Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Bargaining Power of Health Care Unions: Union Wage Premiums for Registered Nurses in Hospitals

Coombs, Christopher and Newman, Robert and Cebula, Richard and White, Mary (2013): The Bargaining Power of Health Care Unions: Union Wage Premiums for Registered Nurses in Hospitals.

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Abstract

For the first time in its history, the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses in 2008 includes a question involving union status. This study utilizes the data from this sample to estimate the union/non-union wage premium for registered nurses and among some of the occupational, workplace, and individual characteristics. The study finds that standard union wage premium estimates for registered nurses are relatively larger than what were revealed in other recent studies. Upon inspection of various characteristics of registered nurses, the study finds a positive wage gap for union nurses only as experience increases; and with respect to characteristics of the workplace, there is no statistical evidence in the sample that suggests a wage gap for registered nurses in the public or private sector. Finally, a positive wage gap is found for union nurses working in hospitals. The lattermost finding is particularly interesting given the recent change in labor law that may have influenced the bargaining power of health care unions.

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