NEW YORK NURSE: November 2009
Q.: As a new union delegate, I want my colleagues to know the kind of communication I have with management on their behalf. What should that communication be like?
A.: Communication should be determined by what the union wants to achieve in the workplace. Generally, this is a setting in which people are treated fairly and are allowed to be productive and respected. At the same time, it’s one in which it is clear to the employer that the union will deal swiftly and strongly with anything that disrupts this positive setting. With these goals in mind, you want to convey to the supervisor your seriousness and sense of purpose. Legally, you are on equal footing with the supervisor when dealing with union matters. Demand and expect to be treated as an equal. Be cordial when dealing with management on union business, but make it clear early on that you have business to conduct. Having knowledge of the contract is a good start.
The NYSNA EGW Program receives many inquiries each month from members who have problems in their workplaces. If you have a question about labor relations at your facility, contact your NYSNA nursing representative. If you have a question you think should be featured in this column, send it to: RNs at Work, NYSNA, 120 Wall Street, 23rd Floor, New York, N.Y. 10005.