#WeNurses - Thursday 19th May 2022 8:30pm (GMT Standard Time) Nursing Unions

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A significantly visible part of nursing has, since the early 1900s, been nursing unions.

1916 saw the creation of the College of Nursing Ltd which in 1928 through receiving its royal charter became the Royal College of Nurses, becoming a trade union in 1977

1946 saw the merger of two separate unions forming the Confederation of Health Service Employees which merged once again in 1993 to form UNISON

Both unions say they are in place to support nurses by influencing policy related to nursing, UNISON has a direct link to the Labour party whereas the RCN works across parties. 

Owned by the RCN is RCNi, which refers to itself as "a life-long learning partner for nurses and the whole nursing team", boasting 11 publications and a wealth of content online both of which generate funds to support their content creation. 

So that's the history and state of play of the UK nursing unions, but where are we now?

Through the following questions, we aim to learn more about nursing unions value to nursing and value to you:

  • When and how did you become aware of unions as a nurse?
  • How did you decide if joining a union was something that was or wasn't right for you as a nurse?
  • What did the union say they would do for you as a nurse when you first encountered them?
  • Have unions managed to achieve what they said they would for you, and if they have, how have they?
  • Do you think, in the current political climate, unions can or do add value to nursing?
  • How do you think unions could add more value to nursing?
  • What are the misconceptions that nurses have about unions and how can they be overcome?
  • What have we not covered that you feel is relevant to this discussion on nursing unions?

There will also be two polls during the day of the tweetchat asking about your engagement level with unions and how effective you feel they are.

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Do join in, your views, ideas and shared experience adds real value to others on the chat.

Picture credit: Gov.UK





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Pre-chat poll results...




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Chat Summary

What a fascinating chat, fascinating because there are clearly two value perceptions for nursing unions:

1. Those answering the polls, anonymously, didn't seem to reflect a high value of unions

2. Those on the chat conversely raved about their value

What does that mean... some fo the views on the chat may explain it.

Those on the chat talked about many of them being union members for their own protection as the legal and regulative sife of nursing is a "mine field" and it is good to have a level of confidence knowing their is professional support on hand, some shared that they had used this support and it was very effective. 

Possibly the difference between prechat poll voters and tweetchatters was that those on the chat were quite clear that you and nursing gets out of unions what nurses put in.

Maybe prechat poll voters don't actively engage and see unions as service they contribute to financially and feel that's all they need to do and consequently maybe don't have a more rounded understanding or perception of value.

Networking, RCN libraries and sense of togtherness were common values shared by quite a few on the chat.

Many experienced nurses commented that "it was just the done thing" to join a union and made them feel part of something as students when they were introduced to unions during freshers week and this practice appears to continue; Some shared that for the cost the are part of both unions. 

It was clear that a few senior union member staff were watching the chat and liking comments but not engaging, which was a shame, but we hope the chat archive below adds value to those looking to understand more about giving and getting value form the nursing unions.

Thanks to all those on the chat for being visible and helping others learn for your experiences.






