Connecticut Health Care Associates

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Organize your Facility

 Do I Need A Union?

Before deciding if you need to form a Union at your facility, ask yourself the following questions:

• Am I able to practice safely within my professional scope of practice?

• Is staffing set to provide good quality care to my patients?

• Am I mandated to work overtime, at a detriment to my patients and my own safety?

• Am I fairly compensated for the work I do?

• If I have professional disagreements with management’s policies, is there a way for me to have a neutral hearing?

• When addressing patient and professional concerns with my management am I treated with professionalism and are my suggestions are taken seriously?

• Do I have real input in all the decisions that affect the kind of care I give my patients?

These are some of the issues that health care professionals have successfully addressed through collective bargaining. Legally, when health care
professionals form a union, we have the right to negotiate a legally binding contract with management.

How do I build a union at my facility?

If you want to have real power, a strong voice and professional respect, the first step is to contact us at: or contact us by phone at (800) 434-3435

For now, read the following information to get a basic knowledge and understanding about your rights and about becoming a member of Connecticut
Health Care Associates, a strong voice for patients and health care professionals!


What is a Union?

A union is an organization of employees who join together in order to have power over decisions that affect their work and their patients. Unions are
democratically run institutions. Each facility that organizes forms a local organization. Officers of the local union are elected by the membership of that
facility, unit representatives are elected by their unit co-workers, and a bargaining team is elected at large to sit at the negotiating table.

For instance, CHCA is composed of local chapters of health care professionals who participate in creating policies and procedures that affect their role as
care givers. Each local ensures, through a legally binding contract, that policies and procedures are not created arbitrarily. CHCA members participate in
determining staffing levels, floating patterns and patient care delivery models in order to ensure optimal patient safety and improve working conditions.

A union is about power, democracy, equality, professionalism and accountability. By forming a union, employees can have a voice in fair and effective
management. With a union, POWER is shared. When power is shared it enhances respect and a system of accountability is established.

Why should we form a union?

Being a health care professional is a difficult and demanding job. Many of us work long hours, we work short staffed, we rarely get recognized or are
compensated appropriately, and the likelihood of career advancements are far and few between. We continue to do the work we do because we care for our
patients and we strive to provide good quality care to all those who need it. When no one else speaks for patients we must! In the new health care
environment there are many obstacles and the only way to overcome them is by joining together in our individual facilities in the state we live in and at the
national level.

Health care professionals are forming unions because we recognize that we have the right to make decisions on all matters affecting our jobs and the care
we deliver to our patients. We know we have the responsibility to define, establish and enforce standards of care, service and quality. We also have the
right to participate in deciding how resources are best used in each and every one of our facilities.

Without a union contract we are employees at-will. Under this principle, administration can change every aspect of our hours, working conditions, policies
and wages without any input from the staff. As employees at-will we have no job security since our employment can be terminated at any time for most
any reason. Without the union, management has absolute power over every decision made.

 Top 10 things Connecticut Health Care Associates does for every member:

  •  We represent you to your employer
  •  We defend your pension
  •  We negotiate your pay and conditions
  •  We protect your health and safety
  •  We promote equality at work
  •  We improve career opportunities
  •  We campaign for people in many public and private sector professions
  •  We organize nationally and locally
  •  We will train your representatives
  •  We provide legal support and financial services

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