CNA set to strike at Oakland Children's Hospital - page 3

by Kuryakyn

6,116 Views | 27 Comments

As usual, the cna is again about to have their nurses at the childrens hospital in Oakland walk out and abandon patients over an increase in insurance premiums! The nurses at this particular hospital make an average of $136,000... Read More


  1. 4
    Thought I would give the ANTI Union crowd a while to formulate a response to my request for them to come up with a viable alternate course of action , other than changeing jobs to an employer such as the Washington one referenced earlier , but the silence from them is very illuminating , perhaps they have NO solution , other than turning tail and fleeing a bad employer , while continuing to say that nurses should not join unions , because nurses are all strong enough to face up individually to their employers. Seems to me that if nurses don't join unions the anti's are saying follow our example and keep running from bad employers till you hopefully find a good one at the end of a rainbow .
    Kuryakyn , your last response on this thread was simply an iteration of the reasons you do not wish to join a union , thats OK , but it in no way answerred the question of how to change a bad employers actions through individual actions , rather than in the security of a collective bargaining agreement ( contract that defines the behaviour the employer is accountable to).
  2. 0
    but it in no way answerred the question of how to change a bad employers actions through individual actions , rather than in the security of a collective bargaining agreement ( contract that defines the behaviour the employer is accountable to).


    i have no desire to try and change the way an institution behaves if it cant be done through shared governanace and individual action. the contracts you speak of really have no teeth in that contract negotiations can go for long periods of time with no considerable result. you can bet that i would rather be anywhere than with an employer that treats me in a substandard way. there's always another hospital. that's the great thing about healthcare, an abundance of jobs.
  3. 2
    i have no desire to try and change the way an institution behaves if it cant be done through shared governanace and individual action. the contracts you speak of really have no teeth in that contract negotiations can go for long periods of time with no considerable result. you can bet that i would rather be anywhere than with an employer that treats me in a substandard way. there's always another hospital. that's the great thing about healthcare, an abundance of jobs.
    [/quote]

    so the only answer offered as an alternative to unionization , is turn tail and flee a bad employee ?!,where is the individual strenght so often referenced by anti unionist as a reason for not needing to vote in a union ?.
    the contract certainly has more teeth in it than individual action or self governance commitee( which when they get too stong/independent for managements liking , get closed down [ as happened at our facility]).
    contracts may take a time to negotiate ( that gives the lie to neutrality agreements being created because management wants the nurses to join a union , if that was so a contract would readily be accepted by that self same management !), but once in place and used by the nurses at the facility, form a framework management is accountable to .for example by using the contract , to enforce labor laws we have break nurses to cover us at all breaks ( it became more expensive for the hospital to pay the nurses for missed breaks ( who were filling ado's / grievances re. missed breaks) than to cover the breaks with nursing staff .
    there is not always an alternate employer nearby ( think rural areas ),also it may not be possible to move to those alternate employers ( you may have to try to sell your home , at a loss in this present economic climate )and you may well be bailing from one bad employer to another ( you may check out the future employer , think it good , but when you work there find you or it is a bad fit ).
    lindarn and herring_RN like this.
  4. 0
    I, I feel that it is a better option than unionizing my hospital. Unions may have their place in the world but it shouldn't be in healthcare. I'm sorry but there is always an option. As a fellow healthcare worker, I would rather leave a hospital to find work than be involved in a union. I'm very glad to live in a RTW state where union dues will never be mandatory and neither will joining the union. I know, I know, its right to work for less state. But guess what, this is where i live and have many colleagues who feel the same way
  5. 3
    Ominous et al ( who do not feel the need to unionize ) I accept your right to the opinion , but I always come to this impass , what is the answer to a bad , intransigent employer . Nurses who don't like unions suggest Nurses are strong individuals ( which is true in some cases ) who can stand up to management without fear of the consequences ( unfortunately usually with poor outcome to that nurse ), or selfgovernance commitees ( which although bettter than nothing , are only as effective as management allows and can dissapear just as quickly as they appeared with a change in managements ethos ).
    I can't understand why is it that these strong individuals and the nurses they advise can face up to management , but quake at the knees at the possibility of being unionized .If they lose the vote ,why not work within the duly elected union to change those things they don't like about the union .
    Have you ever actually worked in a unionized hospital , I have worked in both union and non union hospitals and have found better to work in the enviroment where management is not constantly making changes on a whim and not knowing from one shift to the next shift ( in times of management percieved crisis) whether my employment will be terminated ( and no it doesn't matter how good a nurse you are , in the non union hospital your position is dependant upon what influence you have with those in power ), prior to unionization we had some excellent nurses terminated ( most likely because they were expensive , certainly not because of their nursing skills / educational levels.
    Bottom line , while we are all free to have an opinion as to whether or not to join a union , those opposed to unions offer no viable action , that may be taken by nurses to change bad management , other than turning tail and fleeing to another employer who may or may not be better than their present employer .
    Chico David RN, lindarn, and herring_RN like this.
  6. 2
    Many nurses have a loyalty to the health of their community.
    The minimum core is nurses’ ability to provide safe, effective, therapeutic patient care to patients and families with compassion.
    It includes health and safety standards for everyone. No letting our hospitals burn IV bags thus releasing the carcinogen Dioxin into our air.

