Coming together with your colleagues to form a union is about securing a voice at work with an equitable seat at the table with management on the decisions that impact you. A union brings together the collective strength of you and your co-workers to address issues of wages and benefits, staffing and workload, overtime and differentials, continuing education and trainings, and other terms of your employment in a meaningful way with management that will result in a negotiated union contract. A union ensures professional dignity and respect in the workplace.
As professionals, a union makes certain that your expertise and knowledge is given proper value and consideration. A union contract balances management’s unilateral decision making power, establishes fair working condition, improves communication, protects quality care and services, promotes career advancement opportunities, and does not simply focus on the bottom line.
Access to a fair process to resolve disputes is one of the most significant benefits of being in a union. When a disagreement with management occurs, a transparent resolution procedure moves the issue at hand through several levels of management before finally going to outside arbitration, if necessary. This acts as a counter weight management’s sole decision making authority, and is a way to settle issues without souring relationships.
Outside of the workplace, unions play an important role in preserving professional standards and integrity in members’ fields. The status of your profession and the well-being of individuals are affected not only by your employer but also by other regulatory entities. Unions provide an effective channel to advocate on behalf of members’ professions, and stay on top of legislation and other regulatory changes.