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 #WeNurses transcript

 
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:30
WELCOME everyone to this week's #WeNurses on: Nursing Unions Please say if you are joining, or lurking and leaning :) Everyone welcome and YES your views matter! First question coming up in a min... https://t.co/vHo4QDYIYS
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:31
Thanks for joining #WeNurses this eve, here are some quick tips to enjoy the chat: 1. Click on #WeNurses to see the chat 2. Add #WeNurses to your tweets to join in 3. Do join in, your views and experience really add value to everyone 4. Enjoy the chat and follow each other too! https://t.co/AgKHpD7QlA
@AgencyNurse
19 May 2022 20:31
Hi everyone #Wenurses https://twitter.com/wenurses/status/1527371053827506179
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:31
RT @WeNurses: WELCOME everyone to this week's #WeNurses on: Nursing Unions Please say if you are joining, or lurking and leaning :) E…
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:32
@AgencyNurse welcome Teresa :) to #wenurses
@lucy_uo
19 May 2022 20:32
RT @WeNurses: WELCOME everyone to this week's #WeNurses on: Nursing Unions Please say if you are joining, or lurking and leaning :) E…
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:33
Here we go... #WeNurses > QUESTION 1 < "When and how did you become aware of unions as a nurse?" Remembering to add #WeNurses to your replies please :) https://t.co/U8SZqugwfl
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:33
@MariaCavallo94 You are an important part of the chat Maria, welcome to #WeNurses :)
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:33
@WeNurses Good evening from Northeastern Germany! Am a member of teachers' & lecturers' union @gew_bund. ??????? ?? #WeNurses
@lucy_uo
19 May 2022 20:33
@WeNurses @theRCN @RCNStudents Oops forgot to tag #WeNurses
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:33
@AgencyNurse Lovely to see you, Teresa! #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:33
@lucy_uo @theRCN @RCNStudents Hi Lucy, thanks for introducing yourself and joining #WeNurses this eve :)
@lucy_uo
19 May 2022 20:33
RT @WeNurses: Here we go... #WeNurses > QUESTION 1 < "When and how did you become aware of unions as a nurse?" Remembering to add #We…
@NRCUK
19 May 2022 20:34
@WeNurses Lurking and learning... as usual, have a good #wenurses everyone :)
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:34
@thesismum @AgencyNurse @NRCUK Hi all :) welcome to #wenurses
@AgencyNurse
19 May 2022 20:34
We had the RCN and Unison visit at Uni #WeNurses https://twitter.com/wenurses/status/1527371763683889152
@freda_ohemeng
19 May 2022 20:34
RT @WeNurses: Here we go... #WeNurses > QUESTION 1 < "When and how did you become aware of unions as a nurse?" Remembering to add #We…
@AgencyNurse
19 May 2022 20:35
@thesismum Hi Anja - how are you ? #Wenurses
@WeCommNurses
19 May 2022 20:35
RT @WeNurses: Here we go... #WeNurses > QUESTION 1 < "When and how did you become aware of unions as a nurse?" Remembering to add #We…
@MariaCavallo94
19 May 2022 20:35
RT @WeNurses: Here we go... #WeNurses > QUESTION 1 < "When and how did you become aware of unions as a nurse?" Remembering to add #We…
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:36
@AgencyNurse Let's see if that's pretty standard practice :) #wenurses
@lucy_uo
19 May 2022 20:36
@WeNurses We were visited by 2 unions in freshers week at uni. I was aware before that they existed in general terms, but not the specifics. I would say I'm a union supporter in general so I would have joined 1 even if they hadn't visited #WeNurses
@shaniepoo2000
19 May 2022 20:36
@WeNurses I joined @theRCN while I was a trainee assistant practitioner. I found their online resources and Congress amazing. Enjoyed it so much I became a Learning Rep. Had to leave the role as a student but looking to picknit up again. #WeNurses
@lucy_uo
19 May 2022 20:36
@AgencyNurse Same #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:37
@lucy_uo thanks for sharing and top marks for remembering the # too :) #wenurses
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:37
@AgencyNurse I wouldn't say "busy" at university, but @AndrHePeters frequently mentions that my work schedule is not what the union negotiated. #WeNurses https://t.co/qGIfchTbq5
@ClaireLSutton
19 May 2022 20:37
Freshers week at uni. Joined them both as they were both (@unisontheunion and @theRCN) £10 for a year and it seemed like the best way to see which was the best. #WeNurses https://twitter.com/wenurses/status/1527371763683889152
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:37
RT @WeNurses: Here we go... #WeNurses > QUESTION 1 < "When and how did you become aware of unions as a nurse?" Remembering to add #We…
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:38
#WeNurses up next... > QUESTION 2 < "How did you decide if joining a union was something that was or wasn't right for you as a nurse?" Not forgetting #WeNurses in your tweets please :) https://t.co/HMakwDMff8
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 20:38
@WeNurses #WeNurses at uni, the prominent ones turned up to deliver a session, gave out the obligatory Freebies and all the students signed up to their preferred unions there and then.
@shaniepoo2000
19 May 2022 20:39
@lucy_uo @WeNurses Same here. I think student don't realise just what a union does and how they can benefit from being a member. It's not just about representation when in trouble. #WeNurses
@AgencyNurse
19 May 2022 20:39
@ClaireLSutton @unisontheunion @theRCN Ooh interesting decision … are you still a member of both ? #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:39
@ClaireLSutton @unisontheunion @theRCN Interesting approach, seems like a good plan :) #WeNurses
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:39
@WeNurses Growing-up in a labour family I joined a union on the first day of #nursingtraining. #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:39
RT @NurseCharr: @WeNurses #WeNurses at uni, the prominent ones turned up to deliver a session, gave out the obligatory Freebies and all the…
@lucy_uo
19 May 2022 20:39
RT @WeNurses: #WeNurses up next... > QUESTION 2 < "How did you decide if joining a union was something that was or wasn't right for you…
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:40
RT @thesismum: @WeNurses Growing-up in a labour family I joined a union on the first day of #nursingtraining. #WeNurses
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:40
RT @WeNurses: #WeNurses up next... > QUESTION 2 < "How did you decide if joining a union was something that was or wasn't right for you…
