Health Care Unions
I got to thinking, what if therapy was part of a union which would help us keep patient-to-therapist ratios to a limit, allow us 40 hours a work week no matter if the case load is there or not, and limit our productivity standard to 80 percent with a stipulation that we will receive a bonus if we exceed it?
I called up my Uncle Jim who is the former President of the CWA Local 1032. The first thing he said was to get a professional union organizer.
So after I contact a local union (or one that represent those in health care) I will need 30 percent of the employees to sign union authorization cards or a petition to begin a union. Then after we vote for a union, negotiations can begin.
There are those out there who are adamantly opposed to unions and would refuse to join one stating that, "Unions only want our money," and/or "I won't join a nursing union," etc.
Listen, therapists are the big money makers in facilities; every other department costs a facility money. We should be the ones setting the standards of care and what is best for the patient-not facilities, and certainly not the government. We can sit on the sidelines and allow our care to be dictated to us or be proactive and set our own standards of where we want health care to go.
Policies are set in a union so the majority will benefit, just like where we work now. We don't always agree on the policies, yet we follow them. With a union, if we don't like the officers, we can vote them out. In a facility, we cannot vote out the CEO. We can even have a vote to get rid of the union if they are not representing us appropriately.
Yes, there are dues to belong to a union. And therapists may not want to pay those dues, yet will spend $5.00 on a cup of coffee a day. So we will pay money to a corporation for self indulgence, but will not pay dues that will benefit patients and therapists in their working environment. Someone explain this to me.
In the private sector, the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) is the largest health care union. These are the people to talk to. Or, find the largest and most powerful local union who is willing to organize employees in health care.