I’m learning to navigate managing employees who are part of a union. From where I sit, I question whether the union representatives really represent their employees equally or if those who are more involved and, therefore more vocal, are allowed to maximize their position and further their agendas. It seems this way to me when I observe them handpick the staff they invite to meetings. It seems this way when I sit across from them and listen to the bold face lies or twists of truth used to cast a negative shadow over what I am doing or have done. It’s frustrating as a manager when it seems clear I have more care and concern for the staff than the union representative, yet I can’t proceed as I would like for fear of being accused of some sort of direct dealing. It’s aggravating when the theme of seniority is valued more than the theme of performance. I wish employees and employers could all be counted on to deal fairly and directly with each other. And I wish within healthcare facilities this fair dealing could be done ultimately with patient safety in mind.
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. –Edward Everett Hale