Growing up in a family of firefighters I always knew I would join a union if I had the opportunity. So when I was a fire dispatcher I joined the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). I thrive in high stress situations. Before I even became Quality Liaison, management in my unit decided to change our scheduling, which they have the right to do. But I rallied the troops to sign a petition, so management formed a committee of nurses and we fixed it. Even issues that aren’t contract violations can sometimes be addressed through collective action.
As Quality Liaison I’m foot patrol for SPNN and UNAC/UHCP, going floor to floor talking to nurses to hear their concerns and tell them what the union’s doing. In October we got the raise we negotiated. Some of the new grads don’t know that before the union, our raises were whatever management decided to give us. I tell them this is why you need to join the union. When we have the numbers, we have the power. When we go to negotiations next year management will see that our numbers have increased and know we really have the support of the nurses.