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Why are so many nurses against unions?

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by Icunicenurse Icunicenurse (New) New

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Interesting that this thread has gone quiet.

Unofficial figures now show that 100 nurses have died as a result of covid exposure, and all over the country there are complaints about the lack of PPE, and bullying where nurses are going into covid situations without adequate PPE. Nurses refusing these assignments are being fired.

Do you think that a national union would have helped keep these deceased nurses safe?

I understand that there hasn't been a single nurse death so far in Canada, so what are they doing differently to protect their nurses?

Is it right to work in a situation without PPE, for fear of losing your job?

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I see unions bullying their members, telling them who to vote for, blocking streets and side walks, and physically assaulting Doctors and other staff who crossed their lines.  After Hurricane Sandy, my union rep chided me for pushing a patient between units--it "set precedence".  Sorry, Union folk.  My priority is the patient and I will keep my own counsel in a crisis situation about whether waiting for a transporter or getting the patient to the ICU myself is the wisest action.

What would a national union do for a worldwide shortage of PPE?  Do unions have magic wands that make PPE? 

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31 minutes ago, mene19 said:

I see unions bullying their members, telling them who to vote for, blocking streets and side walks, and physically assaulting Doctors and other staff who crossed their lines.  After Hurricane Sandy, my union rep chided me for pushing a patient between units--it "set precedence".  Sorry, Union folk.  My priority is the patient and I will keep my own counsel in a crisis situation about whether waiting for a transporter or getting the patient to the ICU myself is the wisest action.

What would a national union do for a worldwide shortage of PPE?  Do unions have magic wands that make PPE? 

I belong to a union and have never, ever seen that kind of behavior. In fact, we have a “no-strike” clause so never expect to. Our union did, in fact, get us PPE when the hospital took ours away. They also bargained with the hospital to pay us from a special disaster bank when we got sent home because of low-census or if we had to quarantine instead of using our earned time off. 

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You've never seen That kind of behavior by unions?  Where do you live?  
I have had more than my fill of American unions..They're more like gangs.  
Why would your hospital "take away" PPE?  Where did your union get PPE when the whole world was short?  
I don't live in Philadelphia anymore, but their unions were the worst.  During the 1990's, 1199 (the health care workers union) prevented mothers from seeing their babies in the NICU, blocked families from seeing their loved ones, physically assaulted physicians, and damaged lab equipment.  The police refused to assist because "they stood with 1199" because the police have a union too.  The ANA did NOTHING and said nothing: looked the other way.  I've seen labor unions block streets and block traffic; apparently peaceful assembly means acting like thugs and impinging on the rights of other people.
All these things have soured me on Unions.Fast forward  to now. My union rep was a fabulous nurse and we respected each other, but I would not compromise patient care while waiting for someone else.  I objected to the lazy, unethical, incompetent nurses whose jobs were protected because of their seniority.  She was union to the letter; too bad sometimes the patients and the reputation of the nursing staff at the hospital suffered.
Believe it or not, I am a kind, compassionate, gentle person, but not about this.  Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and now have my eyes wide open.  

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59 minutes ago, mene19 said:

You've never seen That kind of behavior by unions?  

I said I’ve never seen that behavior from my union. 

 

1 hour ago, mene19 said:

 
Why would your hospital "take away" PPE?  Where did your union get PPE when the whole world was short?  
 

Because they thought my department was “low risk” until it wasn’t but they still wouldn’t give it back until the union stepped in. 
 

It would be nice if your “gentle” personality would dial back the aggression a bit. 
 

Your experience isn’t everyone’s experience. 

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You're absolutely right.  I  apologize 100%.
My experience with New York unions was not good, and my experience in Philadelphia was life-changing. 
You are 100% right about about my needing to "dial it back".
My reaction is extreme, and it does no good at all to anyone.  I am doing exactly what I condemn.

 

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3 minutes ago, mene19 said:

You're absolutely right.  I  apologize 100%.
My experience with New York unions was not good, and my experience in Philadelphia was life-changing. 
You are 100% right about about my needing to "dial it back".
My reaction is extreme, and it does no good at all to anyone.  I am doing exactly what I condemn.

Totally accepted. I'm sorry you have had the experiences you've had and understand how that could sour you on unions. Many of us have had positive experiences and after being kicked in the teeth by two non-union hospitals I have very much come to appreciate mine. 

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I'd have to agree that unions are horrible these days.  My union has done nothing to help during this crisis. They have spent all their time petitioning the hospital for hazard pay and continue to do so even though the hospital has explained that it has suffered huge revenue declines and hazard pay would only be possible if we have hundreds of layoffs. But the union has not said a thing about lack of ppe or training. I've never loved unions, but this is just another reason I believe they are on the decline.

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subee has 48 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in CRNA, Finally retired.

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Who are these unions the above posters are complaining about.  Why are professional nurses being represented by 1199?  After being out of the hospital employee scene for decades, I am not knowledgeable about all the unions, but back in the day, I was represented by NYSNA who only signed up RN's and the union reps were all RN's. It was civilized.  It may be that nurses only unions are acting differently over the decades and have become more militant?  And could that be something related to increasing dire working conditions?  Just postulating here.  I don't think I would ever support a nurses union that represented anyone other than nurses.

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52 minutes ago, subee said:

It may be that nurses only unions are acting differently over the decades and have become more militant? 

Mine hasn't. Not sure what's going on elsewhere.

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I'm not against unions. I just wish mine didn't suck. They get nothing done, send derogative letters, and recently let several nurses get fired so that they could get replaced by an external agency. They also let us work without the proper equipment for months in the COVID 19 crisis with no compensation, while the guy at JobLot was getting a paycheck increase and 2% of the price increase that was applied to ALL the items in the store in his pocket. This happened to most nurses. Nurses signed up to help people, yes, they didn't sign up to work in such conditions. Every time I receive a letter from the union I can't help but think of them as bouffons now.

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