Wow, I am amazed. We don't have a nurses union in Texas but i have alot of experiences with other unions and to tell you the truth with thiers I have not been impressed. If those nurses are not reaping the "benefits" the union has to offer then what difference does it make that they are working unless thier union is not very strong in the first place. There is a nursing shortage, and administrators have to look at the cost of replacing and training nurses. Does the union help with these costs? Where does the money for the dues go? Lobbying? What are the reasons these nurse are refusing to pay? They may feel that thier interests are not being served well by the union. The union should deal with these nurses directly if they want thier dues and make sure the dues are worth paying.
May 5, '04
Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 5,673; Likes: 159
Wow..now this is an example of a bad union activity for sure.....if nurses won't pay union dues they shouldn't reap the benefits of union membership, but I don't agree with this kind of tactic for sure. The 'closed shop' mentality.
Of course I'm NOT surprised the hospital is siding with the nurses (for now) ...as they wish there were NO unions.
May 5, '04
Joined: Aug '03; Posts: 296; Likes: 4
When a majority of nurses vote to unionize and a contract is signed between the union and the hospital those nurses who chose not to "join" the union still have to pay dues that aren't necessarily as much as regular union dues. I'm sure this was all spelled out by the union before the final vote to unionize. Usually the hospital deducts these dues automatically. Sounds like the hospital administration is trying to cause trouble and start a wedge between the nurses and the union. Hospital boards sure hate the idea of having to share any power with a nurse. Some will spend (waste) vast resources to avert unionization or try to break it after one has been voted in.
May 5, '04
Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 209; Likes: 22
I Know in the union I belong to, if a hospital employee does not wish to be part of the union due to religious or personal beliefs, they still have the 'union dues' deducted from each paycheque, however, the dues are donated to a charity of the person's choice. They still have the benefits of belonging to the union (ie: negotiated contracts, etc) but do not actually belong. This causes some problems, as we recently underwent job action (a strike) and these people were crossing legal picket lines to work contrary to union rules. Its surely a confusing issue.
May 5, '04
Occupation: Psych NP
6 year(s) of experience
Joined: Oct '03; Posts: 1,140; Likes: 468
Quote from brian
A local labor union says it will sue St. John's Mercy Medical Center in federal court if the Creve Coeur-based hospital does not fire about 55 nurses who have refused to pay union dues.
Wow...I was born a couple moons ago in this hospital...sorry to hear it is having a problem.
Obviously this union isn't very powerful if they can't get the hospital to fire nurses for not paying dues.
May 8, '04
Occupation: RN pacu CPAN
40 year(s) of experience
Critical Care,Recovery, ED
Joined: Nov '00; Posts: 1,136; Likes: 722
Actually it is quite a strong union but it is going through the correct process of following the legal system set in place by contract. The hospital in this case is following a potentially self destructive path. It is in effect saying we won't honor any part of any contract we sign. Who would want to sign any business contract with an organization that publically repudiates the responsibility of honoring contracts.Of course their potential reward for this high risk strategy is the destruction of the union but it risks its own destruction in irder to accomplish this.
For those nurses who are refusing to pay dues, which is a condition of employment and new this before accepting their employment how can you be trusted when you also break your word.
May 18, '04
Occupation: ER RN
Joined: Sep '03; Posts: 16
I was involved in the union situation at SJM and it was a mess. Thanks to a few greedy, loud mouths our hospital was put in an ugly situation. It took several votes to get the union in by a very small margin and it took over two years before we had a contract during part of which we were paying dues. The contract was no better than what we had in the first place. The other thing is, it is a food workers union and I know personally, I worked too hard to get a professional image and reputation, to be grouped in with the cafeteria workers. I believe staff nurses need staff nurse representation on governing councils in hospitals, but I strongly believe unions are not the answer for us. I have left SJM and worked in union and non-union hospitals since then and honestly have to say the non-union places have had better benefits and much better morale. There is no place for unions in our hospitals. Nobody benefits in the healthcare setting from unions. Our strength is in our numbers and necessity, and we need to use that strength within our individual settings.