Hospital Union vs. Non Union

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Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, Iowa is a unionized hospital, while Iowa Lutheran Hospital in Des Moines is a non-union facility. Both facilities strive to give its patients excellent care but the working conditions vary somewhat due to the difference between a union and non-union facility. From Mary Greeley’s I interviewed Mrs. Lorna Hamilton, the Emergency/Security Management Coordinator and from the Iowa Lutheran Hospital I interviewed Mr. Jeffrey L. Bebensee, the Security Manager. Both managers were familiar with the labor unions effect on their workplaces.

Lorna from the Mary Greeley Medical Center has been with the hospital for 14 years and works in management. The hospital has been unionized since before she started in 1998. She thought the date that the hospital unionized was in 1986, but was unsure. Mary Greeley nurse’s decided to unionize when management wouldn’t take requests for pay raises and staffing requirements seriously. After the union became part of the workplace pay and benefits both improved, and there were requirements made about how many nurses needed to be staffed in each department. Also, the union worked towards a safer work environment for the nurses employed at Mary Greeley’s.

Jeff from Iowa Lutheran Hospital has been with the hospital for 24 years and the facilities have been union-free for the entire time. Jeff has relatively negative feelings towards unions and works on the management side of the hospital. He notes that working conditions are very comparable to a unionized hospital and pay and benefits are also. When asked about relationships between nurses and employees he said, “I think there is a separation, them against us, whenever there is a management/ employee set-up. It doesn’t matter if there is a union or not.” He also noted that he would think the separation would be more-so at a non-union facility because the management doesn’t have to be “fair”, they could fire you without going through any...
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