PA: Hahnemann RNs nix union bid

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philadelphia business journal

tuesday, july 7, 2009

hahnemann rns nix union bid

the registered nurses at hahnemann university hospital have voted, by a small margin, against joining a union.

hospital officials said tuesday the results of the election found 309 nurses voted against joining the pennsylvania association of staff nurses and allied professionals [pasnap] and 267 voted in favor of joining the union.

pasnap is affiliated with the california nurses association, which in 2007 reached an agreement with hahnemann’s owner, tenet healthcare corp. (nyse:thc) of dallas on how union organization activities would occur at tenet hospitals.

a total of 767 registered nurses at hahnemann were eligible to vote in the election....

Woodenpug, BSN

734 Posts

Specializes in MPCU.

Hahnemann University Hospital nurses rock! Good choice! especially in knowing that you have to vote, the union wins when you abstain. Keep up the good work!

Mindful, RN

306 Posts

Specializes in Critical-care RN.

Woodenpug, BSN

734 Posts

Specializes in MPCU.

Sigh. I can find as many opinion articles as can you. The difference is I am willing to admit that it is opinion.

nicurn001

805 Posts

Specializes in Psych , Peds ,Nicu.

The nurses at Hahnemann , seem to have put their hopes for change ( from what I've seen change is needed ) into the self governance system . I wish them luck ,my experience of such commitees , is that occassionally administration throws bones from the high table to the serfs , but never address root problems that cost money to fix eg. staffing levels , real breaks for bedside nurses ( were nurse is relieved of all responsibility for their patients [ no spectraphones , no paging of nurse , etc..] ,to eat ,drink , potty whatever and then come back refreshed to continue to give great care to their patients ).

The self governance commitees at our facillity were simply used to give management cover for their cost cutting changes , they folded as soon as management got what they wanted .

PICUPNP

269 Posts

Fantastic! These nurses stood up for what they know is a bad thing and won. This is a great example of what nurses can do when they stand on their own two feet!

nicurn001

805 Posts

Specializes in Psych , Peds ,Nicu.
Fantastic! These nurses stood up for what they know is a bad thing and won. This is a great example of what nurses can do when they stand on their own two feet!

So we can expect the professional nurses at Hahnemann , to fight for adequate staffing and real breaks for bedside nurses ? , as they have shown what they can do when united , now unite to make real , beneficial changes for bedside nurses !

Let us know when you suceed .

K98

453 Posts

Specializes in He who hesitates is probably right....

A lot of nurses at my facility wish they would have taken this stand a few years back when the camel's nose (SEIU) poked into the tent. Once they are established, they are a pain in the butt to get rid of. They exist only to suck money and resources away from the staff RNs. We would LOVE to be rid of the SEIU.

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NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

10 Articles; 18,247 Posts

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RN4MERCY

328 Posts

Specializes in ICU/CCU/TRAUMA/ECMO/BURN/PACU/.

with all due respect, i note with dismay, the title of this thread. of course it's important to pay attention to the framing and the fact that the article is taken from a pro-industry business journal. and, the so-called "union facts" link you posted (how to decertify your union), is to one of the more insidious union busting front group's websites. the title is, by design, misleading.

in my opinion, the employer decided, (paternalistically, and in a desperate fight to exert and retain control over their predominantly female workforce), that the nurses who work at hahnemann shouldn't enjoy an unencumbered right to organize. the employer nixed the rn's bid as evidenced by the amount of money they spent to thwart the effort! this employer wants to be able to hire and fire at will, without due process, by using fear, intimidation, selective surveillance and discipline against nurse advocates, who speak out on behalf of patients. unrepresented nurses are at risk when they try to stand in the gap between the care patients need and the business interests of their employers. employers who so restrain, coerce and encumber the rns who exercise their duty to advocate for their patients, create an unsafe patient care environment. patients and the public have a right to know about the hospital industry's dirty little secret that places them at risk.

