RNs protest Gov. Snyder's "Right to Work" corporate takeover

  1. 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. / Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press

    LANSING, MI-About a dozen nurses stood on the Capitol steps Monday morning with red duct tape over their mouths.

    "Snyder's RTW" was drawn in marker on each piece of tape, representing right-to-work legislation that the Michigan Nurses Association says would silence their voices.

    "If this law passes and our unions become weaker, we then become weaker and have less ability to make sure that our patients are safely taken care of," said Katie Oppenheim, a registered nurse and member of the MNA union.

  2. Visit herring_RN profile page

    About herring_RN Guide

    Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 17,629; Likes: 36,160


  3. by   tewdles
    A good friend of mine went to the capital the other day for the hearings and to meet with his elected leader...he was obstructed by the police from entering the capital and was shoved by the office into the group of people behind him. The office then proceeded to block the entrance for not only other citizens but also 2 of the legislators.
  4. by   StNeotser
    Oh, the "well informed" people opining in the readers comments....................
  5. by   FNP2B1
    I hate unions. I'm a FNP in California and have never been a member of the unions out here on the West Coast. I don't believe a union representative can speak for me better than I can speak for myself. In fact, I am 100% anti union under any circumstance. I don't believe you should have to pay union dues to work in any hospital period. I hope the legislation goes through.
  6. by   Jolie
    How does forcing someone to pay union dues in order to get a job protect anyone's rights?

    If an individual supports the union and believes in its actions, s/he will join. Why would individual freedom of choice "weaken" a union, unless the union is not representing the needs of the workers to begin with?
  7. by   cjbacjba
    Love unions! My patients get excellent care because we are not given heavy & unsafe nurse to pt loads. The small union dues are well worth better pay and ensuring safe nursing care! Previously, I worked as a non-union ER nurse in MI... NOT SAFE!! If u don't want to pay union dues then just work for a non- union hospital... There r plenty to choose from in MI.
  8. by   heart2serve
    I live in a right to work state and work at a magnet hospital. You don't have to be in a union to deliver great patient care. Not a big fan of unions.
  9. by   violetgirl
    Yikes! Unions...

    My hands are tied here in Ca!

    Working in education you have No choice! (Public Schools that is...)
  10. by   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.
  11. by   VICEDRN
    Everybody here whining about the unions feel free to come down here to Georgia where you can take care of up to 10 med/surg patients without a break and for garbage wages. PLUS get floated off your shift or onto a unit where you don't have a clue what you are doing. The unit's average amount of experience is less than two years. You ready? I'm sure yall will hurry on down here, right?

    The NP can come enjoy our awesome weak scope of practice for an NP...

    Plenty of jobs to go around and they all SUCK folks!!

    Nothing's for nothing.
  12. by   TopazLover
    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.
  13. by   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.
  14. by   herring_RN
    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