Nursing unions on the verge of revolution - page 4

Article Snippet: The other day, I was talking with a hospital executive, whom I warned that nurse unionization was developing a level of momentum I hadn't seen before in my 20 years in the... Read More

  1. by   SuesquatchRN
    Wow, Jeany. I hope you are reinstated. Is 1199 SEIU?
  2. by   NurseZappa
    I've worked union and non union, I wasn't crazy about being practically forced to join the union in Wa, but here in AZ a union would be welcome. I work(ed) for a "for profit" hospital in az which is owned by CHS, who after they bought the hospital whittled down all work incentives, piled on redundant charting, forced us to go to customer service classes, (i want to take classes that make me a better nurse, not classes which try to make me parrot some ridiculous mantra for greeting patients) and swapped out our benefits for those which laid more of the cost on the employee. I will go union any day if it means giving some power back to the nurses, we were constantly threatened with write ups, lawsuits and sent nasty grams when we didn't live up to the charting, miles and miles of charting on a computer system that was 20 years outdated. everyone lives under the fear of making a mistake and having the big looming hand reach down, pick you up and deposit you on the curb. I want to be a good nurse, my patients are what is important. I respect policy if policy respects the nurses.
  3. by   LIjeany
    yes it is 1199 sieu
  4. by   NurseZappa
    Doctors support each other, they have a strong support network and a strong physicians union because they subscribe and participate. Most nurses i work with couldn't be bothered. Could the NSO be as active, participatory and back us much the same the physicians are backed? I think it is going to take some comraderie and mutual respect to make this happen, we are all in the same boat.
  5. by   spenmom
    Two thoughts about unions. First, the main purpose of a union is not necesssarily for wages, but for work rules and safety, also as a means to back up a nurse who makes a decision in the interest of a patient, not in the interest of $$.

    I have seen this in aviation; family members in two different aviation unions have had two different experiences, but the first being support for the worker whenever a judgment call is made that may cost the company $$ (for instance, a pilot not being willing to take off in weather he feels is unsafe, or if a crew member is ill). In some nonunion places, refusing a flight could mean termination, but not with ALPA (the pilot's union).

    I think this is the biggest reason for nursing to organize. We need to stop the ******** and backbiting, and complaining about who is better, LPN vs BSN, and all the other crap we do to sabotage ourselves. If we had an organization to stand behind us for better patient-nurse ratios, more reasonable schedules, and other quality of life issues, not to mention patient safety issues that I can't begin to understand yet as I am a student.

    So, yes, I am for unions, but only a union that is entirely focused on the betterment of nursing as a whole, like CNA, etc; not SEIU, and some of the others who are, in my opinion, legally of extorting money without doing **** for the employees.

    I also agree that we need to get serious about who represents us, who is going to lead us, and how we are going to organize it. I agree with a previous poster that we need to go to the pros, get the lawyers involved, and then show hospital management that we will no longer be treated as third-world, replaceable labor.

    Let the CNA in---we are trying in my part of the country and it is ugly up against the SEIU- they are employing all manner of intimidation and scare tactics, but we have to remember what is most important--the betterment of our work environment and our patients' safety.
  6. by   tuesday4
    Quote from NurseZappa
    Doctors support each other, they have a strong support network and a strong physicians union because they subscribe and participate. Most nurses i work with couldn't be bothered. Could the NSO be as active, participatory and back us much the same the physicians are backed? I think it is going to take some comraderie and mutual respect to make this happen, we are all in the same boat.

    [FONT=Fixedsys]One of the worst parts about nursing is all the back biting and sabotage that goes on among nurses!!! Big changes need to occur among nurses themselves. I always observe these particular nurses and wonder how do they treat their patients???? If you think it is OK to treat your coworkers with disrespect and hurtful remarks then maybe you think it is ok to treat anyone in this fashion. I worked for an angency for 3 years and noticed this behavior in all facilities, nurses with these behaviors always want to pull others in but you always have to ignore and not join in!!!! We need a strong nurses union but I agree it will have to be backed by nurses that have mutual respect for each other.
  7. by   x_coastie
    Lets see, the big three auto makers are union and they haven't made a car that consumers want to buy for decades. Most likely, 2 of the three will be out of business in the next 5 years. The auto industry could be thriving, employing thousands of people and paying a *decent* wage, but because the unions sucked the companies/customers dry everyone will be unemployed. It is like the nursery tale of the goose that layed the golden eggs.

