Healthcare work involves a wide variety of trades and professions. It involves nurses, personal support workers, dietary staff, housekeeping, maintenance, and much more. A significant percentage of these workers are unionized. But there are many healthcare employees who don’t have unions, especially allied healthcare professionals.
Allied healthcare professionals use their expertise and knowledge to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate their patients. They deliver care and health improvement strategies to restore a patient’s physical and psychological health. They are physiotherapists, social workers, lab technicians, pharmacists, and many others.
Allied health professionals who are unionized enjoy much better working conditions than their non-union peers, especially in wages and benefits. But that`s not all. Unionized Workers enjoy:
Job security. Unionized allied healthcare workers are much less likely to suffer a job loss. If cuts need to be made, they will be done by seniority.
Scheduling. Each unionized worker is guaranteed a certain set of hours. You won’t work 37 hours one week, and only 10 hours during next week.
Pensions. Many allied health care workers are enrolled in pension plans like HOOPP and NRIPP. Non-union staff may only have a joint RRSP contribution plan.
Burnout. Some fields in allied health are emotionally taxing, especially social work. Sometimes employees earn only $15 an hour and they are dealing with emotionally unstable patients. Unions can help introduce measures that bring about work-life balance.
Allied health professionals need to remember that their patient comes first. But their own needs are important too. And unions can help protect those needs.
If you are an allied healthcare professional who wants to know more about unions, take the first step and check out our website. You can also call us directly at 1-855-SEIU-ORG.