Remember that Thing Called a Recession?

What CNA supporters seem to have forgotten is that we have spent the better part of 8 years in a recession. At least our wages were never frozen like they were back in the 1990s. Most of us were grateful to have well paying jobs. By the way, do those council people who think nurses need the protection of a union realize that the RNs complaining about no raises because they are at the top of the scale understand that an RN who went to a diploma school (2-3 years of school) and has not received any more schooling, who works 72 hours (6 twelve hour shifts) per pay period  makes more than 109,000 per year? Do they know that? And if they work just a bit of overtime they can easily top $125,000 per year? Did you know that? A lot of non-hospital union members earned ZERO dollars per year through parts of the recession because there were no jobs. Unions took a look around, and said “In what field is the most job growth expected to occur over the next 25 years? Healthcare? Let’s grow union representation in that field.”

Things have been looking up in the world lately. More jobs, the economy is improving. The hospital has been slowly replacing things that were scaled back over those years. Sure we still have bad days, and those are always the ones that people remember. It’s human  nature to remember the day your PFC had 5 patients or you had to discharge all 4 of your patients and admit 4 patients with no PCA because your PCA got pulled to be a sitter. Those days are so horrible, we remember them, and not the 40 days preceding them that were patient care as usual.

Here is why unions want into hospital business so desperately.  Union membership has fallen in every other job category.

They need us to be able to support the other unions. Recently we heard that CNA donated money earned from nurse’s dues to the AFL-CIOs in Chicago, Florida, Maryland and many others, and to other unions (Texas Teacher’s Association for one) for who knows what reason. Not to mention the $25K per year to the California Democratic Party and other contributions to Democratic candidates. Whether you are a Democrat or not, it has to frustrate you that their donations gain them access to Democratic politicians easier than you personally can get it.  If we chose to allow a union in our hospital, 2.2% of your gross, to a maximum amount that works out to around a dollar an hour and increases by about 5% each year, buys CNA access to those politicians. Take a look at the information available through this link. You have to scroll through a lot of tax forms but what you find there may be surprising.

California is a not a “Right to Work” state. If a union is voted in , it will be mandatory that we belong to the union whether we want to or not, if we want to keep our jobs. While we can claim a religious objection to union membership, we must still pay the part of our dues used for collective bargaining (which includes campaigns at other hospitals). That amount is about 90% of the total dues. Whether you want to or not. Whether you agree with their politics or not. Whether you think we need whatever the union has decided to use as their bandwagon of the month or not (think about the “Ebola crisis”).

Did you know that the CNA funded opposition to mandatory flu shots for hospital employees? They did. Even though the flu kills tens of thousands of Americans every year. But they do want each and every hospital to be prepared for a rare viral disease like Ebola that so far has been endemic to Africa. There ended up being two people who caught it from a person who got it in Africa. Those two people both survived. It’s likely we will never see it. Your grandma is ten thousand times more likely to die from the flu she caught from her unvaccinated nurse than she is from Ebola. But CNA says “let’s not require flu shots for healthcare workers” and uses dues paid by nurses to fund the opposition.

Do we want to be represented by a union just so other trade unions can stay afloat? My friends who are teachers, both here in California and in other states tell me that they go five or six years without contracts. Five or six years without a raise. Do we really want to be represented by a union that opposes public health measures like flu shots? No thank you.


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