Quote from Testa Rosa, RN
Yes--completely taking away sick leave and making benefits 80/20 for full timers--no benefits for 30hrs or less. Very expensive considering this health care is our industry and considering most nurses are part-timers. Yes, complete and total lies about our pay and we are working to substantiate with fact now-- l can say that RN pay on my unit is 90 - 100K--I'm the least experienced RN there and I make slightly less; yet media states we make over130K. Not even our charge RN with 30+ years makes close to that. While 90K may sound like a lot to people outside the Bay Area--my cost of living is insane. This is lower middle income pay here.
I have it confirmed by the most reliable sources that our facility had 95% RN's walk out yet reports to the media were 65%. Yes, we are fighting for bleach wipes for our Cdiff rooms and Lift teams too--but getting Sutter with a "take it or leave it approach" to negotiate about our contract is an impossibility right now.
YES, I have now seen the head games and lies management spreads first hand--50 RN's made time stamped videos showing they were in the right room at the right time while HR played head games and delayed the meeting for 2 hrs and then moved them to a smaller room. Yet management proceeded to send out emails to staff stating our bargaining team was not there. I plan on going to the next meeting to help support our bargaining nurses now.
ME HA! ...and I used to be anti Union--now I would NEVER EVER work for a Sutter Hospital without the Union having my back. I don't much care for CNA still--but our own bargaining nurses are my freaking HEROS. I've seen a whole unit get decimated where senior, high-quality, pro union RN's were slowly fired one-by-one by a management bully seemingly hired to do this job so these bargaining nurses are putting their careers on the line.
Take it from someone on the inside, What Sutter is doing with Alta Bates goes beyond the pale--it's unethical and unsafe for working RN's and our pts. Today I had a TB pt with no N95 masks anywhere to be found. Poor lady was sick and needed Zofran yet I had to go to another floor to find supplies and felt like I had to sneak those away--sad when a RN who prides herself on ethical behavior resorts to sneaking five N95's from the last box on another unit. And while policy states we are to dispose of masks after one use--what do you think we are actually encouraged to do in real life. How ethical is Sutter being when they can point to their policy yet don't supply the bedside RN?....Just like we punch out and continue charting even tho we aren't supposed to do that either. All sorts of worthless policy and protocol which places RN's in impossible situation at bedside.
Yes, the same can be true at other Hospitals--but at a Sutter facility it just goes beyond what is ethical and right. At my per diem facility I have pressure not to incur OT yet it is understood that sometimes OT happens and you don't have to follow a long and involved process to get permission for 15 extra minutes....and I never, ever have to re-wear a N95 mask....just saying.
Today, I had four total care pts with not one CNA assigned to me. I had to transition a 250lb pt with unsteady gait to BSC with nobody able to help me they were all so maxed out and I had NO lift supplies or time to even use the lift because i was cleaning up the unreconciled MARS the scabs left behind. The bedside at this facility has become unsafe to practice and the management environment is very nurse hostile so we all shut up and put up. The Union is the only one saying "Hey, this is not right." When I go per deim elsewhere it's like a work vacation. Coming back to my regular job feels like descending into nurse Hell. Seriously, I felt like crying in frustration today.
Sutter is squeezing resources at the bedside and feeding it to the board room. They can't do much about our state mandated nursing ratios so they will squeeze us and everything they possibly can around the ratios. I have gone from being apathetic about this to being fighting, stinking mad. Since I plan on running away at the first benefitted op I find, I plan on fighting them to the end. I feel badly about my peers and mentors who have built their careers and friendships around this facility because Sutter Stinks. I am going to take all the wonderful training I got from these hard pressed RN's and run away as fast as I can as soon as I can.
I am totally with you when it comes to safe staffing and nurses having the resources needed to do their jobs. And the "head games and lies" are wrong, although in many cases union leaders play those games just as well (like saying sick pay is being eliminated...I'll get to that). So, I acknowledge Sutter may very well be a crappy company to work for. And, it will come around to bite them in the butt at some point and likely already is.
Let's get real though. When it comes to the strike, it's all about the pay and benefits. The other stuff coming out is to garner support from the public. If the pay and benefits weren't on the table the nurses wouldn't be picketing about supplies, staffing, etc.
When it comes to the nuts and bolts of the strike, you lose my sympathy. More importantly, the public probably doesn't have much sympathy for you either, and this is why:
From what I understand, you are losing sick pay in the technical sense only. If you call in sick, you still will get paid. It's just that now all your paid time off (vaca and sick) is from the same bank. And from what I have heard, your paid time off is pretty generous. Am I wrong about any of this? My sick time has been set up this way since the mid 90's across 3 different careers. I actually like this system better. I don't have to call in sick to get the most of my paid time off, and my employer has people planning their time off instead of calling in sick to use all of it.
Most of your nurses make $90 to 100K a year. And, most of your nurses are part-time. Sounds ok to me! Maybe that's not what you meant. Even at $95K a year in the Bay Area for full-time work isn't bad. I know it doesn't make you rich, but the median household (not individual) income is $70k/year (city-data.com). Looking at glassdoor.com, $90-100k/year is up there with many other professional salaries, including many who don't punch the clock and work way more then 36 hours a week. I see the beginning range for a SF police officer is $88k. As someone looking at moving from my area, I am familiar with several cost-of-living comparison calculators. From looking at those, although I would love to make more, I feel making $90k a year in the Bay Area would be fair.
They want you to pay for 20% of your health benefits? And cut benefits for part-timers? Again, the union needs some perspective. A majority of the public has to pay a share of their benefits. In 25 years of working, both in and out of healthcare, I have always paid a share of mine. Sometimes less sometimes more then 20%. And most part-timers don't get any or the employer doesn't pay nearly as big as share. I'm not arguing this is right or wrong, just that it is what it is.