Research suggests unionised workers earn more

Unionised workers have been observed to work fewer hours and earn more money along with better non cash-cash benefits according to a new study in the US.


A new study has found that unionised healthcare workers in the United States work fewer hours and make more money while receiving superior non-cash benefits. The study analysed data from over 14,000 healthcare workers between 2009 and 2021 and found that unionisation rates were low, at an overall prevalence of 13.2%. However, unionised workers reported earning an additional $123 per week and had better benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans compared to non-unionized workers.

According to Ahmed Ahmed, a fourth-year medical student at Havard Medical School and first author of the study, the associated benefits of unionization are striking but not surprising. “Unions collectively bargain for their members, which appears to improve employee compensation and pay gaps between workers,” he said.

The researchers noted that further analysis is needed to fully understand the relationship between unionisation and worker conditions. The impact of unionisation on burnout among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic should also be investigated, according to the study.

Union membership has been shown to improve worker conditions in some industries, but little is known about the effects of unionisation on healthcare workers. The study aimed to examine the prevalence of unionisation among healthcare workers and its associations with pay, benefits, and work hours. The study used data from the US Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which allowed for a nationally representative sample of healthcare workers.

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