RNs protest Gov. Snyder’s “Right to Work” corporate takeover - page 2

by herring_RN Guide

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With their mouths taped shut, RNs protest Gov. Snyder’s “Right to Work” corporate takeover Michigan Nurses Association protests on the Capitol steps in Lansing against Michigan Right To Work legislation Monday, Dec. 10, 2012.... Read More


  1. 7
    A union is the people who belong to it. It is as strong as the people wish. To put some perspective on unions: Unions stopped children from working instead of growing up. Unions fought for safer working conditions, better hours and better pay. In Right to Work states wages are $5333 less on average, Poverty rate in 12.5% more, Workplace fatlities of increased by 51%.

    Perhaps if you are a nurse and are happy where you are then you can foget howo hard other nurses worked for unions to make sure things like needle sticks were addressed, PPEs available at no cost to employees, as well as wages and patient load. If you have no one who depends on you or you depend on perhaps it does not matter.

    Unions have protected workers and will as long as they are able to do so. As I said, a union IS the people who belong. It will be as strong or weak as the workers wish. If they want more injuries, lower wages, no protections of hours or conditions of employment that is a choice.

    It is sad that nurses, more than many other professions, do not see how much they have to lose by chosing a Right to Work state.
    tewdles, jtmarcy12, MissPiggy, and 4 others like this.
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    And as a union member when I was still working, I must add that unions pressure you to vote Democrat. Not once in all the years I was employed did the Vote This Way flyer EVER include a Conservative.

    So yes, the unions have done some wonderful things for people; however, some of them have way overstepped their boundaries, and pressure, and cajole and even threaten their members to vote so that union and the money going to the Democratic party can continue.

    Unions are not all rosey and wonderful. As with anything there are good and not-so good aspects to them. But members should be allowed to participate to their own comfort level. Card check? no way. Had that happened in my union, I would have dropped out and become covered by the union rules but without paying the dues. They are on the list of not needing to know how I vote.
    HM-8404, Red35, and VickyRN like this.
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    Quote from tntrn
    I worked in a hospital that had a union. Union membership was not required. Staffing ratios were horrible. Pay was acceptable, but the union didn't assure we had safe patient-staff ratios. Only a state law would be able to do that, IMHO.
    Only an RN labor union has achieved safe staffing ratios mandated bt state law.

    Union nurses in Victoria Australia won the first mandated ratios in their contracts. They have to fight to keep them. We in California have a continuous struggle to keep our ratios too.

    National ratios are introduced. You can read some of the history of how the California Nurses Association did it. Read about how National Nurses United is working toward a national safe staffing law: Collective Patient Advocacy Trailblazers, Part 2 - The Road to Ratios
    jtmarcy12, tewdles, VickyRN, and 2 others like this.
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    herring_RN likes this.
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    I have totally mixed feelings about unions. Having said that, if nurses could negotiate their own salary/work situations by contract with a lawyer, like docs do, you could cut out the middle man of unions, which can be decent or absolutely horrible.

    I've always felt like nurses should be able to negotiate their own contracts (of course they have to bit the bullet and pay for their own lawyer, etc). Be worth it to me. After that, in terms of capricious firing, well, mostly that is where a union can be helpful and protective. AWE is such a joke--especially when it comes to nurses.

    I truly am pretty darn conservative; but I will tell that I have seen more nurses let go for utter BS reasons that in any other field. Thing is, when you are let go in another field for nonsense stuff, it may not suggest the worse case scenario it does for a nurse. That is this. Was he or she let go for incompetence or almost killing someone????? People aren't do not know that a many nurses are let go b/c of reasons that have NOTHING TO DO with SAFETY in practice. But what are they left to think? People can't imagine that places could let nurses go for capricious reasons--but it's done every single day, and it IS NOT RARE.

    So, how is an prospective lawyer or anyone else really supposed to know that it the nurse was NOT let go for being a "bad" nurse?

    It's kind of a mess how it pans out for a lot of nurses, and this is why I have tended to favor unions over nothing at all. Individual contracts are better; but lol, hospital in general laugh at such an idea in most cases.

    IMHO, no nurse should work without a contract; b/c AWE means you can be let go for reason or no reason at all. Personally, I say if an employer is going to let an RN go, they need to provide a decent reason--and not just nonsense that is pretext in some unseen file floating around somewhere.