@WeCYPnurses
19 May 2022 20:40
RT @WeNurses: #WeNurses up next... > QUESTION 2 < "How did you decide if joining a union was something that was or wasn't right for you…
@CyzelG
19 May 2022 20:40
@WeNurses Me & college friend decided we’d join the @theRCN as soon as we had offers, just because we enjoyed being part of groups and were interested in networking opportunities. Especially as going to different universities meant only thing keeping us together #WeNurses
@freda_ohemeng
19 May 2022 20:41
@WeNurses I became aware of unions when I started my BSC adult nursing I viewed it as a way to connect with other nurses as well as student nurses for support and a community #WeNurses
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 20:41
@WeNurses #WeNurses my mum told me I will sign up to a union (also a nurse) and I signed up, she then informed me I joined the *wrong* Union, so I went to @theRCN I was 18 and was invincible of course, but took my mums advice which has proven invaluable as now rep/board member
@shaniepoo2000
19 May 2022 20:41
@WeNurses For me I think it was knowing that Nursing was a potential minefield and that at some point I might need representation. 'Better safe than sorry' kindnof thing. #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:41
@CyzelG @theRCN Hi and thanks for sharing and joining #WeNurses this eve Cyzel :)
@lucy_uo
19 May 2022 20:42
@WeNurses It was a bit of a 'no brainer' for me tbh. I used to work in childcare and was in a union then too. It's support if something goes wrong, a way of speaking together (and louder and coherently) on work related issues. I always encourage others to join unions too #WeNurses
@AgencyNurse
19 May 2022 20:42
Tbh I joined as everyone else was …. I was a member of the RCN for years … then got very fed up with them & left. Rejoined a few years back as was very impressed with what Dame Donna Kinnar had to say #WeNurses https://twitter.com/wenurses/status/1527373021555544064
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:43
And... #WeNurses > QUESTION 3 < "What did the union say they would do for you as a nurse when you first encountered them?" Keep adding #WeNurses to your replies so we can all see them :) https://t.co/NVkS7XbAtR
@tharry
19 May 2022 20:43
RT @WeNurses: 30 mins to go till #WeNurses Who's joining us to talk "Nursing Unions"? Still time to read and share tonights prechat info he…
@ClaireLSutton
19 May 2022 20:43
I think everyone should be in a union. Unions do a lot to protect all workers regardless of profession. It’s more a question of *which* union rather than should you be in one for me. Indeed as an agency nurse it was an actual requirement for indemnity #WeNurses https://twitter.com/wenurses/status/1527373021555544064
@IshKabibble_
19 May 2022 20:43
RT @WeNurses: Here we go... #WeNurses > QUESTION 1 < "When and how did you become aware of unions as a nurse?" Remembering to add #We…
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:43
@NurseCharr @theRCN Mums :) #WeNurses Glad you followed in her footsteps , right or "wrong" union! :)
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:44
Better safe than sorry possible quite a common reason, thanks for sharing #wenurses https://twitter.com/shaniepoo2000/status/1527373950547701774
@WeStudentNurse
19 May 2022 20:44
RT @WeNurses: And... #WeNurses > QUESTION 3 < "What did the union say they would do for you as a nurse when you first encountered them?"…
@MarcelleTauber
19 May 2022 20:45
@WeNurses Late (again). Sorry Gang, will catch up! #WeNurses
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 20:45
@WeNurses #WeNurses I can't remember, but I have been sold on the support for employment issues in addition to immigration, careers advice, library, CPD and beyond @theRCN is more than just a TU and that is important to me too
@lucy_uo
19 May 2022 20:45
@shaniepoo2000 @WeNurses Yes! I'm on the @RCNStudents committee and definately students don't realise how much the union gives. Most know about the library, and support if something goes wrong, but not the wider support and professional side #WeNurses
@CyzelG
19 May 2022 20:45
@WeNurses As a person from an ethnic background, I had heard experiences and continue to hear stories about the unfair treatment to Nurses and Students nurses like me. So it was no question I wanted to be protected, but honestly I’ve developed more professionally and personally #WeNurses
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:45
RT @WeNurses: And... #WeNurses > QUESTION 3 < "What did the union say they would do for you as a nurse when you first encountered them?"…
@JessLSainsbury
19 May 2022 20:45
@WeNurses Sorry a tad late to the party! I was aware of Unions in general due to my previous career (HR bod). But in the nursing context I followed threads in Facebook groups and joined @theRCN following recommendations before I had even started my pre-reg course! #WeNurses
@katb2610
19 May 2022 20:45
@WeNurses It is always right, but not always affordable and many feel they don’t get moneys worth. For me, it was what union. I’m now RCN and Unison, as both benefit me in different ways. Would advise considering what you want out of it, then looking at their output to decide. #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:46
@ClaireLSutton interesting... is that still a requirement for agency nurses? thanks for joining and sharing on #wenurses Claire :)
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:46
@WeNurses Nothing, but to be fair: I joined before they could try to convince me. ?? #WeNurses
@JessLSainsbury
19 May 2022 20:46
@WeNurses I must admit, I was wary due to previous encounters. But the reason I chose @theRCN was due to the professional body side. #WeNurses
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 20:46
@WeNurses @theRCN My advice to anyone us join A union, although an RCN rep I would prefer to recommend them, ultimately join any that match your values and needs and gives you a platform to speak up, make changes and get support #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:47
RT @NurseCharr: @WeNurses #WeNurses I can't remember, but I have been sold on the support for employment issues in addition to immigration,…
@ClaireLSutton
19 May 2022 20:47
A shared voice. Fighting for the rights of the profession. Indemnity insurance. Employment protection. All very sensible things. It was always a bit of a no brainer really. #WeNurses (that said I did have a period where I wasn’t in one, but rejoined and wouldn’t be without) https://twitter.com/wenurses/status/1527374279985221632
@lucy_uo
19 May 2022 20:47
