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Why are so many nurses against unions?

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You are reading page 8 of Why are so many nurses against unions?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

I would like being a member in good standing to mean more than having payed my dues on time. Contracts should be the same for all nurses in the same union, not different for each hospital. Penalties for administration not responding in a timely fashion similar to the penalties for the union member. (eg. grievance is considered settled if no response withing 30 days to the second.)

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I respect Unions that exist to protect the nurse who is hardworking, conscientious, ethical, etc... I keep thinking I'm going to join ours, but then I forget. I don't like any Union that protects anyone from consequences they deserve. My husband's Union ( non-nursing ) has become an organization that protects many lazy people who are already over paid, but don't work. Or pull a fast one on the employers. It's a very specialized Union.

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Every union I've ever been in has had provision in their contract for discipline for poor performance. If management is too lazy to do the documentation required, how is that the union's fault? Or do you believe that management should be able to discipline or fire workers without documentation of wrongdoing? Protecting workers from draconian management decisions is the union's job.

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Apparently the union for elevator mechanics doesn't have a problem with stupidity. These folks show up every day because the money is great, but some of them can't fix a damn thing. They earn a **** ton of money and the same elevator can stay broken for days. Nowadays, if you insinuate that someone is just retarded and not necessarily intentionally performing poorly, you get sued. Who knew having a 75 IQ could be so lucrative?

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Apparently the union for elevator mechanics doesn't have a problem with stupidity. These folks show up every day because the money is great, but some of them can't fix a damn thing. They earn a **** ton of money and the same elevator can stay broken for days. Nowadays, if you insinuate that someone is just retarded and not necessarily intentionally performing poorly, you get sued. Who knew having a 75 IQ could be so lucrative?

Seriously? That's your whole argument? :roflmao:

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Seriously? That's your whole argument? :roflmao:

When there's a lot of them, yeah. Once upon a time, folks took pride in their work. If they weren't up to par, they kept at it until they were. Now, why improve? They have a union that protects their ineptitude. Say what you will, people are changing and some not for the better. Union is a good thing for people who do their jobs... It's a 'safe space' for people who don't.

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When there's a lot of them, yeah. Once upon a time, folks took pride in their work. If they weren't up to par, they kept at it until they were. Now, why improve? They have a union that protects their ineptitude. Say what you will, people are changing and some not for the better. Union is a good thing for people who do their jobs... It's a 'safe space' for people who don't.

Actually, unions are a safe space for incompetent managers who can't figure out how to comply with contractually defined work rules and need someone to blame it on.

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I hear your pain and distress. Unions are a good thing,but there is no perfect union,you will get out of it as much as you put in it.Many nurses are afraid to speak up and assert their professional status,to shut them up instead they are given ******** gifts on nurses Day - ah a water bottle ( that you cant use at the bedside anyway,and notepaper ,an umbrella etc.

But they deny you real experience pay especially when it gets up in the 20 year mark.

It goes from bad to worse depending where you live.When you stand up for your rights you must be united and do it together even if it means befriending the ass kissing snitch.Good luck.

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On 1/17/2019 at 9:43 PM, Leader25 said:

I hear your pain and distress. Unions are a good thing,but there is no perfect union,you will get out of it as much as you put in it.Many nurses are afraid to speak up and assert their professional status,to shut them up instead they are given bullshit gifts on nurses Day - ah a water bottle ( that you cant use at the bedside anyway,and notepaper ,an umbrella etc.

But they deny you real experience pay especially when it gets up in the 20 year mark.

It goes from bad to worse depending where you live.When you stand up for your rights you must be united and do it together even if it means befriending the ass kissing snitch.Good luck.

     While I agree with the notion that unions provide protection for lazy and incompetent employees, I also agree that unions are a good thing.  Remember that in 'At-will' states, employees can be terminated for any reason   whatsoever, barring that the firing resulted from the individual being a member of a non-discriminatory protected class.  With unions, there is recourse, representation, increased accountability and they serve as a bulwark against unfair labor practices and toxic management.

