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Nursing unions

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A month ago or so I wrote an article about the nurse’s union in Minnesota and the ridiculous strike they participated in and how they abandoned thousands of patients in need.  I talked about how I felt that unions are only out for one thing, that is to increase the power of the union.  Not the power of its members, the nurses, but the power of the union leaders.

As I stated in my recent blogs, I am in the process of changing jobs.  I did get a new job that I start in about in a week.  I am really excited about this new opportunity and the new challenges this position will give me.  Here’s the funny thing…it’s a union position!  I have to join the union if I want to work for the organization.

Now to make it clear, I did talk to the Human Resources and even the union representative to find out how I can opt out of the union membership.  But, because the company is based out of another state, and that state does not require that employees have the option to opt out of membership, I am forced to join the union.

This actually makes my point about the power of the nursing union.  Actually it’s not even a nursing union; it’s like the organization of food service workers or something like that.  But, it makes my point of the greed of the union leadership.  The leadership makes sure that they will receive their dues and membership fees no matter what.

To be fair, I will reap the rewards of what the union strong arms the company in to giving the employees, but I don’t feel bad about it since I am forced to pay union dues that I don’t feel I should have to be forced to pay.  If I were allowed to opt out of the union membership, did not have to pay dues, then I feel it would be fair that I did not receive the benefits the union negotiates.

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Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron is currently a staff nurse in a level II trauma center. He has primarily been an ED nurse for most of his career, but he has also been a nurse manager for Surgical Trauma and Telemetry unit. He has worked in Med/Surg, Critical Care, Hospice, Rehab, an extremely busy cardiology clinic and pretty much anywhere he's been needed. Prior to his career in nursing, Rob worked in healthcare finance and management. Rob feels this experience has given him a perspective on nursing that many never see. He loves nursing because of all the options he has within the field. He is currently a grad student working on an MSN in nursing leadership, and teaches clinicals at a local university. Away from work, Rob spends all of his time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit. He is a die hard NASCAR fan. Sundays you can find Rob watching the race with his daughter.
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3 Responses to Nursing unions

  1. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    Good luck with the new job opportunity Rob!

  2. Jean Malizia

    Rob, you are lucky. In NY nurse managers are forbidden to join unions at all. I feel fortunate to be in 1199. What I pay in dues easily covers the cost of health care coverage I would have to pay for myself. Also, I would have been fired long ago for no cause – other than the machinations of a nutcase former manager and his cabal of religious bigots. Join and enjoy.

  3. JT

    Nurses wouldn’t have to unionize or strike if they were treated fairly. Over-worked nurses suffering with extremely long shifts cause a terrible deterioration in patient care. If a couple dozen nurses got so tired of the bad treatment they were getting from the management and decided they had enough and quit would they be abandoning patients? No. The hospitals need to improve conditions, therefore they are responsible for keeping the nurses there in a favorable environment. It’s unfortunate that it has to resort to unionization, but there are great places to work without them, and there are horrible places also. It’s these horrible places that continue to under-staff, and over-work their nurses that bring upon a union push. When you are FORCED into 6 days straight of 14 hour days with no relief, and you fall asleep driving home…do you think your nurse manager really cares they schedule that way? When you make a mistake and lose your license, do you think your manager will stick up for you and say “It’s not their fault, we forced them into it.” No. We all hope we don’t need a union, but there are places that they will do wonders…keep employees happy and therefore increase the level of care to the patients.