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Thread: Optician Guild/Union or what ever

  1. #26
    Master OptiBoarder
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    George,
    I greatly respect what you attempted to do in Texas, and appreciate it, and I did all I could to support those efforts as you are aware. You are correct, unless folks can see some benefit they will not seek education. Other fields.......not just ODs many years ago, but Nurses, PTs, NPs, PAs, Dental Hygienists, and every other health-related field have benefited. My research clearly described what the field wanted, and I offered that freely to hopefully improve the field. Unfortunately, it has not been successful, but it is the only path that has been proven time and again.

    I wish you the best, my friend, but we will (as usual) agree to disagree.
    Warren

  2. #27
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    Could you show me the research? As in I truly want to see it. I'd like to do something to make the industry that much better. A coworker of mine speaks very highly of you and suggested I ask your advice.

  3. #28
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    The easiest thing to do is to go to Eye Care Professional Magazine and read my 7-part series on The American Optician. It has been discussed her many, many times by the same old crowd, always with the same old comments......mine included. Google is also your friend. My contact information is on Optiboard and I am always happy to offer whatever advice I can to an aspiring Optician.

  4. #29
    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdarnall View Post
    Step #1) Degree from an accredited school.
    Step #2) Pass legislation to require #1.
    How are you going to convince Opticians to go to school? Why would they go through a 2 year program, for 10 bucks an hour? Even licensed states do not require ANY schooling, you can apprentice in every one of them that I'm aware of. And for that matter, you don't even need to apprentice, just work for a doc under his/her license. So once again, HOW are you going to get Opticians into the classroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by wmcdonald View Post
    George,
    I greatly respect what you attempted to do in Texas, and appreciate it, and I did all I could to support those efforts as you are aware. You are correct, unless folks can see some benefit they will not seek education. Other fields.......not just ODs many years ago, but Nurses, PTs, NPs, PAs, Dental Hygienists, and every other health-related field have benefited. My research clearly described what the field wanted, and I offered that freely to hopefully improve the field. Unfortunately, it has not been successful, but it is the only path that has been proven time and again.

    I wish you the best, my friend, but we will (as usual) agree to disagree.
    Warren
    Warren, you've always been a great friend, to myself, Texas and Opticianry. I truly appreciate all the support and council I got from you during those years. But I'm still waiting on the "how that's going to happen" argument from the "educate then legislate" crowd. As with the above poster, I've yet to hear a plausible way forward with that philosophy.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    The mom and pop small business is being squeezed so badly that the day of the independent optical shop will soon be like a blacksmith. Sure you can find them but they're not going to be in every village.

    A national standard can be created to ensure that "more than a pulse" is answering your eye wear needs questions and abusive practices over employees now have a voice other than their own to represent them.

    State legislatures would be sidelined so nationally recognized standards could be achieved in all 50 states.

    I can see the ophthalmic tech also being a part of us as well.

    The recent movement to organize assistant teachers at colleges should be interesting to follow as I see similarities in their plight.

    Re: national standards and sidelining legislatures
    Agreed

  6. #31
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    The problem with educate and legislate is the word legislate which is synonymous with politicians which is bad news.

  7. #32
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    The car companies sold garbage to the public and ignored that the public wanted quality and would pay for it.

    The government was and is no better. They assisted.

    Look at GM today and tell me the government did their part to protect the public from poor quality garbage being sold to the public and in spite of the deaths they did nothing. Legislate is not the answer.

    Legislature and politicians did nothing to protect the public in British Columbia.