Edited by morelostthanfound

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On 1/26/2016 at 6:38 PM, XNavyCorpsman said:

When you have a Union you loose flexibility. I'll give you an example; Most of us Nurses want to adjust our work schedule so that we get more days off in a row. We can't because that would require the LPN's, which are Unionized, to adjust their contract. If you know anything about Unions, once you join a Union, you now work for the Union and NOT the hospital. The biggest thing is you loose flexibility.

Wrong.  I worked at 3 different union hospitals as a staffer and 2 as a contract. ALL allowed self scheduling.  And you can switch shifts if it's that important that you need this day off instead of that day. Unions have nothing to do with that.

LPNs are not legal in some states to do the same job as RNs, so again, that is not an issue at 99.9% of union shops.

I know a lot about unions. Daughter of a Teamster and steel worker. Granddaughter of a union steward and organizer in the steel industry. Yes, some of the most "notorious" unions in the country---but extremely effective at defending a worker's rights to breaks, reasonable hours and workplace safety.

Without them, YOU would not have ANY workplace protections. If you believe that employers "do the right thing", take a look around at the forums just on this blog alone. "My boss flouts the nurse ratio law" "My boss gives us 4:1 in a high acuity ICU routinely" "I am forced to work doubles because of my boss not hiring staff"  "The entire staff is comprised of travelers who have 2 days of orientation....by other travelers"

Just a smidge of what really goes on in "self policing" departments".

The only time management and administration does the right thing is when the incentive is strong enough. Mass walkouts that threaten their bottom line. Bad publicity (read about UMass Memorial and the propaganda that the hospitals sent out. if these nurses were so horrible, why were they employed? even under union rules, horrible nurses get fired.)

Unions would not exist if there was no need. If hospitals did the right thing by their employees...unions would be extinct. How many hospitals routinely do every single thing they can to circumvent any and all agreements made with unions....if they were trying to do right by anybody and HONORING their agreements, they wouldn't be doing the end runs around negotiated points.

 

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On 2/1/2016 at 3:15 PM, herring_RN said:

If "bad" employees are kept it is due to incompetent management.

A union contract generally requires that discipline, including termination, be for "Just Cause".

The most extreme I read about in the paper was a hospital where employees were allowed to be late routinely because they traveled from another job. Also some took lunch breaks that took up almost half their shift:

The most extreme example I've been told about was a nurse who wanted to fight a termination after he was caught with narcotics in his socks. His fellow nurses were there when he refused to stay when the count came up short, ran, and was stopped by security.

Because the union had to provide representation a rep attended the meeting and took notes as one after another witness reported the same.

The union refused to go to arbitration, he threatened to sue. He was given a list of attorneys because he was also reported to the board. He never sued.

I remember once I was asked to attend an arbitration at another facility. An RN had been terminated for rudeness.

The manager had written her up once before for refusing to care for a patient in ICU and and four others on her telemetry unit. She had fought that because she was not competent to work in ICY and because it was physically in another nearby unit.

Even though that nurse had prevailed the manager felt there had been progressive discipline.

The "rudeness" consisted of an accusation that she had been rude to a patient. The assignment sheet did not include that patient.

In report she was told the patient was discharged and just waiting for a ride. She was getting an admit from ER into that bed.

About 7:20 pm she saw the patient in a wheelchair in the hallway. The secretary said no one had been able to contact his family to take him home. The nurse called both phone numbers and left a message. She bought him dinner from the cafeteria because he was no longer in the computer. She helped him to the bathroom.

he then told the charge nurse who called the supervisor. She put her concern that her assignment was unsafe because her patient had no room and with him to care for she was assigned more patients than allowed by the ratio regulations. The supervisor said, "Do the best you can."

About 10:30 pm she noticed the patient was gone. The secretary told her, "The daughter came and got him."

She testified at the arbitration that she had told her manager that she had neither discharges the patient nor took him down to the car, but her manager accused her of lying.

Plus he was no her patient because he had already been discharged.