@amy_hortop @WeNurses I'd say RCN...but I'm biased ?? I know a lot of people who joined both, it gives you the best of both too #WeNurses
@katb2610
19 May 2022 20:47
@WeNurses What didn’t they say ?? reps at freshers make all sorts of promises! What they have done is provided support, headaches (!), friendship and movements within them have pushed me to challenge and question. They have been vital. #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:47
@JessLSainsbury @theRCN Hi Jess, welcome along, thanks for joining and sharing tonight on #wenurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:48
#WeNurses > QUESTION 4 < "Have unions managed to achieve what they said they would for you, and if they have, how have they?" Well done for adding #WeNurses to your tweets :) https://t.co/iznDkXR8Ix
@JessLSainsbury
19 May 2022 20:48
@WeNurses This is tricky because I think at Freshers they were pretty much saying the same thing. I had already made a choice before I started Uni and that was due to the feedback I got from other students and registrants on online forums and social media #WeNurses
@MarcelleTauber
19 May 2022 20:48
@WeNurses Tbh, I don't remember. When I qualified, the nurses advised me to join a Union, you know, just in case. So I joined and I didn't think much about it. Growing up, Unions were always striking & always angry on the telly... they seemed far too political for me #WeNurses
@CyzelG
19 May 2022 20:48
@WeNurses I can’t remember really, but I think it was the leadership and development opportunities for student nurses, the library and all the freebies that got me excited. #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:48
Interesting advice from @katb2610 thanks Kat #wenurses https://twitter.com/katb2610/status/1527375002755969028
@ClaireLSutton
19 May 2022 20:49
@WeNurses I’m not sure if it was just the agency I was with, or whether it’s more commonplace. Generally speaking if you’re employed your employer has indemnity cover, if self employed you’d need to consider getting your own. #WeNurses
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 20:49
@WeNurses #WeNurses its not as linear as this, I have seen many things I dislike/disagree with, but also a lot to be proud of. I like the professional development I have received, the networking, having a platform to be listened to and make change. However engaging members is a sore topic
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:50
@JessLSainsbury @theRCN Do you see them as one or to organisations? It's an interesting arrangement and the output form the college is simply amazing :) #wenurses
@AgencyNurse
19 May 2022 20:50
@ClaireLSutton I think sometimes the messaging on what unions do gets a little lost …. So much “stuff” is created that core messaging gets lost and as nurses we hang onto the “help when you get into trouble” element #WeNurses
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:50
RT @WeNurses: #WeNurses > QUESTION 4 < "Have unions managed to achieve what they said they would for you, and if they have, how have th…
@JessLSainsbury
19 May 2022 20:50
@WeNurses I find this q. tricky because as much as the Union is there to advocate for you and the profession, you get just as much out of it as what you put in. There are also so many variables... the people in elected positions both in the union and government as a prime e.g. #WeNurses
@natslou28
19 May 2022 20:50
@WeNurses Uni, two unions came talk both joined them both free gifts then I felt one offered more for students which has led to me being heavily involved in the union @theRCN #WeNurses
@ClaireLSutton
19 May 2022 20:51
I’ve definitely been critical of unions not always adequately representing nurses who work outside of the NHS, but I do think things are improving on that front, so I’m hopeful for a more positive future #WeNurses https://twitter.com/wenurses/status/1527375538393841664
@MarcelleTauber
19 May 2022 20:51
@WeNurses I thought it was just something you did when your qualified... you get your PIN and you joined a union as you are starting to work .... #WeNurses
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 20:51
@WeNurses #WeNurses from a personal perspective, I have had to use my union with employment related issues. An old employer withheld my owed AL when I moved NHS trusts post mat leave citing "in case I left the NHS and never paid mat pay back" I tried unsuccessfully, @theRCN got me my money
@AgencyNurse
19 May 2022 20:52
@MarcelleTauber @WeNurses I think that’s a really important point to make - I grew up@in the same era #WeNurses
@JessLSainsbury
19 May 2022 20:52
@WeNurses @theRCN They are one organisation. There is an argument to separate them, however, as it stands @theRCN is both a TU and Professional Body. I agree, the work of PNC led by @RachelAHollis is incredible. #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:52
@ClaireLSutton Indemnity can be complex, wonder how many think they are covered by their union but aren't? #wenurses
@katb2610
19 May 2022 20:52
@WeNurses They have certainly tried on things that matter to me as a member under the leadership of @patcullen9. Seen a monumental shift in the RCN over the last year. Would like to see more on engaging members in being active, especially women. #WeNurses
@PaedNurseDonna
19 May 2022 20:52
@WeNurses They came to our student lectures to promote themselves. I had never heard of a union before this. #wenurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:52
vital is good :) #wenurses https://twitter.com/katb2610/status/1527375460254068736
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:53
Flying through... #WeNurses > QUESTION 5 < "Do you think, in the current political climate, unions can or do add value to nursing?" Ensure your tweets are seen by adding #WeNurses to them :) https://t.co/bMdcG14hWZ
@WeGPNs
19 May 2022 20:53
RT @WeNurses: #WeNurses > QUESTION 4 < "Have unions managed to achieve what they said they would for you, and if they have, how have th…
@ClaireLSutton
19 May 2022 20:53
@WeNurses I’m certain that’s something affecting lots of people. #WeNurses
@natslou28
19 May 2022 20:53
@WeNurses @theRCN Professional side was my drive to get involved. I was amazed by the depth of projects and work. Plus, Congress's fantastic experience as a student nurse is inspiring #WeNurses
@katb2610
19 May 2022 20:53
@WeNurses @patcullen9 As for Unison, they also have tried and are excellent at letting the voices of their members be heard. Achievement in a TU is tricky depending on who is in power, when we are talking widespread change. #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:54