  8. #33
    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
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    The closest thing to a national standard that exists is the ABO and the AOA's CPO tracks. And we all know how effective both of these organizations have been in educating the public on the importance of their respective credentials. (Although, both are more than happy to take your money!) To try and leave the task of national certification/education/consistency to the extremely small hand full of community colleges and trade schools to hash out seems like a non-starter. They're all in it to make their buck as well, and to that end they have their own ideas of what to teach and how to teach it. There is no consistent national educational uniformity currently in existence. So the question remains: how can you legislate something today that doesn't exist? Perhaps at some unknown point in the future, there will be a new paradigm in optical education that leads to some form of national consistency, and greater access for potential dispensers. As for the old argument that opticianry doesn't need more schools because: "Look at Optometry", that apple to oranges comparison doesn't, and shouldn't be made. If a national standard can ever be established and brought to market, and more school locations become available to the population, then a tiny shot at legislation might just be viable. Maybe.

  9. #34
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  10. #35
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    If my experiences and observations are any indication of reality, you will not ever fix opticianry. It does not want to be fixed. It will linger on and die a slow death. With few exceptions, opticians want to be able to do and know the absolute minimum to get paid. The exceptions tend to become ABOMs, or open their own businesses (or both). Most grumble on Optiboard about the sad state of affairs until they realize the truth about opticianry. Many of us who don't own our own businesses eventually look to other career fields. Good luck.

  11. #36
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    Back to the grindstone…

    I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

    I think we’re shoveling sand against the tide when we think we can mandate education unless it is directly tied to a pay scale.
    I see a union being especially helpful for those working in chains (pun intended) for $10 an hour.

    The elephant in the room is that corporations only want one thing out of their employees- sales! And large chains are where the entry level jobs (and future opticians) in opticianry are right now. Let the apprentice work for something above that low wage that a union’s bargaining power would get but also give her the hope that the pay will substantially increase with the education and experience.

    Independent opticals and OD/MD practices would not be affected as they would not necessarily hire a union optician. Or they could hire at a lower wage as a nonunion shop. How many of us will weep at the chains increased costs?

    When a critical mass is reached in non-licensed states I would predict a rush by those legislatures to require a license and the yearly fee that comes with it. Tah Dah- required education.

    As things stand now we’ll continue to watch the corporate tide wash away any barrier we put up to protect and educate the profession.

  12. #37
    Chemistrie Eyewear
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    There is a group of ODs attempting to form a union to negotiate with managed care providers.

    http://www.theaado.org/

    Different concept but interesting none the less.

  13. #38
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Zewe View Post
    There is a group of ODs attempting to form a union to negotiate with managed care providers.

    http://www.theaado.org/

    Different concept but interesting none the less.
    From their website:

    "Fund a multi-year, nationwide, public relations campaign to change the public perception of optometrists from the doctors that they go to for their "glasses and contact lenses" to the doctors they think about and go to for the care and treatment of all their eye problems. Advertising will emphasize that Doctors of Optometry are the primary providers of medical eye care in the United States, and treat virtually all non-surgical injuries and diseases of the eye and surrounding tissues.

    Looks like opticians aren't the only ones working on branding...
    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

  14. #39
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    Good point, Johns. The problem we have in branding........we are so different across borders in licensed states, and vastly different in regions around the country even in those unlicensed. To develop a solid, coherent brand, we must have some level of similarity in background, training and education like the ODs. I guess it can be done, because many are determined to do it, but I must wonder about the outcomes. I sure hope they are correct and it helps.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johns View Post
    From their website:

    "Fund a multi-year, nationwide, public relations campaign to change the public perception of optometrists from the doctors that they go to for their "glasses and contact lenses" to the doctors they think about and go to for the care and treatment of all their eye problems. Advertising will emphasize that Doctors of Optometry are the primary providers of medical eye care in the United States, and treat virtually all non-surgical injuries and diseases of the eye and surrounding tissues.

    Looks like opticians aren't the only ones working on branding...
    Here's how us opticians in Canada have branded in the past.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IHKsn2zpGM

    Regards,
    Golfnorth

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johns View Post
    So, here's another article from the battling pundits. Talk to (former) union workers, and the stories are plenty. "Slumber rooms" with cots for workers to sleep off a buzz while on the clock, work stoppages because a small part needed to be moved, but assembly worker were not allowed to touch it, due to their job description. Yes, I agree with the article that the quality went down, but you can't build a quality product and maintain profits, with an inefficient work force and a bloated payroll. I know I can't.
    So we play the player.

