Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Corporate Campaign -- The next chapter

Here's a message I sent out today to our staff concerning the recent ad campaign by the SEIU. I mentioned the bus stop ads here last week, but there are more now on radio, mobile billboards, and newspapers. As always, I welcome comments on all sides of this issue.

Many of you have sent me notes during the last few days expressing your dismay at the negative advertising and other activities being carried out by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). I thought I would take a moment to put this all in context.

We live in a free country, where people and organizations are free to say pretty much anything they want in public media. Thus, SEIU can say and imply a lot. But, saying these things is not the same as being truthful in what it is saying.

It is clear that SEIU is engaged in what is called a "corporate campaign," an attempt to harm the reputation of our hospital and denigrate the people working or volunteering here. Another goal of such a campaign is to isolate us and to turn our closest friends against us. Why would the union do this? Well, its goal is to put such enormous pressure on the management and the Board of Directors that we agree to concessions that would make it more likely for the union to be successful when it gets to the point of trying to organize workers in this hospital. It wants us to sign a contract – negotiated only between management and high-level union leaders –that would govern the union organizing process and would rob our employees of their right to a vigorous and open debate prior to a meaningful secret ballot election.

Many months ago (in May 2006), I wrote to you on this topic. For those who are newly arrived since then, or for those who have forgotten, here is what I said:

The other major change in the local environment is the announcement by a national union that it intends to organize the workers in the academic medical centers in Boston. I want to make our position clear with regard to this effort and union organizing efforts in general. We intend to follow the law with regard to labor relations, a law that is designed to give a fair opportunity both to employees who favor unionization and those who oppose it. Congress has been very clear that employers have to give workers a fair choice in these matters. Accordingly, we will vigorously oppose any efforts to short-circuit the legitimate process by which employees of this hospital can consider, debate, and vote on this issue. For me the underlying question is whether a union at BIDMC would enhance your ability to deliver the kind of patient care that is so important to all of us, to strengthen our research program, to improve our education programs, to strengthen our ability to serve the community, and to improve our employees' chances for personal and professional development and advancement. I do not believe that it would, and so I intend to advise you against creating a union here. Ultimately, though, the choice will be yours, and we will respect your judgment on that matter if and when the time comes for a fair and free vote on this issue.

Now, we see real evidence of this corporate campaign. SEIU is spending thousands and thousands of dollars on mobile billboards, bus stop ads, newspaper ads, and ads on expensive radio stations to get across its current messages. We do not have access to union dues, nor do we currently choose to spend our funds to counter these types of ads in the public media, and so it will likely feel unfair to you that the union's charges go unanswered in those forums.

I do not feel it is productive or a good use of time to try to rebut each and every charge made by the SEIU. But, you should rest assured that any and all complaints and allegations raised with regard to issues like our rates, our delivery of charity care, human resources policies and individual cases are governed by a variety state and federal regulatory agencies. The public will know through these agencies when we make a mistake. But as you well know, our hospital is committed to levels of transparency that are unprecedented in the Boston area. For example, we even publicized when we made a serious medical error so that we could engage in a constant process of improvement on behalf of our patients!

Instead of recognizing our good intentions, our attributes and our intiatives on behalf of patients and employees, SEIU seeks to muddy our reputation with inaccurate and exaggerated claims. That it chooses to do so mainly with regard to BIDMC rather than other hospitals in Boston may be a direct result of my decision to call out its strategies and behavior in a public way, for example on my blog and in public appearances. I felt it important to do so to inform public officials, the media, and corporate leaders on this important matter. I believe many CEO colleagues in other Massachusetts hospitals agree with me, but they have chosen to be quiet about the issue, probably in the hope of not being targeted by the union. I believe that is a mistake on their part, in that they will likely be next in line, as the president of SEIU has said that the union will not rest until every hospital worker in Boston is unionized.

I know that for some of you it is difficult to be placed in the middle of this campaign. The union may say that it has no intention of harming you personally, but you understand that it is the people who make a hospital, and that nasty statements about the hospital are, in essence, an attack on you personally. I am sorry that this is the case. All I can say is that, while the ads and allegations can be upsetting, you should continue to be proud of your commitment and dedication to our mission of quality care and compassion for those in need. That mission continues unabated and strong, even in the face of these terribly misleading ads. Thank you for all that you do. As always, I am happy to hear from you individually if you want to share your personal concerns and suggestions.