@MarcelleTauber we'll be covering that in a couple of questions time :) #wenurses
@MarcelleTauber
19 May 2022 20:54
@WeNurses I can't really remember, but I think the professional development resources and the library were a big plus. @theRCN #WeNurses
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:55
@MarcelleTauber @WeNurses Amen, Marcella! #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:55
RT @NurseCharr: @WeNurses #WeNurses its not as linear as this, I have seen many things I dislike/disagree with, but also a lot to be proud…
@CyzelG
19 May 2022 20:55
@WeNurses Personally I think it depends on what it is that you were expecting. As a union, member led means member engagement is important! And I’ve been engaging and got the benefits, I’ve had good and bad experiences from my union due to what members were elected/leading! #WeNurses
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 20:55
@WeNurses #WeNurses nursing is political, but should remain unaffiliated with a particular party is my personal opinion. It is okay to agree and disagree with many political opinions and parties. You will not get the needed changes avoiding politics though and we MUST involve politics
@katb2610
19 May 2022 20:55
@WeNurses Yes. They should be uncompromising in centring nursing but smart about how we ask for demands. Make the economic argument for this government, for example. #WeNurses
@natslou28
19 May 2022 20:55
@WeNurses They support your well-being, and The fantastic library service @RCNLibraries could help with your academic studies #WeNurses
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:55
RT @WeNurses: Flying through... #WeNurses > QUESTION 5 < "Do you think, in the current political climate, unions can or do add value to…
@ClaireLSutton
19 May 2022 20:55
I think with it being such a diverse career, and nurses working in so many different settings that unions can probably add more value to the profession than ever before. Nursing isn’t just about NHS. Pay, conditions, CPD, revalidation etc are so varied across nursing #WeNurses https://twitter.com/wenurses/status/1527376797884526603
@JessLSainsbury
19 May 2022 20:56
@WeNurses The nursing profession needs a strong, reliable, authentic voice at a national level. Without this we will never be able to mend what has been broken and move forward. But it is not just Unions who are able to do this #WeNurses
@PaedNurseDonna
19 May 2022 20:56
@WeNurses #wenurses I think they should be more forward with what they can do for us without "something gone wrong" and then needing them for support and help. Is there any benefits for people who don't need legal representation? @theRCN
@AgencyNurse
19 May 2022 20:56
I think that all depends on the Union to be honest …. A Union that not only listens but actively engages with nurses and empowers them to raise their voices is a force to be reckoned with #WeNurses https://twitter.com/wenurses/status/1527376797884526603
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:57
@WeNurses In Germany they could, if more nurses were members. The degree of organisation among German nurses is abysmal. #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:58
#WeNurses > QUESTION 6 < "How do you think unions could add more value to nursing?" https://t.co/YsUY9HALOj
@thesismum
19 May 2022 20:58
RT @WeNurses: #WeNurses > QUESTION 6 < "How do you think unions could add more value to nursing?" https://t.co/YsUY9HALOj
@potlog_mihaela
19 May 2022 20:58
@WeNurses Unions could add more value to nursing in helping them though campaigns in having a better payment. In my opinion the nurses doesn’t get the money they deserve for their work and dedication. #WeNurses
@natslou28
19 May 2022 20:59
@WeNurses I feel @rcn always tries to deliver what they say they will, but we need more activity from the membership to drive the college forward! I’ve professionally developed thanks to my involvement in the Rcn #WeNurses
@MarcelleTauber
19 May 2022 20:59
@WeNurses In terms of lobbying government, being vocal about nursing issues and representing every facet of nursing and diversity of nurses, no. There has been someone at the end of a phone when I've called with a query, so yes. #WeNurses
@JessLSainsbury
19 May 2022 20:59
@natslou28 @WeNurses @theRCN #RCN17 is what hooked me, that's for sure! #WeNurses
@AgencyNurse
19 May 2022 20:59
@thesismum @WeNurses It sounds like UK nurses are perhaps more likely to be part of a union than German nurses then … do German nurses just not see the value or are your unions not so good ? #Wenurses
@I_Bernice_
19 May 2022 20:59
RT @WeNurses: Happy #WeNurses Tweetchat day :) "NURSING UNIONS" TONIGHT 8:30PM via #WeNurses Chat info and how to join in here: https://t.…
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 20:59
Who else would you say can add value Jess? #wenurses https://twitter.com/JessLSainsbury/status/1527377635315453953
@natslou28
19 May 2022 21:00
@WeNurses Unions can only add more in this current political climate if members are willing to engage and to work with them to drive the nursing voice forward #WeNurses
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 21:00
@WeNurses #WeNurses Having greater clarity on the work they do behind the scenes, having more member involvement in the bigger projects so we can have authentic voices & lived experience supporting. I don't think people realise the worth in their membership as so much is "hidden in sight"
@AgencyNurse
19 May 2022 21:00
RT @WeNurses: #WeNurses > QUESTION 6 < "How do you think unions could add more value to nursing?" https://t.co/YsUY9HALOj
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 21:00
RT @PaedNurseDonna: @WeNurses #wenurses I think they should be more forward with what they can do for us without "something gone wrong" and…
@alimully
19 May 2022 21:00
@wide54 @WeNurses Interesting, in a bad way? I'm guessing they need to have a good working relationship within the organisations so they can represent members #wenurses
@I_Bernice_
19 May 2022 21:01
@WeNurses #WeNurses I personally haven't had to resort to use of union but from what I see on the news and newspapers. The unions can be of good use to nurses in achieving some on going and long time issue such as need for pay increase for nurses.#MDX_EL
@thesismum
19 May 2022 21:01
@katb2610 @WeNurses Other professions are much better organised, especially in industry (the classic workers' unions) and teachers, also railway, police and pilots. German nurses complain and endure. #WeNurses
@AgencyNurse
19 May 2022 21:01
For me it’s not about engaging the usual suspects but about actively reaching out to a diverse range of nurses to find out what matters to them #WeNurses https://twitter.com/wenurses/status/1527378054657585152
