The Healthcare System: Strategic Human Resources

The healthcare system is one of the most important sectors in a nation. This means that it is imperative for a country’s healthcare system to be well organized for better and exemplary service provision to all people (Agrawal, 2012). Human resource management is the administration of staff and the company’s organizational structure for enhanced implementation of services rendered by the company. Strategic human resource management, however, implies that in order for such services to be offered without obstacles and hindrances, there have to be strategic approaches such as collective bargaining that establish proper and excellent organizational skills. Such approaches look out for the welfare of the service providers and fight for their needs in the future.

Collective bargaining is the agreement between a labor union and the company’s management, that is, the agreement between the employees and the employers on various issues such as better working conditions. In nursing, collective bargaining is the negotiation of agreements between a nursing union and the nursing employer. The labor/nursing union comprises of members of the nursing profession who are registered under such organizations for voicing out their opinions and speaking about their needs for the provision of better services (Jimeno & Thomas, 2013). The importance of collective bargaining in labor unions is to guarantee the rights and ideals of employment. The collective bargain has various aspects that define the rules of negotiation between labor unions and the employers. The four aspects of collective bargaining include legal, economic, moral and political aspects.

The legal aspect of collective bargaining warrants the respect of union members’ requirements and rights for a certain thing or objective while respecting the employers’ terms and final stand on an issue (Grimshaw, Bosch, & Rubery, 2014). Therefore, the legal components of collective bargaining are the rights for members of a labor union to address issues concerning their terms of employment to the employer. Another component of the law is the provision of a framework that monitors the negotiations between the union and the management for improved working conditions of the company’s staff. The law prohibits worker discrimination for workers who exercise such rights.

The labor laws that govern the collective bargain are enforced by the National Labors Relations Board. The National Labors Relations Board (NLRB) is the agency that has the power to determine a union’s validity to be a bargaining vessel and protect the rights of employees. The roles of the NLRB include conduction of elections. This means that the agency provides a legal framework for private employees to organize collective bargaining and determine the dissolution of a labor union through decertification elections. Another role is the investigation of charges. This takes place when violation of the rights of employees, employers or union representatives are filed to a NLRB office challenging unfair labor practices (Ash, Seago, & Spetz, 2014). The third role is the facilitation of settlements. The NLRB advocates for parties to resolve cases through settlements in instances that call for determination of charges. This ensures that both parties avoid the justice system and try to settle out of court. The fourth role is enforcement of orders. Most parties comply with the board’s orders voluntarily while some do not warrant for the agency’s general counsel to seek enforcement from the US Courts of Appeals. The fifth role is the determination of cases. The NLRB has over 40 administrative law judges and a 5-member board, which is appointed by the president and approved by the senate.

It is important to recognize that unions prevent and remedy the unfair labor practices that are committed by private sector organizations and employers (Ash, Seago, & Spetz, 2014). The manager’s role in union organizing is as equally important as the employees’ participation in such events. It is clear that union organization is undertaken for the benefit of the employees and their welfare. The role of the employees is to support their respective labor unions to advocate for their rights and needs. However, the role of a manager in union organizing campaigns is governed by the laws of labor and is monitored by the NLRB. Such roles could vary from one another, and it is evident that the employees have a solid coverage from the NLRB more than the employers.

The roles of a manager in union organizing include telling employees the manner in which a company and the supervisors oppose the labor unification. Another function is trying to dissuade employees from signing unification cards by emphasizing on the law that warrants them to steer clear of joining such unions. The managers also emphasize the benefits employees get from unionized companies and highlight the disadvantages of joining labor unions as the employees will incur losses in terms of initiation fees, payment dues, fines, and assessments, and warn employees of the repercussions for engaging in illegal strikes that might lead to losing their jobs. Managers also urge employees to vote against the labor union by encouraging their fellow workmates to vote against (Ash, Seago, & Spetz, 2014). Finally, they highlight and show any criminal records of a union’s official to its employees. Such roles are undertaken by the management in a legal manner as the failure of the management to mandate its role legally will lead to the labor unions filing unfair labor practice charges against the company through the NLRB.

The role of labor unions in the nursing profession is to merit nurses with better-working conditions for excellent patient-care services. This means that the work of the union is to fight for more staff and better compensation for nurses. According to a research by Johnson and Billingsley (2014), many studies analyze the impact of understaffing and poor compensation that ultimately leads to work dissatisfaction. The study suggests that understaffing leads to overtime and nurses being overwhelmed with work. When the pay is not appealing, it leads to a nurse leaving the job to look for better remuneration. This shows the importance of labor unions that fight for the rights of nurses for better working environments and increase of staff with better pay. Such occurrences insinuate that labor unions assist their members to access better conditions through collective bargaining.

The role of the nurse manager is to ensure that his/her team is well conversed with the labor laws of the industry’s unions. The nurse manager seeks to ensure that as a head of the team, the day to day responsibilities of are fulfilled without fail (Johnson & Billingsley, 2014). The nurse manager determines and emphasizes the importance of labor laws as part of highlighting the pros and cons of the nursing team in joining a labor union. It is, therefore, important for the nurse manager to make sure that the nursing team is well organized in terms of staffing and patient-care service provision for efficient and elaborate service provision. It is also important for the nurse manager to enhance a better working environment for his/her nursing team.


Agrawal, A. K. (2012). Corporate governance objectives of labor union shareholders: Evidence from proxy voting. Review of Financial Studies, 25(1), 187-226.

Ash, M., Seago, J. A., & Spetz, J. (2014). What do health care unions do? A response to Manthous. Medical care, 52(5), 393-397.

Grimshaw, D., Bosch, G., & Rubery, J. (2014). Minimum wages and collective bargaining: What types of pay bargaining can foster positive pay equity outcomes? British Journal of Industrial Relations, 52(3), 470-498.

Jimeno, J. F., & Thomas, C. (2013). Collective bargaining, firm heterogeneity and unemployment. European Economic Review, 59, 63-79.

Johnson, J. E., & Billingsley, M. (2014). Convergence: How nursing unions and magnet are advancing nursing. Nursing forum, 49(4), 225-232.

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