Its going down! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2Qi_KR8eCc
I read an article in Provider Magazine, the official magazine of the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (January 2009) titled Firestorm Brewing over Labor Bill: Union Membership Could Rise Under Legislation.
The ERCA could eliminate a secret ballot election and mandate a union is certified when a majority of workers have signed authorization cards designating a particular union for representation.
Its amusing, the US Chamber of Commerce, which was soo busy and preoccupied with blaming everything on trial lawyers, has pledged 10 million dollars to combat ERCA.
The SEIU which represents 140,000 nursing facility employees (according to the article in the Provider) has likewise pledged $10 million dollars to press the new administration and Congress to pass the measure in the first 100 days after the inauguration. http://www.seiu.org/employeefreechoice/
Nurses in general don't support unions and many see union membership as being unprofessional. However it remains to be seen whether a fundamental change in how nurses view unions will occur especially when you consider the working conditions in some healthcare organizations.
Healthcare organizations (most but not all) have not made the necessary strides to embrace nurses as true partners, like physicians in the workplace. Until this happens, there will always be a place for unions in healthcare and some RNs, LPNS, and APRNS will organize. ERCA tips the scales in favor of unions and if this passes there may be an increase in the organizing of RNs nationally.
Don't believe the hype about democracy and secret voting, the skinny with EFCA boils down to declining union membership and allowing unions to organize workers without all the red tape. Healthcare organizations and big business of course, don't like this because it is a fundamental shift in power.
Change is never easy and President Obama supports EFCA! Do you support EFCA? Do you think its a step in the right direction for nursing? EFCA vs. At-Will Employment? EFCA vs. Shared Governance? EFCA vs. Employment Contracts?
Is EFCA legislation slated to become the next chapter in a book titled Chicken Noodle Soup for the American Workers Soul?
You can debate whether this is good or bad but as I said, if nurses were embraced as true partners in the workplace and not treated as fungible at-will employees at the bottom of a long and rusty wooden ladder, there would be no need for unions in nursing.
Will this be a fight to the end, a business and cleaner version (but still cut throat of course) of the ever popular game and movie, Mortal Kombat?
Don't know but I am looking forward to seeing where this goes. Its provides me with blogging material either way, pass or fail.