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The Role of Human Resource Management in a Healthcare System with Employee Unions - Research Paper Example

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Many healthcare systems worldwide have begun focusing their attention on human resource management (HRM) (Anderson, Rice and Kominski, 2007). Employee unions in the U.S grew from 1950 to 1970 during which industrialization was at its peak. …
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The Role of Human Resource Management in a Healthcare System with Employee Unions
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Download file to see previous pages Employee unions in the U.S grew from 1950 to 1970 during which industrialization was at its peak (Shi and Singh, 2008). Towards the end of 1980s and 1990s, Malvey (2010) believes there was a change in this trend because the U.S economy was taking a different direction of production; from manufacturing industries to service industries, hence the decline in the number of workers registered under unions. This research paper presents the role played by HR management in improving the general delivery of healthcare services and patient outcomes in organizations that have employee unions. Methods This research paper was compiled with help from published literature. Data collection was through secondary sources. Results This paper is expected to reveal the role played by HR management in organizations that have employee unions and health organizations in general. The Role of HR Management in a Healthcare System with Employee Unions This section describes the specific work areas in which the roles of HR management are integrated to ensure that these aspects are taken into consideration during any organizational activity. Labor Unions and Healthcare Labor unions have one major objective: to protect the rights of the members and ensure their fair treatment (Dessler, 2012). The early 1990s saw a rise in unions due to industrialization and persistent unfair employee treatment by the management in the U.S. According to Dessler (2012, p. 404), the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was passed in 1935 and it protected workers’ rights to formation of unions, defined labor practices that were unfair and formed the National Labor Relations Board liable for NLRA regulatory oversight. A shift in the U.S economy from manufacturing to service during the 1980s and 1990s saw a decline in union membership following a remarkable rise that saw 25% of the U.S workforce represented by unions between 1950 and 1970 (Malvey, 2010). Healthcare industry is a target service sector by union leaders for they feel it is an untapped potential union membership source. According to Malvey (2010), the healthcare sector had 12.9% of its workers registered under unions in the year 2000, a percentage that rose in 2009 to 13.6%. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) formed a separate union in 2007, SEIU Healthcare, which happens to be the largest national union (Dessler, 2012). This union represents nursing, hospital, long-term care and other outpatient facilities while those representing physicians are associated with SEIU. The largest union of nurses sin the United States is the National Nurses United (NNU) which was formed when three unions, the United American Nurses, the California Nurses Association, and the National Nurses Organizing Committee, merged and it represents an estimated 150,000 members (Dessler, 2012). The role played by the HR department and management is to engage in labor negotiations with these labor unions in order to provide employee ample time and place for work. Handling of Legal, Ethical, and Healthcare Safety Issues In all organizations all employees at different levels must understand the basic and ethical values that have particular effects in the healthcare working environment (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, and Wright, 2011). The legal relationship that exists between the healthcare institution and the client, or rather the nurse practitioner and the patient is the back-bone relationship of all medicares. It is not just the law’s requirement that healthcare providers maintain ethical behaviors but this must be addressed as the medical industry is full of tough situations that involve ethical problems. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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