They Pay You For What?

I have to start this one by saying that I am in no way disparaging what nurses do. As a matter of fact, I deeply respect what they do. They keep hospitals running and keep people alive. Some work hours I would never be capable of, and do things that nobody else wants to do. They deserve every dime that they get paid, and probably more.


All of that being said, I just had a conversation with my mother of all people about the nursing union. The conversation started when the topic of the hospital she works at requiring Covid-19 vaccines. Apparently, it was announced that once the vaccine becomes FDA approved, then it will be mandatory for all nurses to get the vaccine.


My mom, who is a veteran nurse, has already gotten her vaccine and has been working throughout the entire pandemic. So the vaccine question wasn’t much. She was just saying that the nursing union had to discuss the idea. I found that a tad odd. My mom then went into detail about how “medical requirements” were specified in their contract. If there were any new additions to that, it would need to be approved.


That made sense to me. If it’s in the contract it needs to be approved. That’s how contracts work.


Then, the conversation turned to how the contract was collectively bargained. My mother is on the board of the nursing union and was deeply involved in the negotiations.


All of a sudden, my madre mentioned that the hospital that she works at, actually pays each union member that participates in the negotiations for their time.


Before I get into why that is psychotic, let me say that I am glad my mom is taking the hospital for every dime. She deserves it. She is an incredibly hard worker and an incredible nurse. Not only that, but she’s been at that hospital for more than 30 years. For a bit of reference, I am 28. Mom has worked there longer than she’s known me.


Ok, back to why it’s psychotic.


Why is a company paying their employees to negotiate against them? Doesn’t that seem backwards to anyone else? That’s like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers paying Tom Brady’s agent to squeeze every dime out of them. It is so backwards.


I would NEVER pay a group of my employees to gather on their own time and think of ways to screw me out of money. Isn’t it on the union to pay those who are negotiating on their behalf?


This may seem a little hypocritical coming from someone who was at one point a member of one of the more powerful unions in the state. I’ve never been on a negotiation committee for the teachers union, but I am pretty sure the school didn’t pay those who were. The whole point of a union is to protect the employee from the employer. There is no reason why the employer should pay the employee to hurt the employer’s business.


Now, I am all for unions. They protect workers from unjust treatment. People like nurses need unions to protect them from litigious patients who, in their delusional minds, think they were mistreated. Or crazed hospital executives who want to pay them peanuts for their tremendous work. But the hospital shouldn’t be paying them to meet as a union and negotiate. I do think the nurses should be compensated for their time, but that responsibility should fall on the union.


As crazy as I think it may be, I am kind of a hypocrite again. I am indirectly benefiting from it. It may be pure insanity for the hospital to be paying for it, but hey, it’s benefiting my mom. The nurses got them to agree to it, and to that I say: Give em Hell Ma! If they’ll pay you, get every nickel you can!

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