Employers are attempting to cut costs by cutting corners, cutting jobs, and trying to change our working conditions. This forces understaffing and unbearable workloads. It compromises care for patients and leads to high employee stress and frustration. This is especially true for employees that have no union to represent them.
Unlike union members, employees without a union face discrimination due to favoritism. They lack job security because they have no recourse through the grievance procedure. They cannot collectively negotiate their wages, hours, and work conditions. Most importantly, they are not part of an organization that advocates for quality patient care and access to health care. In the U.S., there are 5 million healthcare employees, making healthcare the second largest industry in the country. Yet less than 20% are organized into any labor union. The problem we face in our hospitals and clinics won’t dramatically change unless we recognize that it will take healthcare employees united in large numbers to change it.