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 21:01
@ClaireLSutton @WeNurses Definitely, we all have different opinions and I feel it could be exclusionary of a reasonable amount of people whose experience and membership would bring value #WeNurses
@ClaireLSutton
19 May 2022 21:01
Encourage membership to grow. Encourage members to be more vocal about what they want from the union (if you don’t tell your union what you want, they probably aren’t going to know). Encourage members to be more active in forums and groups #WeNurses https://twitter.com/wenurses/status/1527378054657585152
@katb2610
19 May 2022 21:02
@WeNurses Consider who we choose to represent us. Do they reflect the nature of nursing- a female dominated, safety critical profession requiring critical thinking. Can they communicate effectively and empathetically? If not, then they do us a disservice. #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 21:02
RT @NurseCharr: @WeNurses #WeNurses nursing is political, but should remain unaffiliated with a particular party is my personal opinion. It…
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 21:03
Nearly done... #WeNurses > QUESTION 7 < "What are the misconceptions that nurses have about unions and how can they be overcome?" Well done for keeping on adding #WeNurses to your tweets :) https://t.co/sGy9lyMIeg
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 21:03
@natslou28 @WeNurses Definitely, but despite the best efforts of many, we are still failing and I genuinely do not know how to engage with those members #WeNurses
@katb2610
19 May 2022 21:03
@WeNurses The work of the RCN PNC has been exemplary in adding value to nursing IMO. Really excellent work we can be proud of. #WeNurses
@ClaireLSutton
19 May 2022 21:03
@NurseCharr @WeNurses Cannot agree more #WeNurses
@JessLSainsbury
19 May 2022 21:03
@WeNurses Increased collaboration #WeNurses
@DannGoodingRN
19 May 2022 21:03
@WeNurses Evening everyone ?? My name is Dann, I'm a Paeds charge nurse & chair of RCN Devon. I'm looking forward to hear nurses feelings on unions! I’m currently sat at a bedside waiting for results, so distract me! #WeNurses
@DannGoodingRN
19 May 2022 21:03
RT @WeNurses: WELCOME everyone to this week's #WeNurses on: Nursing Unions Please say if you are joining, or lurking and leaning :) E…
@freda_ohemeng
19 May 2022 21:03
@WeNurses Unions can add more value to nursing by us as a nursing community using our voice to express any concerns to better the NHS or by giving us advice on challenging situations we may face as nurses #WeNurses
@alimully
19 May 2022 21:04
@natslou28 @WeNurses @RCNLibraries Recently discovered the literature search, it's great ?? #wenurses
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 21:04
@WeNurses #WeNurses that employers may revoke employment or visas for being seen as a trouble maker when considering industrial action or voicing concerns. This was highlighted as a barrier to engagement by @theRCN
@thesismum
19 May 2022 21:04
@AgencyNurse @WeNurses Tricky question & quite a few members of the more typical nurses unions in my timeline. ?? A lot of #histnursing in this: German nurses used to be organised in sisterhoods, the matter of milieu snd the framing as being more a matter of charity than a bread-earning job. #WeNurses
@JessLSainsbury
19 May 2022 21:05
@WeNurses Online peer support groups, charities, #ProfessionalNurseAdvocates to name a few. #WeNurses
@AgencyNurse
19 May 2022 21:05
@DannGoodingRN @WeNurses Oh no Dan hope all is well …. Now trying to think of distractions !!! #WeNurses https://t.co/qrR4pUXNHl
@I_Bernice_
19 May 2022 21:05
@AgencyNurse @WeNurses #WeNurses I absolutely I gree to this. I do believe it would go along way #MDX_EL
@DannGoodingRN
19 May 2022 21:05
@WeNurses I became a student ambassador for the RCN in my 1st year of uni. Not to brag, but I was nominated two years in a row for Student ambassador of the year. I was involved in designing conferences etc for other student nurses. #WeNurses
@ClaireLSutton
19 May 2022 21:05
That unions don’t represent “you” They do. If you’re a member then they are there to represent you. You have the potential to vote, to attend conferences & meetings, to engage with them. #WeNurses https://twitter.com/wenurses/status/1527379313204535296
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 21:06
@WeNurses #WeNurses I don't need a union. I get on well with everyone. I get on well with my colleagues too, but didn't plan to make a drug error, or need performance managing for sickness. I hate it, but... you wouldn't insure your car after crashing it...
@natslou28
19 May 2022 21:06
@WeNurses I think they need to shout louder about the amazing what they are doing especially behind the scenes! We need members to know it’s not just a “rainy day cover” it’s something to be proud of and some you can drive forward to make sure the voice of nursing is heard #WeNurses
@JessLSainsbury
19 May 2022 21:06
@WeNurses That activism does not have to = waving a banner and shouting. I did an IG post on this a while ago: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMHCt7OBhZA/ #WeNurses
@Nyrs_Emma
19 May 2022 21:06
@AgencyNurse @DannGoodingRN @WeNurses #WeNurses https://t.co/0mxIkLswOM
@lucy_uo
19 May 2022 21:07
@WeNurses But the RCN needed to know it was more than an individual problem, and often it's been supporting to make the change yourself, and people expect the union to be more of a bodyguard than a guide #WeNurses
@thesismum
19 May 2022 21:07
RT @WeNurses: Nearly done... #WeNurses > QUESTION 7 < "What are the misconceptions that nurses have about unions and how can they be ov…
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 21:08
And finally... #WeNurses > QUESTION 8 < "What have we not covered that you feel is relevant to this discussion on nursing unions?" Top marks for adding #WeNurses to your tweets this evening everyone, thank you! https://t.co/izLLDIRN6v
@thesismum
19 May 2022 21:08
@WeNurses "I don't get nothing for my money." #WeNurses
@AgencyNurse
19 May 2022 21:08
RT @WeNurses: And finally... #WeNurses > QUESTION 8 < "What have we not covered that you feel is relevant to this discussion on nursing…
@DannGoodingRN
19 May 2022 21:08
@WeNurses It felt like the right decision. I’ve always been taught about strength in numbers in many things in life. Interestingly though; I initially felt like activism & unionism were almost dirty words… that was before i understood politics. #WeNurses
@katb2610
19 May 2022 21:08
