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Healthcare unions growing

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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?

Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN
Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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