frequently asked questions
What is a union?
A union is an organization, made up of you and your co-workers. Through your collective strength you are able to make improvements in the workplace. You are the union.
Who is PASNAP?
PASNAP is an independent, rapidly growing union for nurses and health professionals in Pennsylvania. We represent 8,400 RNs and professionals across the state.
Why do healthcare workers need a union?
As healthcare professionals, we know that a unified voice is paramount to advocate for high quality patient care and good, safe jobs. Without a union, management makes decisions on working conditions and patient care without our input. With a union, we use our collective voice and strength to make the changes that our patients and colleagues deserve.
How do we form a union?
You form a union by coming together with a majority of your co-workers. Once you have an overwhelming majority of support, you will ask for a secret ballot election to be held by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Once you start organizing, management cannot make any changes to your working conditions and benefits without negotiating it with you and your coworkers.
Who runs the union?
You do! Every PASNAP union is its own organization. You elect co-workers from every department to represent you at the bargaining table. Through the contract negotiation process, every member will have a say on the improvements you need in your hospital. After you and your co-workers vote to accept your contract, you will elect co-workers to be your union officers and representatives. PASNAP also has a statewide Board made up of other working nurses and professionals elected by fellow PASNAP members.
Why do employers try to keep workers from forming a union?
When workers organize a union, employers fight back because they know when workers are united, they have the power to force them to do the things they don’t want to do – like improve staffing levels, pay fair wages, and treat everyone fairly. During the organizing process, employers hire highly paid union-busting consultants to hold mandatory meetings designed to threaten and scare employees, and engage in many other practices intended to divide and intimidate you.
It is illegal for management to retaliate against employees in any way for coming together to form a union — but we know that some management teams will resort to breaking the law to try to stop you from joining together with your co-workers. We have the resources to hold management accountable to the law, but the best way to counteract bullying and intimidation is to stand together. There is strength and security in numbers!
Will we lose what we already have?
Management will say that you will lose what you already have. That’s not true. The bargaining committee that you elect develops contract proposals based on your input and presents these proposals to management. The committee and management then negotiate a contract based on these proposals. Management is legally barred from changing any of your current working conditions until a contract is negotiated. You have the ultimate say in what you will accept in your contract. When you stand united you have the power to make great improvements.
What about union dues?
Dues are just 1% of your paycheck. This helps to fund everything you need to build your own successful organization and win improvements at work. Dues are capped at $68.50 a month for RNs and $52.50 for techs and other professionals.
If I join the union, won’t I have to go on strike?
Strikes are the strongest tool we have at our disposal, but deciding to use a strike is very serious and no one takes it lightly. We will only go on strike if we vote to go on strike. We are the only ones who can decide what is important enough for us to strike.