    In the early nineties our union PPC committee recommended that every room have a supply of gloves and a sharps container. We were told, “It is not in the budget.” Yet we were told not to recap syringes. WE TOGETHER wrote a letter and a group of us went to the administration offices with 100% of the RNs and most LVNs, CNAs, phlebotomists, and physicians signatures. Then we held a press conference.
    Within a week there was a sharps container and box of gloves at each bedside.

    Could one nurse accomplish that? I’m talking twenty years ago.
    Since then WE together achieved safe staffing by acuity of which the ratio is the minimum, whistleblower protection with fines, and other protections for our patients.
    Yes we have to work to keep safe staffing because the hospital union (CHA and AHA) is determined to keep decision making from nurses.

    Patients are hospitalized for one reason – they need nursing care.

    …"If Children's Hospital Oakland cuts nurses' health benefits, many will choose to work elsewhere," said Martha Kuhl, RN, an oncology nurse at the facility.
    "Our patients deserve the best health care and so do we. As hard as these cost-shifting proposals will be for nurses, it will be even worse for other workers at the Hospital who are less able to afford these cuts."
    Children's concession demands are proposed in bargaining for a new contract. The hospital wants to dramatically increase costs for the existing health plans in an effort to steer everyone into a single substandard plan, the nurses say.

    "Children's has been badly mismanaged for years," said Kuhl. "It's disgraceful that the hospital executives would penalize the nurses and other employees by seeking to severely reduce health coverage for our families to pay for their own extremely poor management decisions."
    Among the many failed hospital operating decisions, the nurses cited:

    • The struggling endeavors to build outpatient facilities in Modesto and Walnut Creek, spending millions in taxpayer bond money and draining facility resources;
    • The ill-conceived, losing, and expensive effort to push a parcel tax for the facility past the voters of Alameda County without community input;
    • The $1.2 million plus lifetime health benefits golden parachute given to ousted short-term CEO Frank Teidemann responsible for both the outpatient ventures and the parcel tax;
    • The lack of strategic planning for operations to respond to trends in healthcare and effectively manage available staff resources.
    • Failure to provide adequate training to nurses to meet the basic needs of patients.

    "The only real option is for the hospital to develop a transparent plan with all public and private stakeholders to overcome these years of failure. Reducing health benefits for nurses will not benefit the hospital in the long run," Kuhl continued….

    http://www.calnurses.org/media-cente...s.html?print=t
    Chico David RN and lindarn like this.
  7. 0
    It has nothing to do with quaking at the knees!! LOL!!! Unions don't scare me, its all the other stuff that comes with them. Senority based system(I've been here for 11yrs), dues, dues being used to advance political parties, strikes, no guarantee that they can come across with whats promised, etc...
  8. 4
    Quote from ominous
    it has nothing to do with quaking at the knees!! lol!!!i believe you , but some whilst extolling the pwer of the individual nurse , then say that nurses are too weak to go through the canvassing that occurs during a union recruitment process ( hence the quaking at knees comment ) unions don't scare me, its all the other stuff that comes with them. senority based system(i've been here for 11yrs), dues, dues being used to advance political parties, strikes, no guarantee that they can come across with whats promised, etc...
    seniority benefits employers by reducing recruitment / retention costs , as staff know their compensation will grow with the passage of time and not drop below what new employees are paid . keeping up educationally is rewarded by a clinical ladder.the euthamistically named merit system is simply a modern version of a monarchial tutelage system whereby those who jump to the leaders whims are favored .
    i view my dues as i do insurance . in this case i am insuring that my employer doesn't change the terms of my employment at whim , that they cannot fire me without just cause and that if i need support or we the nurses feel change is necessary we can speak as a group rather than individually , as in the example herring gave above .
    i feel unfortunately in all democracies there are parties that either support those with money / power or labor , it is much better that the union supports those who support policies beneficial to employees . sure as anything management supports their advocates with money that could be used for the benefit of the staff and patients they have .so while i understand your point , until / unless we find another way to finance our political parties i would much rather the money goes to those favorable to policies , beneficial to labor .
    strikes occur when there is an impass between the two sides , after a vote of the nurses have occurred . so it is not the sole responsibility of the union that a strike occurs . the nurses to vote for a strike must feel their managment is not prepared to negotiate in good faith and that the problem is great enough for them to strike ( no nurse myself included likes to strike , in my 30 years in nursing i have not had to strike ).
    there are no guarantee's in life , the union is not a dismbodied entity it is the members , so if they remain a cohesive group management will have to come to them in a contract benificial to both sides , if the members are disunited then they will get little / nothing .
    ominous you didn't say whether you have worked in a union facility ?. i try to balance my support of unions with my knowledge of working in a non union enviroment , i accept there are problems for some in union membership , but these are far less than being at the mercy of a bad employer .
    Chico David RN, laborer, lindarn, and 1 other like this.


Top