Discussion: The Unionization of Employees

USE THE CASE STUDY IN THE WORD DOCUMENT FOR THIS DISCUSSION.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.—Frederick DouglassSince their initial rise in the post-Civil War era, unions across the United States have called public attention to unfair labor practices, wage disparities, and inadequate benefits. Union leaders and nurse managers are learning to approach the unionization of employees as a partnership. Union leaders have taken strides to negotiate with managers in quick and efficient “good faith” dealings, while nurse managers enter negotiations with open minds and the intent to reach an agreement. To benefit future generations of nursing professionals, nurse managers must understand how to effectively respond to unionization attempts and how to partner with union leaders.To prepareReview the article “Making a Union/Management Partnership Really Work” in this week’s Learning Resources. Consider how the union and district health board portrayed in this article worked together to create the joint action group. Think about the positive outcomes of this endeavor. How might nurse managers work with health care unions to solicit such a partnership?Examine the article “Unions in the Healthcare Industry,” taking note of the timeline of unionized activities such as the collective bargaining process, the campaign period, and the outcomes of unionization. How do the legal landscape and social environment of a health care setting change once workers engage in unionized activities?Review the media pieces, “The Saga of TrulyGood Hospital” and “The Saga of Beneficent Hospital.”               

Reflect upon the situations presented in each media case study, and select one for your Discussion posting.Consider why the staff might be seeking union representation. As a nurse manager, consider the steps you might take to address the situation before, during, and after the time period depicted in the case study.Note: Before you submit your initial post, replace the subject line (“Week 3 Discussion”) with the name of the case study you selected.

By Day 3

Post a description of at least one reason the nursing staff in the case you selected might decide to unionize. Explain three steps you, as a nurse manager, could take to effectively respond to unionization attempts. Then, discuss HR’s role in helping to legally address labor relations and unionization attempts. Justify your response by citing past experiences with unions, union organizing activities, current labor policies, and/or this week’s Learning Resources.

Required Readings

Lussier, R. N., & Hendon, J. R. (2016). Human resource management: Functions, applications, & skill development (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Chapter 10, “Employee and Labor Relations” (pp. 356–397)                   This chapter introduces the concept and legal landscape of labor relations. It highlights the importance of communication and trust, along with labor relations’ influence on job satisfaction and workplace conflict.Brooke, P. S. (2011). 

Legally speaking … When can staff say no? Nursing Management, 42(1), 40–44.  Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. The author of this article discusses an overarching problem many nurses experience on a daily basis: their inability to say ‘no’ to fulfilling tasks and responsibilities outside of the nursing role. The author highlights situations that can have legal ramifications, including overtime, taking on assignments outside of a nurse’s practice scope and skill level, provision of alternative care therapies, and inappropriate delegations.Matthews, J. (2010). When does delegating make you a supervisor? Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 15(2), 3.  Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.  This article reviews the impact on registered nurses of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In addition, it explores the exclusions of nurse managers during collective bargaining contracts and union organization.Neil, A., & Robinson, J. (2011). Making a union/management partnership really work. Nursing New Zealand, 17(11), 32–33.  Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. This article portrays an authentic example of how the Bay of Plenty District Health Board worked with the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) union to increase the engagement of nurses while also improving the patient journey. By creating the joint action group (JAG), these leaders were able to reach their stated goals and to develop an effective plan for achieving future ideals.Porter, C. (2010). 

A nursing labor management partnership model. Journal of Nursing Administration, 40(6), 272–276.  Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. This article describes a partnership between clinical nurses and nursing management that was successfully implemented in a prominent teaching hospital.Sanders, L. G., & McCutcheon, A. W. (2010). 

Unions in the healthcare industry. Labor Law Journal, 61(3), 142–151. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. This article discusses the impact and importance of nursing unions in clinical settings. With a focus on Boston Medical Center Corp, the authors outline the many factors that affect labor unions in the health care industry.

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