Finally, some of you have asked what you can and should do when approached by people representing a union. As guidance, many months ago, our Board of Directors adopted a code of conduct consistent with the National Labor Relations Act with regard to this issue. Here it is:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
General Code of Conduct Regarding Organizing Activities

BIDMC has a strong commitment to its mission of community service in providing excellent clinical care, conducting medical research, and training future generations of medical professionals. As an academic medical center and prominent member of the corporate and civic communities, BIDMC is committed to an environment of respectful and open discourse and debate among its management, employees and physicians. It is of the utmost concern to the Board of Directors that this fair and unhindered exchange of points of view is maintained and supported during all times, including any attempt by unions to organize staff at BIDMC. Therefore the Board of Directors adopts this General Code of Conduct.

Conduct Standards

BIDMC has long believed that managers, supervisors and employees best serve the interests of patients by working together. Further, it is imperative that everyone in the work environment remain focused on patient care while continuing to have open communication and professional interaction respecting everyone's freedom of belief.

Managerial and Supervisory Employees of BIDMC

When communicating with employees, including regarding union activities, managers and supervisors are encouraged to promote an open and robust dialogue and share with employees factual information. Managers and supervisors also should feel free to express their opinions and encourage employees to ask questions. On the other hand, in any discussions with employees, respect is paramount. Specifically in the union activities context, managers and supervisors must not threaten or interrogate employees about their union activities, nor may managers or supervisors make promises to employees to induce them to be against the union. Finally, managers and supervisors must not conduct surveillance of union activities.

Non-Managerial/Supervisory Employees of BIDMC

Non-managerial and non-supervisory employees may engage in union organizing activities only on non-working time and only in non-patient care areas. BIDMC’s “No Solicitation and No Distribution” policy, “Use of Public Space Policy” and the Human Resources Department are available as resources to answer questions in this regard.


Finally, individuals not employed by BIDMC may not engage in union organizing activities on BIDMC property.

Additional Information

Anyone with questions or concerns regarding this General Code of Conduct is urged to contact the Beth Israel Deaconess Human Resources Department or the Beth Israel Deaconess Office of Business Conduct.


Anonymous said...

This is a very fair statement, unlike what I have seen in some of the union's publicity. (As someone said to me, it's not as though a union is a solution to the "issues" they raise!)
Thanks for keeping the door open to discussion.

Unknown said...

Dear Paul
Thank you for your leadership with regards to this complicated issue. The BIDMC community needs to openly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of bringing a union to our hospital. Your willingness to foster a rigorous, open debate followed by a secret ballot election is precisely the message we need from our CEO in this difficult time. Smear campaigns are not what we are about and are offensive to those of us who are proud of the care we deliver.

While I am not in favor of a union at BIDMC, I know my colleagues and trust in their ability to discuss this matter in depth and arrive at the best solution for BIDMC.

Kevin Ban, MD

Anonymous said...

I am very proud of the work I do here at BIDMC and I am thrilled to be employed in a hospital that doesn't incorporate the SEIU. If they were in this hospital it would be less of a place in my opinion. You so well put it into perspective and that is always comforting. BIDMC is a wonderful institution and does not deserve the untruthful maligning that is the product of the SEIU, they absolutely disgust me in their conduct. The media should be vetting their business practices and unethical tatics. You are supported in your efforts to set the record straight Paul, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

That's pretty pathetic, translation: "Beth Israel wants to be able to spread distortions without fact checking, force countless mandatory meetings between workers and management, allow for supervisors to call workers in for 1-on-1 discussions about the union, and also to provide no recourse for workers when we violate this."

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon Mr. Levy,

Thank you for taking time to address this issue. For some time, I’ve wanted to speak to you about this matter.

I have been contacted, via unsolicited mailings, from this union and read the terrible things they’ve chosen to print in various publications. I know that these half-truths are meant to harm the medical center’s reputation. I understand that to them, BI represents a lot of money in member dues and that these tactics are meant to be divisive and hurt morale of our staff so they can swell their ranks and coffers. Staffs are often enticed by the “grass is greener” argument to join a union. I know from personal experience that this simply isn’t true and that unions today do not improve quality, efficiency, or employee relations. I have no respect for their underhanded tactics.