    Our public schools are home to the most powerful union in the country and our kids can't compete on the global market (how many physicians do you know that came from a U.S. public school.) Our schools are a joke because the unions protect the teachers that should not be teaching, while not giving incentives to the teachers that go above and beyond.

    Unions will ruin health care just like they ruin everything else, because they do not seek a balance between workers/management/customers.
  8. by   AtomicWoman
    The CEOs of some hospital systems are starting to look like Wall Street bankers, salary-wise. And we all know where Wall Street has gotten us...
  9. by   AtomicWoman
    doesntlookgood, I loved your post. More!

    I, too, have wondered why nurse associations haven't run ads, "telling it like it is": what's going to happen to Grandma or your precious newborn if nurse-patient ratios aren't improved, if we can't recruit and retain nurses, etc. Your post lays it out: it's gonna take money and will. Not to mention that nurses would have to *really* work together and overcome their differences. But boy, it sure would be an interesting and worthwhile fight.
    Last edit by AtomicWoman on May 18, '09
  10. by   lamazeteacher
    Quote from zenman
    With the entire health care system about to collapse, it will be an interesting battle to see who all comes out on top.
    It has already been doing a swoon and is on the verge of collapse, if it isn't recreated according to systems in other countries which have proven to be effective in decreasing morbidity and mortality, and financial death for patients if they live to tell the tale.

    It's doctors who spread doom and gloom statements such as you've made, that inhibit the process of change to something that will benefit patients' finances and decrease doctors' incomes. Canadian doctors live in very nice homes in upper class neighborhoods, drive expensive cars in Canada, go all over the world to seminars to increase their knowledge, and dine out regularly. Their children attend Universities without debt following them. They just havn't stockpiled millions of dollars that American doctors have.
  11. by   Teresag_CNS
    Quote from ShayRN
    One only need look at the salaries of most ballplayers vrs nurses/cops/teachers to see where the values are in this country. I had a trach patient (+ pseudomonis) cough right in my face last night. She is A&Ox3. I made about 150.00 after taxes last night. Yet I listen to a football player last season say he wasn't going to play for his team because they "disrespected" him with an offer of 5 million a year or something crazy like that. Come on, are you serious?
    Do you honestly think nurses should be employed and compensated like ball players? First, very few reach the major leagues. Then if they don't perform optimally, they get fired. Their employers fire them at will; no justification is required. They often have to relocate in order to stay employed. Only the top players make the big dollars, and they are constantly in the public eye. In short, I think it's a poor analogy to nursing.
  12. by   lee1
    Please tell me what you all get when you retire from your jobs????? Those working for private hospitals. We know that working for the state or federal gets you some sort of retirement PACKAGE.
    Without a union at my place of work I would get NOTHING, except the 403B I have put money into. Granted, all is not perfect, we do now get a pension and our 403B is not matched anymore. You need some of each though. We are working on some sort of retirment medical benefit now. There is nothing even if you have worked more than 25 years at this place, BUT, I am sure that middle management and for sure upper management get some sort of retirement benefit.
  13. by   CRNA2007
    you mean they actually expect you to invest for your own retirement? This is an outrage. Mext. they'll expect you to show up for work to actually get a paycheck. Oh the inhumanity of some of these employers.


    Quote from lee1
    Please tell me what you all get when you retire from your jobs????? Those working for private hospitals. We know that working for the state or federal gets you some sort of retirement PACKAGE.
    Without a union at my place of work I would get NOTHING, except the 403B I have put money into. Granted, all is not perfect, we do now get a pension and our 403B is not matched anymore. You need some of each though. We are working on some sort of retirment medical benefit now. There is nothing even if you have worked more than 25 years at this place, BUT, I am sure that middle management and for sure upper management get some sort of retirement benefit.

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