    -->Hence the need for more objective systems for evaluation. I have come to believe that places will, by and large, NEVER agree to looking at changing to more objective systems priorily b/c of the ancient doctrine of AT WILL EMPLOYMENT. As long as they can lean on this doctrine, they can keep things hazy--and they can hire and fire on whim. You put more objective systems in place, and ensure that they are applied and honored consistently ACROSS THE BOARD. . .uh oh. They can no longer do whatever the heck they want on a whim. Capricious firing would be cut down dramatically. Employers don't want this to occur for a number of reasons. But mostly they don't want accountability and transparency in how they function with regard to nurse employees. AWE sounds like a two-way systems, but the reality of how it functions in the real world is one way--in favor of the employer by far.


    So, until that is changed and independent contract agreements are honored for nurses, the best they may be able to do is union represenation. But many unions get in bed with the employers, so . . . sigh. . . At that point, you have to ban nurses together and get them to throw out the old union for another union--and then you have to hope the new union doesn't get in bed with the employer.

    People just don't deal in good faith with each other. That is the essence of the problem, whether you are talking AT WILL EMPLOYMENT or union representation.
    herring_RN likes this.
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    Quote from tntrn
    And as a union member when I was still working, I must add that unions pressure you to vote Democrat. Not once in all the years I was employed did the Vote This Way flyer EVER include a Conservative.

    So yes, the unions have done some wonderful things for people; however, some of them have way overstepped their boundaries, and pressure, and cajole and even threaten their members to vote so that union and the money going to the Democratic party can continue.

    Unions are not all rosey and wonderful. As with anything there are good and not-so good aspects to them. But members should be allowed to participate to their own comfort level. Card check? no way. Had that happened in my union, I would have dropped out and become covered by the union rules but without paying the dues. They are on the list of not needing to know how I vote.

    right. Having them represent a group does not allow them to violate my rights as an individual.
    HM-8404 likes this.
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    Quote from aknottedyarn
    A union is the people who belong to it. It is as strong as the people wish. To put some perspective on unions: Unions stopped children from working instead of growing up. Unions fought for safer working conditions, better hours and better pay. In Right to Work states wages are $5333 less on average, Poverty rate in 12.5% more, Workplace fatlities of increased by 51%.

    Perhaps if you are a nurse and are happy where you are then you can foget howo hard other nurses worked for unions to make sure things like needle sticks were addressed, PPEs available at no cost to employees, as well as wages and patient load. If you have no one who depends on you or you depend on perhaps it does not matter.

    Unions have protected workers and will as long as they are able to do so. As I said, a union IS the people who belong. It will be as strong or weak as the workers wish. If they want more injuries, lower wages, no protections of hours or conditions of employment that is a choice.

    It is sad that nurses, more than many other professions, do not see how much they have to lose by chosing a Right to Work state.

    This is a nice idea, but too often it is not reality. Unions compromise with employers all the time. It can be difficult to throw out a union. At the same time, I have, as I have previously shared, MAJOR problems with AT WILL EMPLOYMENT. Sounds nice, but most of the benefits go to the employer and not the employees, period.

    What I prefer overall is that if nurses worked under independent contractual agreements--much like physicians do.

    If you go for a position as nurse with this approach, you will likely be shown the door. That is terribly wrong, and nurses should wise up to it.
    MissPiggy likes this.
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    I was active in unions in multiple areas. I saw the power of people who were organized. I saw the ineffective union when people were not organized. no union has any right to say who to vote for. I was on our PAC for years and watched it swing conservative and liberal. We represented our members. Some were one side, some the other. it increased my knowledge and working ability politically by being active in the union. I voted for money to go to both liberal and conservative candidates. The ones who supported the things our membership wanted is who we spent our PAC money on. Those are signs of a good union. Put the membership ahead of personal interests.

    I am not a fan of independent contracts. it will cause hard feelings more than we have now in nursing. We need our sisterhood/brotherhood to hold fast to things we consider important. Safety for us and our patients. We see how independent contracts work. Look at CEOs. There is no connectedness with the facility, only the dollar signs. Perhaps we would do better to negotiate like sports figures. Be bought, sold, and traded to the highest bidder.
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    If I worked in a hospital with a union, I'd join and pay dues. But I consider it a good day, when an employee is given the choice to join or not.
    Red35 likes this.
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    Quote from aknottedyarn

    I am not a fan of independent contracts. it will cause hard feelings more than we have now in nursing. We need our sisterhood/brotherhood to hold fast to things we consider important. Safety for us and our patients. We see how independent contracts work. Look at CEOs. There is no connectedness with the facility, only the dollar signs. Perhaps we would do better to negotiate like sports figures. Be bought, sold, and traded to the highest bidder.

    OK, wait a second. So, independent contract agreements can work for physicians but not for nurses ?????


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