Justice for Healthcare Workers
Questions and Answers11/15/2005
Q: Do health care workers need a union?
A: YES. The health care industry is changing fast. Hospitals, HMOs, and insurance companies all have lawyers, lobbyists and organizations that speak for them and work to protect their interests. But who speaks for health care workers - the people who are on the front lines taking care of patients?
If we want to have a voice, we need to speak for ourselves. Otherwise, we'll be left out when decisions are made which affect our jobs, our lives, our patients and our future.
Q: Sure, I want to speak for myself. But why do I need a union to do it?
A: Because today's health care industry is dominated by huge hospitals, HMOs and clinics with multi-million dollar budgets. The voice of a single health care worker isn't going to carry much weight within the large organizations that most of us work for.
That's why tens of thousands of health care workers all across the country have decided to go union. By joining together, we can be more effective advocates for our patients, for ourselves and for our families.
Q: What kind of health care workers are union members?
A: All kinds. Doctors, RNs, LPNs, CNA’s, dietary and housekeeping workers, technicians, social workers, psychologists, support staff, clerical workers, maintenance workers, and others. No matter what job you have in a hospital, HMO, clinic or other health care facility, being part of a union can help you and your co-workers improve your workplace.
Q: I'm all for improving my workplace. But I'm a professional - I'm not sure a union is the right choice for me.
A: The decision whether or not to join a union is up to you - not your employer or anyone else. As you consider what's best for you and your family, you should know that thousands of health care professionals in the US have decided that forming a union is the best way to uphold their professional standards.
With an independent voice on the job - and the support of your co-workers - you can make sure your patients get the care they deserve. If you're assigned too many patients, scheduled for too much overtime, or asked to do a job without the right equipment or supplies, your union can help you and your co-workers solve the problem. That means you can provide quality care to your patients, just as you were trained to do, and as your professional standards require.