I am very proud of our non-union hospital. My leadership is supportive and fair and I know that I don’t need a union official to act a middleman when I have an issue to discuss with them.

I’ve spoken with others here who feel the same way. We are all proud to call ourselves employees of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

When I get something from the union, I put it where it belongs… in the trash bin.

I’ve had my eye on BI for over 5 years and like what I see. That’s why I work here.

Please continue to fight the underhanded tactics and lies of this self-serving, power-hungry group. You have our support.

I hope to meet you at the next Bar-B-Q.


Douglas Rhodes

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul,

Thanks for your leadership and letter to our BIDMC community. I have worked at unionized hospitals and found that the union was successful in getting more money for its workers, but did little to improve working conditions or patient care. I would not want to go back to such a working environment.
The SEIU's tactics and mistruths are shameful. Many have expressed anger that their campaigns are so insulting to our BIDMC family and do take it personally!

Judi Hirshfield-Bartek

Anonymous said...

As a health care worker, I am extremely disturbed by the union's attack on employees who qualify -- and whose children qualify -- for MassHealth benefits. This tactic builds another barrier to access to health care and reinforces the stigma that some associate with legitimate public assistance. There are many states where parents continue to be afraid to enroll their children in MassHealth for precisely this reason. In Massachusetts, we have pushed aggressively (and proudly!) in the opposite direction and expanded MassHealth eligiblity for low and moderate income children, so that they will utilize the meaningful range of care available at hospitals and community health centers when they need it. A billboard that blares NO MORE ASSISTANCE for people who legitimately qualify for public assistance is unwanted and unwelcome in Massachusetts.

Anonymous said...

I heard an ad on the radio on my wayhome form work yesterday and I was shocked, I almost stopped the car to pay attention my closely. When I heard who had paid for the radio spot it all made sense. I hope that others will see through the message when they realize who is the messenger. Shameful! Marion

Anonymous said...

Well written and truthful. Now there's a concept.

Anonymous said...

My comment is directed only at tactics and not the underlying issue of whether BIDMC should be unionized, which should be decided only by the employees.
I am not entirely sure which workers at a hospital would be represented by SEIU, but I suspect it would include many who do not get on the hospital computer much or read this blog. Therefore, I wonder if this message will reach them. Also, since I for one did not understand what a 'card check' was when this issue started, I would be more specific as to exactly how the union wants this election conducted, for the benefit of those not familiar with all the terms. In other words, spell it out that the union wants to be able to just go around and get people to sign cards without equal "face time" from the other side (if I have my own facts straight!).
Third, your email will of course be used by SEIU as evidence that you are engaging in "anti-union activity" on work time. And last, of course they are waiting for the election in the hope that the Democrats who favor card checks will prevail. Tactics to ensure, neutrally, that everyone knows exactly what a card check is and what it entails may be useful.
I personally think the idea of a card check is nuts - but I'm not in Congress or the Administration, thank heaven!
Feel free to correct my facts if I don't have them straight.


Anonymous said...

I have heard the radio ads, and find them to be insidious and deceptive. They twist the facts with no regard for the real truth about our hospital, which is one of the finest in Boston. I hope that people listening have enough common sense to not believe what they hear!

Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for sending this email. I've been at the BI for over 6 years and started off as a travel-nurse. I had enough confidence in the establishment to sign on as a staff nurse and would never think of moving to another hospital. I believe in our practice, mission and values. I understand the concept of free speech, but it certainly hits a sensitive spot when people purposely set out to mar reputations through smear campaigns. I appreciate you giving some feedback on this matter. This solidifies my faith in this hospital.

