bills to become laws that nurses need. In many cases, the trade unions that represent nurses represent much less numbers of nurses. Some are doing a good job, but you wont know until you compare.

    Be an "educated consumer" - the best thing to do is interview several trade unions as well as your state nurses association if it has union services & compare.

    Choose the union that will best represent you the way you want to be represented.

    We had 1199/SEIU for about 10 yrs in the early 70's & got out of it because our professional issues kept getting put on the back burner - of the 3000 employees at our hospital who were in that union, only 700 were RNs - the union had to focus on the issues of the 2300 member majority - and that left the RNs sitting in the dark.

    We voted out of 1199/SEIU in 1983 & joined the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) for better representation with issues concerning RNs and we've got that to this day.

    For us, our ANA state nurses association was the answer. You may find a different answer in your search. The important thing is your are taking the first step to having some control in your workplace.

    New York Nurses Hail Signing of Healthcare Whistleblower Protection Bill
    New York, NY,

    Defending a nurse's rights

    THE Issue for 2002: An End to Mandatory Overtime

    NYSNA RNs at Staten Island University Hospital Approve Contract that ABOLISHES Mandatory Overtime & GUARANTEES Safe Staffing Levels

    NYSNA Nurses at Columbia-Presbyterian Approve Breakthrough Contract -
    Best in the City

    Just a sample of what ANA nurses in NY are doing.

    For more, see

    You wont have any trouble finding info about how they represent nurses. You can get alot of info from there & use it as a frame of referrence in your search because NYSNA is the model & leader for all other unions that represent nurses.

    Good luck to you.
    Last edit by -jt on Apr 6, '02
  10. by   NRSKarenRN
    BROWNson's Nursing Notes union list includes Teamsters link:

    Google search for teamsters + nursing:
  11. by   hoolahan
    My agency is represented by Teamsters. Before I comment, I want to say I have no respect for the whole concept of unions. Secondly, I am forced to belong to the union, if I could choose, I would choose no union. That said, I am not impressed with the teamsters. It is VERY expensive, they make you take their health insurance, even if your husband has good insurance, you are not allowed to waive the insurance, which isn't the greatest, it doesn't cover well-child visits over age 7, and you can only choose single or family, no spouse coverage. There is NO provision in our contract for nurse-pt ratios, caseloads, etc. They only deal with benefit issues, and frankly, that isn't what we need them for.

    I posted my anti-union views in another post and someone said the union is only as good as it's active members. Well, I don't want a union in the first place, so why should I become active in it. It's like unpaid overtime then, a second job for no pay. We are going to start bargaining soon, and I am voting to eliminate the union alltogether. No, I won't be a popular girl, but there are a few who are with me.

    My advice is, make your own contract with your employers, why pay a middle man? Less headache. If it is only 5 nurses, hopefully you will be able to resolve your differences with managment. Good luck.

    Now before I am blasted, let me say, I only responded to this b/c someone wanted to know of nurses being rep by Teamsters. I won't come back and argue the point. I am comfortable with my opinion.
  12. by   Groovydogg
    As a rule I am very anti union also. Not nurses unions, but the concept as it applies in the real world. I have been part of a (state workers) union before and I found that they were the haven of the lazy and they fostered a culture of sloth.
  13. by   ratfinkinbama
    As many of you have stated, unions have good and bad characteristics. Mandatory overtime does not really affect lower Alabama, however, the nurse-patient ratios and caseloads are unreal. They are not safe for the nurses trying to deliver care or the patients who fall victim to hospital administrators' greed. This is where we desperately need reform. California has made changes. How do we get our states to follow suite?
  14. by   NRSKarenRN
    Found this today at

    Florida hospital's nurses petition to leave union
    A nurse at HCA-owned Lawnwood Regional Medical Center says she has enough signatures on a petition to end a three-year union representation by the Teamsters. The Teamsters have failed to negotiate a contract between the nurses and the hospital during the affiliation.

    Fort Pierce Tribune, April 9, 2002
    By Maggie Large staff writer
    April 9, 2002,00.html

    FORT PIERCE -- A Lawnwood Regional Medical Center nurse claims there is a majority of nurses who want to end a three-year run with the Teamsters, which has never produced a contract. However, pending labor board issues may prevent the nurses from doing so any time soon.

    Brenda Gibbons, a registered nurse who's spent 23 years at Lawnwood Regional Medical center, said Monday that she has gathered enough signatures for the nurses' bargaining unit to be released from their agreement with the Teamsters Local Union No. 769.

    Teamsters' business representative Mike Scott wrote in an August 2001 letter that if a majority of the 350 Lawnwood nurses agreed to end the relationship with the union, then he would file paperwork to do so.

    "I'm not against unions," Gibbons said. "I just feel that we could be better represented by a group familiar with the needs of health care workers."

    "Mike Scott has not been able to produce [a contract]."

    The Teamsters have failed to negotiate a contract between the nurses and hospital management, a sticking point for many of the dissenting nurses, Gibbons said.

    Gibbons hopes to avoid a vote on the issue of decertification, which has proved divisive at neighboring Indian River Memorial Hospital in Vero Beach. IRMH nurses narrowly voted against decertifying the same branch of the Teamsters union in a March 21 election.

    Gibbons started a movement in August 2001 to decertify the union. However, the Teamsters filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the National Labor Relations Board in August, which has held up any further action by the nurses.

    The union charged that a nursing recruiter intimidated nurses into signing the petition to stop the union. Lawnwood hospital officials said that since the recruiter was a registered nurse who was not a supervisor, the charges were baseless. While the labor board has cleared both the nurse and hospital of wrongdoing, the union has filed an appeal that is still pending.

    NLRB spokesman Steve Jacobi, who works in the agency's Tampa office, said that the appeal could hold up a move to sever the union.

    "They're called blocking charges because they hold up the process," Jacobi said.

    Jacobi did not know the status of the appeal against Lawnwood, saying that the resulting investigation could take months.

    Factors behind the initial drive for unionizing in 1999 have changed due to efforts from the hospital's administration, not the work of the union, Gibbons said. From addressing nursing shortages through scholarships and using agency nurses, to improving relations between nurses and physicians, Gibbons said that parent company HCA has come a long way in three years.

    "Besides, the union can't do anything toward improving staffing," Gibbons said.

    Lawnwood spokeswoman Beth Tuttle said that the hospital's management would support the nurses, whatever decision they make toward union representation. Tuttle said the hospital has had minimal contact with the union since August 2001.

    "We expect [Scott] to be a man of his word and to honor the agreement he made to our nurses [to declaim interest]," Tuttle said.

    Scott could not be reached for comment late Monday.