@NurseCharr @natslou28 @WeNurses Ask who makes up the members. Do they have time and motivation to engage? Nursing is comprised of women (often have caring roles and do a second unpaid full time job) who are nurses ?? (underpaid, overworked lol). Need to lower expectations of what engagement looks like #WeNurses
@jomwlever
19 May 2022 21:09
@WeNurses Q7 Good evening all, I think the main one is that Unions are only there for occasions if something goes wrong and an individual needs support that they may not feel they can get from their employer. I used to believe that too. #WeNurses
@DannGoodingRN
19 May 2022 21:09
RT @WeNurses: And... #WeNurses > QUESTION 3 < "What did the union say they would do for you as a nurse when you first encountered them?"…
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 21:09
@WeNurses #WeNurses if you want to make a collective difference, you NEED to get involved, use that platform and be active, unions don't do the work, they provide platform. The direction is decided by the membership
@MariaCavallo94
19 May 2022 21:09
@WeNurses I believe nurses can engage with patients and their families, collaborate with hospitals and health systems to cut emissions, and influence plans to better prepare health care institutions and communities for climate change's health implications #WeNurses
@I_Bernice_
19 May 2022 21:10
@WeNurses #WeNurses I think one of the misconcept nurses have about unions is that you have to attend every protest and strick activities coordinated by the union. Which I think should not be the case. Every individual should be able to decide what works best for them.#MDX_EL
@natslou28
19 May 2022 21:10
@WeNurses You don’t have to go on protests to achieve change. Having your voice heard by the right people, you can make a difference, and That’s what the Union can facilitate you speaking to the right people! #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 21:10
@DannGoodingRN hope you are doing OK Dann :) #wenurses
@DannGoodingRN
19 May 2022 21:10
@WeNurses I don’t remember, i was a student nurse, however, i do remember the professional side of the RCN of the forums appealing to me. I also remember wanting to make nursing better for everyone. #WeNurses
@DannGoodingRN
19 May 2022 21:11
RT @WeNurses: #WeNurses > QUESTION 4 < "Have unions managed to achieve what they said they would for you, and if they have, how have th…
@natslou28
19 May 2022 21:11
@WeNurses Being active does not have to take every hour of your day! you could do 10 minutes of sharing information with colleagues at work or taking part in a ballot, or sharing a message on social media #WeNurses
@JessLSainsbury
19 May 2022 21:11
@WeNurses I think it would be really good to showcase the good work that many have done through their TU's to encourage others to get active. So much hard work is done, we need to celebrate that #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 21:12
@jomwlever Hi Jo, glad you could come and catchup :) #wenurses
@DannGoodingRN
19 May 2022 21:12
@WeNurses I like this question, but I struggle with peoples expectations. Unions are only as strong as their membership. They can only make changes when their members are behind them. Not just nurses unions, but all unions. I’m always looking for ways to get nurses active! #WeNurses
@ClaireLSutton
19 May 2022 21:13
Unions work for you. Use them. Access their resources. Engage with them. Like so many things you get out what you put in. A union will be there to support you when you need it, but they can also be there to hopefully make it so you might not ever actually need help #WeNurses https://twitter.com/wenurses/status/1527380573378859018
@DannGoodingRN
19 May 2022 21:13
RT @WeNurses: Flying through... #WeNurses > QUESTION 5 < "Do you think, in the current political climate, unions can or do add value to…
@shaniepoo2000
19 May 2022 21:13
@lucy_uo @WeNurses @RCNStudents I moved from Learning Rep to Student Rep and am.lookong to go back to Learning Rep after 4 years off. So much more to Unions than people realise. #WeNurses
@NRCUK
19 May 2022 21:13
Fascinating #wenurses Well done to those sharing lived experience of Nursing Unions
@MarcelleTauber
19 May 2022 21:13
@WeNurses Hmmmm, tough question. I think my particular Union are very elegantly politically gagged. Maybe the Unions tactics need to change .... politics in the 70s/80s is not the same as now #WeNurses
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 21:14
@katb2610 @natslou28 @WeNurses I wouldnt expect 100% engagement, but its so poor we cant be certain as to why we arent getting enough engagement for action and how to reach. I wouldn't say expectations are high, when you speak to people on the floor they want change and don't realise the implications #WeNurses
@NHSActivistRN
19 May 2022 21:14
That unions should do all the work for you. Unions have bargaining power based on being able to take a set of actions. They can't do that without member support. Which renders pay discussions less effective #WeNurses https://twitter.com/WeNurses/status/1527379313204535296
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 21:15
Thank you to everyone who joined and shared on #WeNurses this evening, it is great to be here with you :) If you missed any questions you can find them all here http://wecommunities.org/tweet-chats/chat-details/5771 and still respond! https://t.co/RvwOpzcCoQ
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 21:15
@MarcelleTauber You can handle a tough question :) #wenurses
@katb2610
19 May 2022 21:16
@natslou28 @NurseCharr @WeNurses @FeministRCN We do & it’s vital to make sure those voices represent the profession proportionately in these positions. Unless people have direct experience, it’s likely they won’t consider the things that matter to that community,& unions need to know what matters to their members #WeNurses
@NRCUK
19 May 2022 21:16
@NurseCharr @katb2610 @natslou28 @WeNurses Do you think members understand how things work when they sign up, or are many folks just their for personal security maybe? #wenurses
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 21:16
@katb2610 @natslou28 @WeNurses @FeministRCN May also have inputted in this, and I completely agree. #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 21:17
Next week's #WeNurses is looking to the future of how @WeNurses adds value to this amazing community you have created... "The @WeNurses community beyond Twitter" Chat info here http://wecommunities.org/tweet-chats/chat-details/5770 We hope you'll join us :) https://t.co/JPhs17YLss
@MarcelleTauber
19 May 2022 21:17
@WeNurses By engaging with members more on what's important to them and being relentlessly vocal on behalf of their members. I want roars, not whimpers. Also be a bit more savvy and collaborate with other profession's unions. #WeNurses
