Nurses and labor unions

Disadvantages of nursing unions

The reality of a workplace is subtly structured by the natural leaders on staff who model "the way things are done here. I can speak for myself, and the last thing I need is protection by a union leader far removed from the bedside who may or may not even be a nurse. Union workers gain access to better benefits. Union agreements impede managerial freedom to accept only the best. This reflection of the leadership can cause the assumption that so-called nursing unions, or those representing nurses, are more interested in the power of membership dues. Consistent pay raises and healthcare coverage benefits are also written into nursing contracts. Ethnography, including participant observation and ethnographic interviews, was the method used to study unionized registered nurses RNs in a bed, private, not-for-profit psychiatric hospital in rural southern New England. You can gain access to other benefits outside of the workplace. Solidarity is an advantage which is often underestimated. However, when a union decides to go on strike, many nurses are faced with losing significant wages during the strike as well as their own personal ethical dilemma of leaving their patients to replacement nurses who are unfamiliar with their patient population. In order to form a collective bargaining unit, there first has to be an interest among employees, an investigation of possible labor unions and a vote of the employees whether to join or not. How amazing that nurses bristle at the use of Unlicensed Assistive Personnel UAPs yet enthusiastically join a union for truckers, meatpackers, or foodworkers! Bargaining covers non-union workers as it covers your position. Patient outcomes decline significantly during a nursing strike and the cost to the organization can be detrimental. Unions discourage individual initiative.

Unions discourage individual initiative. Your supervisor might sing your praises to the entire organization.

problems with nursing unions

Performance is secondary to seniority with a nursing labor union. I believe the survival of our profession is dependent on refocusing on the rewards at the bedside-such as our privileged presence at the moments of birth and death-rather than wages and trade union activities.

No single union represents all nurses or health care workers in the US.

United american nurses

For this reason, we may expect to see a growth in labor unions for nurses. Organized labor has targeted the field of healthcare to increase membership dues even in right-to-work states. All healing professions are first and foremost servants of the patient. Unions such as Service Employees International Union represent nurses as well as many employee groups such as janitors and airport workers. Ethnography, including participant observation and ethnographic interviews, was the method used to study unionized registered nurses RNs in a bed, private, not-for-profit psychiatric hospital in rural southern New England. Your high performance is paid at the same level as an average performance. If your wages as a nurse are fixed to a specific contract or collective bargaining agreement, then there is no longer an incentive to work harder to earn more. Union workers gain access to better benefits. Collective bargaining by the ANA is a flagrant conflict of interest; a labor union and professional association represent divergent goals and should not exist under the same umbrella. However, in my opinion, we should look beyond the paycheck. Professional nurses in unions: working together pays off. These unions work to advocate and protect the interests of their members. Some people choose union membership or choose to avoid unions because of their sentiments toward them. Dues are a required condition for working with a union.

Union workers gain access to better benefits. The unions do not use a measurable standard of productivity, talent, or skill to determine who gets rewarded.

Common labor union issues for nursing staff

You can definitely enjoy the many benefits which come with a nursing labor union. Given the number of nurses working in represented organizations, unions are a lucrative business. Dues are a required condition for working with a union. The strongest leverage unions have is to strike or even just to threaten a strike and this becomes a very controversial issue with nurses and other health care workers. Many union business representatives are labor lawyers who are unfamiliar with nursing practice or healthcare. As registered nurses are an important cornerstone of the healthcare industry and provide the preponderance of direct patient care, one must ask the question if unions, or collective bargaining units, are benefiting or harming healthcare? A high-acuity unit may invigorate one nurse but overwhelm another; weekend shifts may stress one nurse but allow another to complete advanced education. Membership fees are usually deducted as a percentage of what you earn, sometimes as high as 3. Unions such as National Nurses United and state organizations like the California Nurses Association encourage nurses to join as they claim to be nurse-focused. Education reimbursement, retirement matches, pension possibilities, and much more are all potentially available at a better value with a union compared to doing it on your own without one. It can be hard to even find neutral literature about the pros and cons of unions.

There may not be an option to take vacation or sick pay to cover these hours either.

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Do Unions Benefit or Harm Healthcare & Nursing Industries?