CNA set to strike at Oakland Children's Hospital - page 2
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... Read More
Oct 23, '10 by nicurn001Quote from kuryakyni will continue to wait for a viable alternative to unionization , to be offered by anti union contributors , but from the evidence of past request for these i don't expect a viable response .the option of moving jobs is always there. one does what one has to in order to care for theirselves and family. i wouldn't hesitate to leave a hospital like the one in the article. how much was their pay cut? how much had the union inflated their pay? i left the first hospital i worked at after nursing school due to the incoming new nurses making more than i was after 3 yrs of employment. i left the hospital and moved 3 hrs north for another job with family in tow. love where i am now and never had to go on strike or pay dues. not everyone is able to move to another job , for example as in the present economy , if someone was to need to sell their house it may be far enough under water the propective jobs are no longer a viable option . some may live in the middle of nowere with no nearby alternate employer and with the gravity of generational family roots in an area , they may not wish to move ,. as at present coming by another job may be so hardthat geting another job is not a viable option ( look at all the other contributions upon various threads , of nurses being unable to find a job anywhere ) etc....so the option to move is not always there .that is the reason why i asked for a viable alternate course of action to change managements actions , other than joining a union , yet again its a strike out , you who oppose unions have no real alternate except run with your tails between your legs to another job were it is equally possible that your new employer could be better or worse than your previous employer ,but heaven forbid that you should consider joining a union, rather than continue to be sc****d by your employers .
in the situation you describe , re .why you didn't need a union , you would not have been earning less than new employees because the pay scale would have rewarded your loyalty to your employer by annual increases related to your seniority . whilst your professional developement would have been rewarded by the clinical ladder , so if you take classes etc.your continued educational efforts would be rewarded . you may not have gone on strike and saved paying dues , but you probably incurred greater costs in the moving expenses , even taking into any potential tax write off for those expenses .
to chico; its quite intersting how you always like to indicate that an anti union nurse on this forum is a spy or otherwise. not now nor ever have i been anything other than a rn. not a schill or spy. i work in a rtw state that has very minimal union influence in the healthcare arena and will probably continue that way. unions aren't the only answer. unions are for automatons who like others to speak for them and also pay them to do it!
Oct 23, '10 by GQGomerWell, as it stands now, without unions for nurses, nurses have no job security, put up with LOTS of crap, and also since most nurses work for privately-owned entities, no gubment bennies (such as guaranteed retirement pension after 20 yrs - 401k that most private workers have is good as only a tax shelter). Yep, nurses just get stuck paying the taxes to pay for all those gubby workers and their pensions and other bennies.
Oct 23, '10 by Chico David RNQuote from Ratchett the HatchetI just want to offer an alternative point of view here on public sector workers.Well, as it stands now, without unions for nurses, nurses have no job security, put up with LOTS of crap, and also since most nurses work for privately-owned entities, no gubment bennies (such as guaranteed retirement pension after 20 yrs - 401k that most private workers have is good as only a tax shelter). Yep, nurses just get stuck paying the taxes to pay for all those gubby workers and their pensions and other bennies.
Here's a link to an article reporting a brand new study on public sector compensation.
Public workers highly paid? Not exactly
The gist of it: That when education levels and total compensation are figured into the picture, public workers are compensated about the same as private sector workers.
But there's a larger point: The big business folks - the Chamber of Commerce and the big banks and the Meg Whitmans of the world have a vision for the future. That vision is a world where no worker has any job security, no worker has any health care security, no worker has any retirement security. It's a world where unions have been squashed and where every working family is kept so deep in debt that they live in fear - and the fear keeps them very obedient on the job. It's a world where American workers have to compete with workers in India and Kenya and Vietnam to see who will do the job for the lowest pay. And they've made big progress in getting to where they want to go. They've drastically cut union membership, they've de-coupled wages from productivity, tripled the share of national income that goes to the wealthiest one-percent.
A big part of their strategy in reaching their perfect world is to turn workers against each other. They really want you to believe that if you aren't doing as well as you used to, you should blame some other worker for it. Or someone even poorer than you - don't blame the hedge fund managers who wrecked the economy, don't blame the CEO who makes 400 times the salary of the average worker, don't blame the politicians of both parties who enable them all. Oh no mustn't blame them - that would be "class warfare". Instead, we should blame the poor single mom on welfare, or immigrants trying to survive, or hard working cops and firefighters and teachers.
The only way we are going to turn this around is for workers to learn to stand together and support each other and start placing the blame where it belongs: on the people with the power, the people with the money, the people who make millions for shuffling paper while people who do the real work sink deeper into poverty.
end of rant.
Oct 24, '10 by lindarnI have believed for a long time, that if nurses were to shift their employment status from employee, to Independant Contractor, like doctors and PT has, it would solve many of the inequities. When one works as an Independant Contractor, you write a contract that covers pay, working conditions, benefits, etc. If they decide to fire you, then they pay your contract for the remaining time left. Just like foot ball and baseball players.
Even the playing field.
JMHO and my NY $0.02.
Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
Somewhere in the PACNW
Oct 24, '10 by nicurn001lindarn would you then have the servies of an agent as those sportsmen do to negotiate your contract ( thereby removing you from direct negotiations and into the camp of someone [ the agent ] , who has a vested interest in you getting better pay and conditions , as it will reflect upon their own compensation ; negotiating on an individual basis ( with little or no knowledge of any one elses contract , which would probably lead to a race to the bottom pay wise ; or would the services of an agency be used to creat a pool of nurses working / negotiating together to formulate an agred upon contract to cover them all ?.
In some ways your idea has merit , but , I believe that management would be able to use ths model as a means to divide nurses and thereby drive their pay and conditions down .
Oct 30, '10 by KuryakynQuote from nicurn001Why didn't I need a union??? Because I wouldn't want to keep working for an employer who would treat their employees that way. I don't want some entity to come in and "try" to force their cooperation especially if I'm having to pay for the service. I moved myself and my family and now work in a great institution free of any union. As far as clinical ladders and loyalty go, those are concepts that protect the lazy from losing their jobs. I personally prefer performance based raises. A nurse shouldn't get a raise simply because they stayed in their current position for another year! I get education reimbursement without a union and always have, so I don't see the need there either. If being union means paying to work, possibility of striking, senority based system, having my dues support political parties, no thanks, I'll pass. With regard to a viable option to unions, just say no! You all are so blinded by union rhetoric that you can't seem to see any other way of making change other than to pay soem organization to try and do it for you. If unions were as great as they are portrayed here, there would be far more nurses in unions than we have currently........I will continue to wait for a viable alternative to unionization , to be offered by anti union contributors , but from the evidence of past request for these I don't expect a viable response .
Oct 30, '10 by herring_RN Guidei'm glad patients at our hospital have nurses who organized for safe staffing and patient advocacy.
the managers who cut 50% of the rns and pharmacists replacing them with unlicensed personnel have gone away.
the 30+ year rns and younger nurses welcomed into our family do all we can to provide the safe, effective patient care we became nurses to provide.
we have a patient care committee to improve patient care. nursing management responds to recommendations of the committee in writing. they are unlikely to put in writing any illegal policies.
and in california acute care hospitals if it is unsafe it is also illegal thanks to cna sponsored legislation tens of thousands of nurses worked for 12 years to achieve.
Nov 18, '10 by nicurn001Thought 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).
Nov 20, '10 by ominousbut 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.
Nov 20, '10 by nicurn001i 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.
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 ).
Nov 20, '10 by ominousI, 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
Nov 20, '10 by nicurn001Ominous 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 .
Nov 20, '10 by herring_RN GuideMany 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....