David, I never meant to imply that I had a great "understanding of the bargaining process." What I do know beyond any shadow of a doubt is that what I recieve for compensation and benefits is fair. Before chosing to work here I was here as a traveler, and also at the other two large hospital systems in the central Florida area as a traveler. The difference in pay here is +/- 1.75/hour. While slightly higher differentials exist at the two other hospitals they're also attempting to staff hospitals with >500 beds.
What kind of leverage do you expect the union to exert here during negotiations/bargaining. If it's no longer about give and take but rather about meeting demands "or else" why call it negotiating or bargaining? Call it what it is....extortion. Could our benefits package be better. Of course. Who's couldn't.
The simple point I've been trying to make is that the union was making promises that they'll in no way be able to deliver on. There are dozens of people who honestly believe that their 17% pay raise is "just around the corner," and that they'll no longer be paying for health care because someone who they'll never see again came in and told them so. It's laughable that I wouldn't be outraged when my friends, my work "family" have been lied to. No one would buy a car or a house sight unseen. No one would agree to purchase insurance or invest in a 401K without comparing plans. Yet the union wants people to sign-up for membership (i.e. dues) without having a contract in place. I say wait until something is worked out and if it's in your favour...go for it. Hell, if they deliver on all of their promises I'll even sign-up. What I don't buy, however, is that there's power in the numbers. One of the reasons I wanted to work here, and chose to work here, is because it felt like "home," and my colleagues felt like "family." When push comes to shove no one here, except the extreme militants, would ever consider striking...would ever consider walking away from their patients in the community we all live in and serve. While I have no great knowledge on the bargaining process I do know more about my colleagues than you do, more about my community than you do. I might be dense, but I'm not stupid. Nor is my administration, who I like, admire, and support. I'm more profoundly depressed that my hospital would not stand and fight against the union than I ever will be that my colleagues voted it in.