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To be, or not to be, that is the question.

Union   (4,451 Views 17 Comments)
by PennyWise PennyWise (Member)

PennyWise has 6 years experience and specializes in Pulmonary, Transplant, Travel RN.

4,879 Profile Views; 159 Posts

My place of employment has a very aggressive union trying to get the workers to unionize. The mud slinging between the hospital and the union reps has become overwhelming. Its starting to look like there will be a vote on whether to unionize or not.

Im undecided on how I feel about it. I've seen unions do good, and I've seen them cause harm.

The one thing that makes me nervous is the fact that the union does not consist of just nurses. They want everyone in it. I tend to believe nursing would be better represented by a union that focuses on nursing and the complex issues nurses face.

Is that a fair assessment?

If you are union, do you feel they have improved things for you?

We all float down here.

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Fyreflie has 4 years experience.

189 Posts; 4,089 Profile Views

I'm in Canada and we're all union up here--with tge exception if certain hospitals who opted out and offer other incentives--the only place I've had a bad experience with a union was in Nova Scotia, where it seemed like they didn't negotiate very strongly. The other two unions I've been part of have been amazing and one of them was instrumental in helping me through a layoff process. I've had union reps present for meetings with managers when I felt I needed support and u have stopped meetings and asked to continue them with a union rep present if I've felt uncomfortable.

I've never been in a non-union job as a nurse but overall I'd say there are a whole lotta pros to a good strong union!

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Fyreflie has 4 years experience.

189 Posts; 4,089 Profile Views

And yes, I think a union representing nurses should be for nurses only! Up here even our LPNs have a separate union because their interests are sometimes in competition with ours.

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PennyWise has 6 years experience and specializes in Pulmonary, Transplant, Travel RN.

159 Posts; 4,879 Profile Views

And yes, I think a union representing nurses should be for nurses only! Up here even our LPNs have a separate union because their interests are sometimes in competition with ours.

I think so too, but Im not privy to the ins and out of being in a union. Just seems to me that trying to lump everyone together will cause the union to go in too many different directions.

We all float down here.

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subee has 45 years experience as a MSN, CRNA.

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RN unions should be for RN's only. Nobody else can represent your interests because they don't know what it is exactly that you do, not can they grasp the complexities of the profession. You need NURSES to represent NURSING.

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PennyWise has 6 years experience and specializes in Pulmonary, Transplant, Travel RN.

159 Posts; 4,879 Profile Views

Got another letter from my hospital today. It was concerning the union activity. They are so worried about this.

Things that make you go "hmmmmmm".

We all float down here.

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Merlyn specializes in none.

852 Posts; 10,603 Profile Views

Got another letter from my hospital today. It was concerning the union activity. They are so worried about this.

Things that make you go "hmmmmmm".

We all float down here.

Hospital is frighten of union. Go union. I was part of one that didn't have just nurses it worked out fine.

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PennyWise has 6 years experience and specializes in Pulmonary, Transplant, Travel RN.

159 Posts; 4,879 Profile Views

On the other hand, I not too long ago left a hospital whose union covered everyone except nurses. It was NOT working out for them. Maintenance made out at the bargaining table like bandits, but dietary and phlebotomy had nothing good to say about the union.

One year, they had to vote whether or not to allow the hospital to withhold annual raises. The PCTs were perfectly happy to allow it since the hospital promised no lay-offs and pt ratios would not be changed. Maintenance on the other hand, having no concern for pt ratios, was not for allowing it.

Now, it goes without saying the PCTs outnumbered the maintanence crew 3:1 (or more), and it was just assumed they'd win the vote. Mind you, dietary and phlebotomy were on their side. That was not the case though. Maintanence got their way...............don't ask me how or why.

Classic example of a union losing its focus on protecting its members wishes.

We all float down here.

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TriciaJ has 38 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

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No doubt in my mind, union is better than non-union. But you're right that it might be problematic if the union represents everyone, because there will be conflicting interests and they won't be as able to represent everyone well. Have you contacted your state nursing association which is under ANA? They should have a collective bargaining arm and it might be worth talking to them.

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GitanoRN has 48 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Trauma, ER, ICU, CCU, PACU, GI, Cardiology, OR.

2,114 Posts; 24,772 Profile Views

i have mix feelings about unions, is like having car insurance policy the only time you miss it is when you get into an accident. although, every time i been a part of a union it has been strictly a nurses union, i would read all the pros & cons before joining... good luck...aloha~

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nicurn001 specializes in Psych , Peds ,Nicu.

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GitanoRN puts it well , I view my membership of a union as an insurance against the changability of management , most of the time many can get along well with their facilities management , but when managements ethos changes , or even your floor manager changes , you can suddenly find yourself vulnerable without any support system to reduce your vulnerability , that is when a strong active union is valuable to you .

There have been many threads on AN which have debunked the idea that because you are a good nurse who is well networked with management , this secures your position , unfortunately that is not true ,once managemnt decides you are superfluous you will be out of there if you are not covered by a union contract .

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