R. Obligacion, RN

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul,
If it weren't for the context in which it's used, 'Eye on BI' is what you support through your transparency campaign. (Too bad the slogan is missing the 'D'!) I worked in a union environment, and still have friends at that hospital. There is little constructive communication between the staff and management. Colleagues file grievances against each other and that's what the managers spend time dealing with. I heard just recently that a union rep counseled staff in one area to not participate in an educational session because it might mean that the unit would expect them to do something else at work. And this was information that would provide education, raise the level of competence, and help to provide better patient care!
I don't know if staff who haven't worked with a union understand how little the union supports the workers who contribute large amounts of their hard earned money to a coffer somewhere. Union negotiations pit worker's needs against worker's needs. I came to this institution because there is no union and that raises the level of professionalism of all of the hospital's workers. It is more equitable working environment.
I appreciate your even-handed response to this campaign by the SEIU. I know our hospital can stand strong against these underhanded tactics. I just hope that those workers who do not have a history of working in a unionized environment will step back and make an evaluation of the true message from this union - that they have no reservations about resorting to misrepresentation of information and they will try to destroy the reputation of a healthcare institution to get their own gains. How much respect will they have for the many anonymous individuals that make up the workforce of the very hospital they are trying to destroy? Their current actions already speak to the fact that there is no respect.
I'm very proud to work at BIDMC. I'm very proud of your work toward transparency, and I'm very glad that you're our CEO.
Thanks for the work that you do.
Susan Young RNC-NIC, MS
Clinical Nurse Specialist

Anonymous said...

Thank you for clarification of this issue. I was surprised by that unpleasant radio ad on my way home from BIDMC last night.

I am sure you anticipated that BIDMC's leadership in transparency would be used against us. As Kent Keith wrote in his poem _The_Paradoxical_Commandments_, "... Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway...".

It is frustrating to live with the fact that a reputation is much easier to smear than to build, and to hold yourself to a standard of conduct not shared by those who are better at breaking things than building them. In the face of vandals demanding tribute, the high road is hard, but necessary.

Peter C. Everett MD
Research Fellow

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this very informative response.

While waiting for the LMA shuttle this morning, which is also a bus stop, I came face to face with one of those adds. I was repulsed by the add and didn't understand why this was being said about the place I have worked at for 28 years. If this is the type of union that can only get it members by these types of ploys, then they must truly be desperate. It also saids something about the character of those in charge.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sending the email to the staff at BIDMC and even more so for posting it on the Internet. It's good to see open, honest communication when we are literally surrounded by half-truths and misinformation.

The funny thing about this is how we have come full circle. If SIEU cared about the hospital, where were they when we were so close to losing the hospital all together? That was only a few years ago. The hospital made a turnaround, everyone pitched in, and they are here to try to reap the spoils of all those who worked so hard through the dark days to get us where we are today.

Anonymous said...

I have already replied to Paul Leavy about his email to the BIDMC Community. It is very comforting to read his article, as it soothes the anger on reading such untruths written and advertised by this union. To them I say evil does not harm good, ever.Through my almost 30 years of working at the BIDMC, I have never been treated unfairly in any way. Trying to disgrace the BIDMC IS NOT THE WAY TO WIN OVER UNION MEMBERS. Last Friday, I had the pleasure to verbally refuse a "flyer and mousepad" as a hand out, then to see the stares of disbelief of the other members, I warned them away. Having some one bargain for what I work for is not the thing for me. It's frightening!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Levy,
Thanks for the opportunity to voice my opinion on this particular union and at least one of it's employees.
Not too terribly long ago I was driving home from work (BIDMC) and I recieved a call on my cellphone. A young lady was at the other end, a voice I did not recognize and she told me her first name. And that she was doing some sort of project about Respiratory Care, and inparticular BIDMC.
I repeatedly asked her who this project was for and she was always evasive. Never answering my question.
After five minutes of listening to her dribble I told her that if she did not pony up and tell the truth immediately then I would hang up. She told me that she was a union organizer for this particular union and that was looking for info concerning how business was conducted in our department and what the issues where.
I told her that because of her dishonnest approach that I would not now nor ever talk with her ever again or support her union.
Thank you for this opportunity to respond to this situation and my personal experience.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the leadership you give us and the letter you wrote. What the union won't publicize is that the administration, under your lead, has saved this hospital from its demise just a few years back. The staff here has been discussing the union amoungst itself for a while now, and those who wish to be unionized are few and far between. We see through their tactics and are on the front lines of implementing the safety initiatives and quality improvements that are already in place, and we know that the union will do nothing to change this. We appreciate the leadership and how BIDMC takes care of its employees. My salary and benefits are excellent, and I don't want to be in an adversarial relationship with this organization. We receive bonuses and raises without the need to picket or go through intense contract negotiations. I don't pay any union dues and I have the respect I deserve from my management. In short, if I wanted to work for a union, I'd walk across the street and apply at BWH. I think BIDMC should move forward with SEIU so the employees can cast their vote and be done with their smear campaign. An attack on the hospital, its clinical care and administration is an attack on every employee, and I for one would like the empowerment, through a democratic process, to hit SEIU where it hurts - a vote by the employees in favor of the institution we love, not the greedy and malicious outside union. If there is something we as employees can do to get this thing over with, please comment or blog about it.