The daughter testified that the doctor had told her at 3:00 pm her father would stay another night. She went shopping. She didn't have a cell phone with her. When she got home she was surprised and angry with the message. She came to get her father and a nurse seemed to be in a hurry. She pushed him out to the car. That nurse was so rude she wouldn't answer any questions. After her father was in the car she asked, "Why is my father going home? The doctor told me tomorrow."

She said, "That rude nurse just kept saying, "OK, Bye."

When the union representative's turn came to question the daughter he said, "Do you know the name of the nurse?

daughter, "Yes it is *****." (the name of the terminated nurse)

Union rep, "Did you read her name tag?"

Daughter, "No ***** told me her name." (gave name of terminated nurae)

Union rep, "Would you recognize her if you see her?"

Daughter, "Yes I would. I looked at her face and asked her questions and she just said, "OK. Bye"

Union rep, "Is she here in this room?"

The daughter looked at all us women. She made eye contact with me and the six other women at the table and against the wall. Then she said, "No. She is not here."

The terminated RN began to cry. The arbitrator said, "I will reverse the termination. You will receive my written judgment in three days."

The RN was crying. She asked her manager, "Why do you hate me?"

The manager yelled, "Because you look like the woman my husband left me for."

That was the most exciting arbitration.

But although most are tedious and boring they are important sometimes when a nurse is terminated and there was

no just cause.

Because there are anti-union and management trolls here extolling the virtues of "Right to Get Fired For No Reason and Get Paid Pennies" units.

Anybody who says that they prefer to work under fear of termination if they clock in 3 minutes past the hour but not more than 4 minutes prior to the hour....or using too many glucostrips....or denied their raise because they had taken FMLA....is management or an anti-union paid troll.

Nobody in their right mind would resist having lunches and breaks enforced to the point that hospitals will be FINED if they don't allow you to take a break.

This is what unionizers from the old days fought and DIED to give workers. Rights to be able to PEE when they need to, rights to EAT and get off their feet at reasonable intervals. Rights to have a LIVING WAGE. Rights to OVERTIME PAY. Rights to VACATION and SICK TIME.

Do any of you believe, for one second, that these rights were GIVEN BY EMPLOYERS?

Do your homework folks. Google is your friend. Employers hate unions because it gives workers equal rights and recourse.

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     My 2 cents;  I am currently a union RN but I am currently in a non-healthcare union.  I am a Merchant Mariner and I am represented by the largest US union for Merchant Mariners, and I will say that being a union sailor has WITHOUT A DOUBT allowed myself and other sailors to perform our duty without fear of management messing with us like I have read here.  I am well-paid, have amazing benefits, dues are not expensive at all, and the equivalent pay of non-union sailors is about 2/3 what union sailors get.  I work in the medical department on military ships as a civilian RN

     I have no idea why people dislike unions so much.  Without unions I would not have such a plethora of benefits and the protections that a union ensures.  I had pay issues recently and because there is a union backing me those were solved quickly.  Are there bad apples people can point to?  Absolutely, we are all humans and thus there are 'bad' ones out there in the workforce no matter the industry.  However those bad apples usually do not last long when management does what it is supposed to and documents that and begins the process of termination.  As we all know, if it wasn't documented it didn't happen.  That is why there are processes for terminating those bad apples, and even a union cannot protect the absolutely incompetent.  What a union CAN do is find out what exactly that person is doing wrong and provide them the required training/education so that they no longer are so incompetent and that is another benefit of unions; they protect your job and allow you to grow.  If you need training a good union will identify that and provide it.  My union has a school built just for sailors to fly in and train for certain things for example. 

     Unions are a good thing!  It's funny to me when people seem to think employers will listen and negotiate with you.  Unless you are an executive in a critical position THEN they will listen.  We as RN's are easily replacable in the eyes of many employers and thus our concerns don't mean much to them.  Now add the power of collective bargaining which ensures that those RN's have a strong voice, it is then employers will listen and accommodate.  Like maintaining 1:4 or 1:1 ratios when patient safety requires is.  Or allowing breaks/lunches as required by law when most employers will blatantly ignore those requirements, or giving promised raises/benefits and following thru with them, and so forth.  Unions gave us so much, and as a current union RN sailor I would happily work in a hospital which has union representation.

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