Healthcare unions growing

While overall union membership has been declining for years, unions dedicated to healthcare workers are actually growing.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American union membership peaked in 1979, with a total membership of 21 million members, or 24.1% of workers.  By 2009, only 12.3% of all employees, or 15.3 million Americans, were union members.

Break union membership down by category, though, and a different story emerges.  The category officially called “Healthcare Practitioner and Technical Occupation” has seen growth since 2000 — from 693,000 workers in 2000 to 962,000 workers in 2009.  Experts say nurses are driving the increase.

Nurses cite a variety of reasons for union membership, including workload concerns and violence in the workplace. 

Is your workplace unionized?

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