Union Organizing

Union Organizing for Nurses

            I have been involved in union organizing. The process involves several steps. The most important steps includes preparatory and negotiating phases. During preparation, the members of the negotiating team are selected from both the employer and the union. Both parties are skilled in labor laws and negotiations. During the union process, the team discusses, makes proposals and bargains within labor laws and the set ground rules. At the end of the meeting, an agreement is reached by both parties. After the union process, the agreement is prepared and sent to the management and nurses for ratification and approval. The representatives involved in the negotiating process do not have the ultimate authority in the issues raised in the agreement.

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            My opinion of unions for nurses is that they are necessary because they ensure that nurses get their rights as they continue caring for patients. Unions for nurses are continuing and long-term associations of nurses which are created and maintained for the purpose of advancing as well as protecting interests of its members in their work relationships with their facilities or employers. The unions comprise of nurses who are together for the process of ensuring that their working conditions are maintained and improved. Nurse unions focus on joint, collective bargaining and coordinated action (Masui, 2013).

            Unions for nurses have various pros and cons. Some of the pros include: they increase security to nurses since collective bargaining ensure that contracts are legally binding; they prohibit strikes, which cause huge problems to the facility; they give the nurses a voice; and reduce favoritism and biasness. Cons include: lack of all nurses agreeing on the same thing within the union; lost authority of employer’s management since nurses raise their concerns through unions; unions provide a bureaucracy that takes a lot of time before issues are solved in a collective bargaining; and facility management has a reduced effectiveness in commanding nurses (Masui, 2013).

Contract Negotiation for Nurses

            If I was part of the nursing union negotiating a contract for nurses, the demands I would ask for in order of their priority would include:

  • Poor wages and low allowances
  • Poor communication between the facility administrator and the nurses
  • Reduced disparity awarded to the senior managers and nurses

As a facility administrator who takes into account the economy and labor issues, I would provide an offer that favors both the organization and the nurses. I would offer them wages and allowances that nurses are given throughout the country, at their specific levels. In addition, I would revisit the communication process between nurses and the administrator and ensure that it is effective.

There are different roles that a nurse manager plays during a collective bargaining. First, the nurse manager is supposed to know and understand the law in order to ensure that rights of both the management and the nurses are clearly understood during the process. He/she is also finds out why nurses need the collective bargaining. A nurse manager discusses and deals with the problems raised and the nurses directly and effectively. At all times, he/she acts within the law. If at any instance the manager fails to act within the law, he/she should be reported to national labor relations board. It is also the manager’s role to keep the nurses informed through meetings that are held regularly and close or within the health care facility. During the collective bargaining process, the manager has a role to solve the grievances that are raised. Since a nurse manager is an agent in the collective bargaining process, he/she has a role to avoid making the decision for a strike. Strike decision should come from a large number of union members (Masui, 2013).


Masui, M. (2013). Temporary Contracts, Employment Protection, and Collective Bargaining. Labour, 27(4), 371-398. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/labr.12019

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