    And advancing your education is required to get ahead in the big boys chains.

    Where's your business' downside?

    (I like my pundits article better for the facts it lays out. But then again I don't see opticianry being comparable to the UAW.)
    Last edited by Uncle Fester; 09-30-2014 at 09:01 AM.

  17. #42
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    [QUOTE=Uncle Fester;493819
    . But then again I don't see opticianry being comparable to the UAW.) [/QUOTE]

    No union is comparable to opticianry! That's why I was wondering why the UAW was introduced to the thread in post #12. You're right...there is no comparison. So we shouldn't...
    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

  18. #43
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    So why not start with a rebranding? There is YouTube and other sites now that can help with this. If awareness is raised then demand could push for what we are looking for. Also it would be seen by legislators and that may not be a bad thing, at worst they ignore it.
    I know it would not be an overnight thing I honestly think 5 years would be amazingly quick for something like this, more like 10. But why not?

  19. #44
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    +1 If a cool informational article could be written about ABO certified opticians it could be posted and reposted on every certified opticians facebook page and seen by millions!

  20. #45
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    I'd throw it on my face book in a heartbeat!

  21. #46
    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boldt View Post
    So why not start with a rebranding? There is YouTube and other sites now that can help with this. If awareness is raised then demand could push for what we are looking for. Also it would be seen by legislators and that may not be a bad thing, at worst they ignore it.
    I know it would not be an overnight thing I honestly think 5 years would be amazingly quick for something like this, more like 10. But why not?
    Then you will throw the curtain back to expose us for what we are..... NOT what the public already thinks they know about us. A study in NY a number of years ago showed the public has the impression that we have at minimum of a bachelor's degree (80 some odd percentage believes this..!)

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
    Then you will throw the curtain back to expose us for what we are..... NOT what the public already thinks they know about us. A study in NY a number of years ago showed the public has the impression that we have at minimum of a bachelor's degree (80 some odd percentage believes this..!)
    We could put a positive spin on what the test does test for and the topics that must be studied in order to pass the test

  23. #48
    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Are you talking about the basic ABO test? That has been dumbed down for the last 20 years just to keep a 55% pass rate? It would take a lot of spin to make that positive...

  24. #49
    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
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    The biggest problem with the licenced/non-licenced/ABO/ABOA/ABOM/NCLE/NCLEA/CPO/CPOA/CPOT/COA/COT/COMT/CCOA/ROUB/CDOS....etc, is that there is often much overlap, and most of the time, the public doesn't know/understand/care about the differences in what exists already.

    To many, a tech is a tech, and a frame stylist is a stylist. They are most interested if you can explain what they can get covered for their "free" VSP/EyeMed glasses, or manage to get them back to the doctor without having to do the dreaded "puffer" eye check, or dilate their eyes during the exam. The public's guess at required education seems dubious at best, and I would further venture a guess that were more people across the entire US were queried, the perception might be rather different. Who knows.

    It strikes me that there are really only two types of people in the doctors office that the public generally understands: The doctors, and the 'everything else people'. There is a massive amount of education that would need to take place, at a truly astronomical cost I would expect, to even break the surface of public awareness - let alone attempt to change buying habits (less online in favor of better quality from B&M shops etc)

    Could all this realistically be done with YouTube?

  25. #50
    Master OptiBoarder tx11's Avatar
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    Still... it is a starting point. Most, if not all, have studied the "Blue Bible" or something like to prep for the Basic ABO. We would not have to mention anything about degrees just the subject matter needed to prep for the test even though some of that may now be tested on the AC test. The 3 levels could be mentioned too. Positive...Positive... ITS A START

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