@I_Bernice_
19 May 2022 21:17
@WeNurses #WeNurses I really enjoyed the chat session and learnt from everyone's views. Thank you very much. #MDX_EL
@katb2610
19 May 2022 21:17
@NurseCharr @natslou28 @WeNurses The structure of unions demands time for engagement though. Even accessing information is a payment for someone who is time poor and may just want to switch off entirely. Being active is a privilege #WeNurses
@thesismum
19 May 2022 21:18
@WeNurses Thank you very much and goodnight everybody! #WeNurses https://t.co/0ePsbJtyPI
@shaniepoo2000
19 May 2022 21:18
@WeNurses I usedmy union as a student nurse and they were great. Don't know what I'd have done without them. I also find that @theRCN Congress has been a great way for me to network with other healthcare teams and learn about current events... not to mention pens pens pens! #WeNurses
@MarcelleTauber
19 May 2022 21:18
@WeNurses #WeNurses https://t.co/jnMhl4HceE
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 21:18
@LiamDoogan @ClaireLSutton @WeNurses I know that, but for some people they do not want political affiliation, and that is as perfectly OK as it is for those who do want that political affliation. It is something that personally put me off #WeNurses
@thesismum
19 May 2022 21:18
@katb2610 @publicenema2 @WeNurses Not good. There is a lot of frustration and people leaving the profession. #WeNurses
@katb2610
19 May 2022 21:18
@NurseCharr @natslou28 @WeNurses There also something there about whether people see the point. Collective action and it’s importance is no longer recognised as being important- look at voting for elections generally. Turn out is poor. Not unique to nursing #WeNurses
@katb2610
19 May 2022 21:19
@thesismum @publicenema2 @WeNurses Ah. Unions vital then! Is there a source of frustration in particular? #WeNurses
@lucy_uo
19 May 2022 21:19
@WeNurses I think nursing is in it's nature political. Politics impacts our patients, our pay, the operating of the NHS (and private health), the resources and ability to do our jobs. Unions create a joined voice which can speak with authority, and (??) improve those things #WeNurses
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 21:20
@NRCUK @katb2610 @natslou28 @WeNurses I think people just sign up when they start the job/uni etc and dutifully pay without really knowing what they're paying for and utilising other benefits #WeNurses
@jomwlever
19 May 2022 21:20
@JessLSainsbury @natslou28 @WeNurses @theRCN Same here Jess! #WeNurses realising how many Nurses, including student nurses have so much passion for #Nursing Louder voices at Congress
@shaniepoo2000
19 May 2022 21:21
@NurseCharr @WeNurses Totally agree with getting members involved more. I find people think that it's a 1 way door - What does the Union do for me? When it should be a 2 way door - What can I do to get involved and so get the full benefits of my union? #WeNurses
@MarwaHussein90
19 May 2022 21:22
Really enjoyed all the questions tonight, #WeNurses
@freda_ohemeng
19 May 2022 21:22
@AgencyNurse @WeNurses A union has the size and influence of numbers to discuss enforceable contracts that improve workplace conditions (like nurse-to-patient ratios), nurses' role in maintaining care standards, and bettering patient satisfaction with their care. #WeNurses
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 21:22
@katb2610 @natslou28 @WeNurses Really good point, and we all know that the voters that do turnout really sway outcomes. Maybe it should be looked at as to what counts as an acceptable turn out? #WeNurses
@jomwlever
19 May 2022 21:22
RT @WeNurses: Flying through... #WeNurses > QUESTION 5 < "Do you think, in the current political climate, unions can or do add value to…
@lucy_uo
19 May 2022 21:22
@WeNurses One thing I would say though is that because nursing is political it can be difficult to focus that voice. Probably the main criticism I have of the RCN is they tend to get stuck on one 'campaign' and you don't hear much about the others. #WeNurses
@NurseCharr
19 May 2022 21:23
@shaniepoo2000 @WeNurses Absolutely, and it's about empowering people to see that too and how valuable they are within the union they choose #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 21:23
What a great chat on Nursing Unions :) Shame we didn't get any of their leaders join us but well done for those actively involved sharing why and their benefits too :) Another great #WeNurses Catchup here http://wecommunities.org/tweet-chats/chat-details/5771 https://t.co/JDgKGJdhv4
@natslou28
19 May 2022 21:24
@WeNurses That union is this specially professional one need to shout louder about its impact it has on the nursing workforce about how it’s driving forward standards! #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 21:24
@MarwaHussein90 you are very welcome, thank you for taking part in #Wenurses this eve :)
@thesismum
19 May 2022 21:24
@katb2610 @publicenema2 @WeNurses Wages (being in a union would help tremendously), no innovative work time models (I told you), really bad shortage of staff, the mess with the Corona bonus etc. #WeNurses
@katb2610
19 May 2022 21:24
@NurseCharr @natslou28 @WeNurses That’s up to the government sadly! The Conservative government (I think Cameron’s) changed the rules some time ago, to make strike action very difficult. The fault isn’t with the members but the high bar that the law sets #WeNurses
@WeNurses
19 May 2022 21:25
What are your views on today's poll questions about unions? Cheeky > LAST QUESTION < #wenurses https://t.co/n0FZnLt1j7
@MarcelleTauber
19 May 2022 21:26
@WeNurses Misconceptions: -They are too political & their only answer is to strike. -Only 'difficult' nurses are in them -Reps are angry & aggressive people, trying to catch you line managers out How to overcome: -Be more engaging -Celebrate the profession more #WeNurses
@shaniepoo2000
19 May 2022 21:28
@WeNurses "Who doesnt know about the Union but should?" So many people think only RGN need be part of a Union. I'm going to be working with our IRNs & new HCAs soon, I feel that they need to know about the Unions, both for protection/representation & for support in general. #WeNurses
@ClaireLSutton
19 May 2022 21:28
@WeNurses Not massively surprised really. It’s a difficult one. It’s easy to answer a poll but takes time to engage in a tweet chat. It takes even longer to engage with a union. Maybe the unions could look at how to best engage with the work force? #WeNurses
@MarcelleTauber
19 May 2022 21:28
@WeNurses The cost of being in a union. #WeNurses




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