Anonymous said...

I also want to thank you for your leadership on this issue. I am disturbed by the union tactics and am happy to see you stand up to them and defend those of us who love working here. My wife worked at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth which is unionized by SEIU. She hated it there. It was so diffcult to get things accomplished because of all the obstacles that having this union created there. They don't care one bit about patient care or safety. They care only about growing their ranks and robbing more members to swell their coffers. In unions like this it is all about the executives. The rank and file are nothing more than pawns in their power game. They are much like the companies that created the need for unions in the first place.
BIDMC is a great place to work. Mr Levy has created a wonderful atmosphere where employees are encouraged to speak up, identify problems and engage in discussions to solve those problems. We would all love mre money and pay less for our benefits but we do get compensated pretty well and job satisfaction is pretty high. I am afraid we will lose most if not all of that should SEIU be successful.
Please keep defending us and our honor and perhaps the other hospital execs arond the city will see the light and offer you their support. In the end they will be helping themselves too.

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely appalled at this "Eye on BI" campaign! The other day during an SEIU demonstration, I came from an appointment at the Shapiro Building (I work in Lowry) and I was practically assaulted by at least three people before I even got to the corner of Brookline Ave from the entrance of Shapiro by people wanting to give me mousepads and other propaganda concerning their perceived "issues" of what is wrong with the BI. As I continued to walk down Brookline Ave back to the Lowry Building, again, at least five people were throwing these mousepads and flyers in my face. I told them to get away from me, and continued walking. It's absolutely horrifying how many there were!

And the only issue I could figure out was that the BI does not provide healthcare for over 1,500 of its employees. I of course told them that I had great healthcare and that the people who were not getting heatlhcare were most likely part-time or per diem, and to show me a company that does provide these employees healthcare. They did not have an answer to that.

I also told them that maybe if they didn't waste their money making up thousands of mousepads and put that money to good use helping the uninsured, perhaps that could help the problem. That also got no response.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to send this email. Despite some of the recent negative ads being cast by the SEIU, I am proud to say that I work for BIDMC and that we have a hospital President whose actions and transparent approach is the very essence of integrity.

Lt. John Dristilaris
Department of Public Safety

e-Patient Dave said...

Tonight on TV I saw this impassioned video by George McGovern. I hope I look as good and speak as persuasively when I'm 86.

Anonymous said...

As a 29+ year employee of BIDMC I want to thank you for sending this email to all of us and for being willing to put yourself on the line publicly about the SEIU's activities. Many staff have been upset over what's happening out there and I think it's important to acknowledge that. I also think it's important to stand up to the SEIU as you have and let them know that we won't be bullied. I fear that many of the staff they will be targeting don't understand the full implications of being unionized and are at greatest risk of being hurt by it. We can do a far better job of protecting our staff, especially the most vulnerable ones, than any union can. Thank you for your strength and leadership.

Anonymous said...

The Best Blog !!!

Anonymous said...

Why is New York-based 1199SEIU using such aggressive tactics in its campaign against BIDMC? Because the stakes are high in their national effort to boost their union membership. Given the high number of healthcare employees in Massachusetts, their relatively high wages, and the local prevalence of unions, hospital employees make a very appealing target.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) fully supports BIDMC because it cares for its patients, employees and the community. I believe, like you do, that employees have a right to choose whether or not to be represented by a union, and that employees, unions, and hospitals all have the right to free speech. Workers have the right to make decisions about unionization in an atmosphere free of pressure and rhetoric.

Corporate campaigns like the one currently being waged against BIDMC have been rolled out by SEIU1199 in markets across the country. The misleading messages are always the same and so are the intimidating tactics. Such campaigns are harmful and do nothing to improve the quality of healthcare. In fact, they only serve to undermine hospitals’ public service missions by diverting attention and resources away from patient care.