the nurses at hahnemann were asserting their rights to organize, collectively; they were attempting to assert their rights to freedom of association, collectively, as advocates for their profession and safe nursing practice, in the exclusive interests of their patients.

the nursing managers at hahnemann, have apparently aligned themselves with the corporate interests; they apparently no longer can advocate in the exclusive interests of patients once they've made the decision to go into management. they've been mandated to use anti-union scripts with the direct care nurses by the union busting firm hired at hahnemann. even if managers think it's wrong or demeaning, they have to do this as a condition of their employment. it's very self-interested; not in the interests of what's best for direct care nurses and their patients.

nursing leaders and professional pioneers such as lavinia dock, advocated for unionization of nurses and warned against the dangers of nurses becoming accomplices in their own subordination to the male dominated heirarchy of hospital administration. some managers to this day don't take this lesson to heart and they are unwitting participants in union busting schemes that are against the interests of the profession and patients.

the executive management at hahnemann hired an expensive union busting firm to intimidate nurses and create a climate of fear as part of a sophisticated union avoidance scheme.

nurses and all workers should heed the words of marty leavitt, who wrote, confessions of a union buster.

"i began to see that the business was all about control. i realized that control was both the objective and the method in union busting." according to levitt, corporations want to learn the "secrets of staying in control ... during an organizing drive."

levitt gives the details of how a union-busting campaign is waged. in the late seventies, levitt worked for a firm called modern management methods (three m). three m was hired to consult management at harper grace hospital.

according to robert muehlenkamp, "union busters wield great power through their program of terror and manipulation - people don't, can't possible know what's going on and who's telling the truth. you have to appreciate that most of the people [at a work site] are just ordinary people. they have no experience ... with violence, with being lied to, with manipulation, with being harassed in open, gross, insulting ways. the first time this happens to regular people, they're terrified." and terror is the goal. the union buster hopes to control employees by employing terror.

but it isn't just about breaking an organizing drive at one single location. levitt quotes muehlenkamp again to emphasize the point: "if they [hospital workers] watched all the workers at the only other hospital ... try to organize and saw what happened to them, only to lose, they weren't going to attempt the same."

as i understand it charges have been filed with the nlrb by the nurses' organizing committee to overturn the results of the election. evidence and documentation of management's illegal tactics will be presented to a judge and management will have the opportunity to present their side as well. marty leavitt describes how union busters rely on the fact that they can violate the law to accomplish their goals. psychologists and social researchers have shown that intimidation and fear are effective tools will cause workers to vote "no" or "no union" to maintain the status quo; fear and intimidation causes inertia, even when the facts and the odds are in favor of the workers. food for thought: how did slave owners control their slaves and keep the majority of them from rising up or running away? like union-busters, slave owners used a variety of tactics, including rewarding peer group overseers, selectively elevated from among the oppressed, using special privileges and enticements to insure their loyalty to the boss, and targeting dissenters for punishment.)

so, if the hospital is found guilty of violating federal labor law, and the results of the election are overturned by the nlrb, who then is responsible for "nixing" the union bid? it's not the nurses' fault. the fight was fixed!:banghead:

Woodenpug, BSN

734 Posts

Specializes in MPCU.

Just in case the Argumentum ad nauseam fails and someone reads the whole post, toss in a red herring and a straw man.

No serious charges have been brought against the Hanemann election. Just the usual, I lost so I protest.

A little googling would show several "non-biased" sources also posted the Hahnemann anti-union vote. Bias is a type of ad hominim argument anyway.

K98

453 Posts

Specializes in He who hesitates is probably right....

Our contract expires in October of this year. The SEIU is already trying to dampen expectations of the staff by explaining that "times are tough, you may be fortunate to have your pay and benefits frozen". There are parts of the 2006 agreement that still have not been implemented by the health system. Our union dues have reached 70.00 per month, and will likely be raised. Most of our staff thinks that the Hahnemann RNs did the right thing, which is a shame because I think that EFFECTIVE representation could be good for RNs. They just have to be careful that they select an actual union, not a political fund-raising rent-a-mob posing as one.

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