Our hospitals compete vigorously for a highly-qualified workforce and respect employees’ rights to organize in an atmosphere of dignity, and fairness. For 199SEIU to attempt to smear the reputation of BIDMC, a world leader in quality health care, will only unfairly harm a great institution and does nothing to improve public health.

Lynn Nicholas
President and CEO
Massachusetts Hospital Association

Anonymous said...

I have worked at BIDMC for 7 years, and feel like I am part of an extended family there. It is a wonderful place to work, and I feel like we are treated well, listened to, and involved. We give fantastic care to our patients, and I would definitely not have my older parents go anywhere else for their care. I am quite upset at some of the misleading statements on the SEIU website, which is imbalanced in the extreme. I've tried to submit comments to the site, but these seem to be going into cyberspace someplace.

Anonymous said...

Go get em Levy. People don't follow titles - people follow leadership. You are a leader.

e-Patient Dave said...

> I've tried to submit comments

The site is just incredible in its viciousness and clear bias. I decided to capture, for posterity, a screen grab of what you get when you click their "Send In Your Story" link: it openly asks only for negative stories. And if, as Anon 6:11 suggests, you submit something else, it goes nowhere.

Doesn't seem to me like they're at all interested in open discussion of the issues.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sending your thoughful e-mail to my BIDMC family about the SEIU Eye on BI campaign. I've been a proud member of the BIDMC family for about 14 years. I've seen us grow through adveristy to become even stronger. I was there when our computer system crashed and we were without a system for over a week. I was at the leadership meetings when we all pulled together to make patient care did not suffer. I saw you and Dr. Epstein roll up your shift sleves and put on your sneakers to run STAT labs or what ever needed doing around the clock. I was there a year later when a water main broke and we lost power on the West Campus for about as long. The same dedicated group lead by you found away to get it done so our patients didn't suffer and staff felt supported. There where times when things were frightening, but knowing you were stearing the ship helped us know that things were under control and we would get through it. I am proud to BIDMC.
I've worked in a SEIU hosptial before.. this is what they did for us.. they held up our raises, they could not negotiate retroactivity for those held up raises and increased our union dues, so we had to pay them more for getting less.. hmmm wonder if they'll post that on the Eye on BI web site !

Jean Beach
Pharmacy Supervisor

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Paul. I was very heartened when I got your letter. The tactics of the union have greatly disgusted and angered me. They've called me at home and lied about who they were. They've mailed lies to my house. How the heck to they have my personal information? It makes me mad.

I've worked here for 18 years and have always been proud of being a BIDMC employee.

Anonymous said...

Long time ago, shortly after I started working as a nurse, my old hospital nurses were seriously looking into being part of a union, SEIU.
There were nursing shortages at that time and we were unhappy wuth heavy work load.
I was chosen for some reason by my other nurses on the floor and was contacted by the SEIU folks.
I was told that it would be beneficial to have union in our hospital for the nurses and for other folks in the hospital and that there will be a vote to decide if the majority of the nurses would want to be unionized or not. I was told that I should also rally up nurses and obtain their signature so that they can estimate who will vote for the union.
I read carefully about being part of unionized work force in our hospital.
Shortly after I read the brochure and other information they provided to me, I resigned to be a rep for the nurses for our unit.
Mostly because when I found out that I cannot have a frank discussion with my manager when a problem arises without a union rep, renewing contracts every several years, to pay an enormous fee every year for those lawyers whom I will likely never use. And I wasn't sure where all the union fee would go to but in their own pockets, right out of our pay checks!
As a professional I felt insulted to be honest and I could not understand why we were considering this option.
In the end the vote was against being unionized and we were able to communicate with our administration about our unhappiness.

I also worked in a neighboring hospital here in Boston and in Baltimore as well. Unionized environment does not mean it is a better environment and better work place.
Getting paid more may be important but for me being happy with my work is more important than going on strikes every two years.
Also I want to be able to talk to my manager without a union rep next to me. I want my manager to be comfortable with talking to me about my performance evaluation without a union rep watching over him/her.

We should be proud of our hospital and our work environment. I know there are complaints that trickle down from every department and with prompt and better management of the complaints and issues, we can work things out effectively.

Anyway, I thought I would share my experiences and feelings...