Replacement-Nurse Company: Undermines Progress

  1. FYI, here's the posting on the web site of U.S. Nursing Corp., which supplies replacement workers, including RNs, to employers during strikes, that is now seeking replacement RNs for the ongoing strike in NJ at the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. Yes, the workers have a legal right to work and they have families to feed, but with the supposed nursing shortage, why must they benefit to the tune of $60/hr plus travel, housing AND bonuses, all while undermining the progress of RNs to earn greater respect and pay in the workplace, which can lead to better nurse-patient ratios and improved patient care. I think it's unforgivable what they're doing....

    http://www.usnursing.com/nurses_pos_current.shtml
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  2. 51 Comments

  3. by   catlady
    How do you expect your patients to receive care when you're not there? Do you really think the managers can handle the patient load? If it's really about patient care, you'll be grateful someone's caring for your patients.

    Eventually the expense of the replacement workers is going to strain your employer and they will need to talk to you. But what did you expect when you went out on strike? That the mere mention of a strike would make the management fold?
  4. by   nyforlove
    Quote from catlady
    How do you expect your patients to receive care when you're not there? Do you really think the managers can handle the patient load? If it's really about patient care, you'll be grateful someone's caring for your patients.

    Eventually the expense of the replacement workers is going to strain your employer and they will need to talk to you. But what did you expect when you went out on strike? That the mere mention of a strike would make the management fold?
    Without the replacements benefitting from the strikers' suffering, the hospital would rightfully have to stop new elective surgeries...I'm not saying the strikers should leave on the spot if an emergency exists, but it seems that RWJ would like permanent replacements, which hurts the progress of all nurses nationwide....I support the striking nurses and feel that the opportunitstic behavior of these replacements may one day come back to haunt them when they realize the role they played in keeping the nursing profession down.
  5. by   catlady
    <shrug> You're entitled to your opinion. I don't agree. I've seen strikers do a lot of harm.
  6. by   NurseyBaby'05
    When they chose to strike, did they think the hospital would just close it's doors? You don't get to dictate how things are run in your absence. As for these "opportunistic" replacements, they don't get to dictate how things are run either. They're there to do a job that other nurses walked out of. As for the suffering strikers, they chose to walk off the job. Many union contracts have a no strike clause to prevent this kind of nonsense and still manage to negotiate a contract that is acceptable to all sides. The union at my hospital is an example.
  7. by   nyforlove
    Quote from NurseyBaby'05
    When they chose to strike, did they think the hospital would just close it's doors? You don't get to dictate how things are run in your absence. As for these "opportunistic" replacements, they don't get to dictate how things are run either. They're there to do a job that other nurses walked out of. As for the suffering strikers, they chose to walk off the job. Many union contracts have a no strike clause to prevent this kind of nonsense and still manage to negotiate a contract that is acceptable to all sides. The union at my hospital is an example.
    I'm not trying to dictate what the hospital does--they have a right to try to operate and the replacements have a right to work...I'm expressing my opinion, which is that these replacement nurses are benefitting in the short-term by undermining long-term progress for all nurses nationally and I don't hold them in high regard...If we are to succeed as a profession, we must be unified---the patients at the struck hospital can easily be treated at other institutions...As for a "no-strike" clause, when the contract expires, there has to be a right-to-strike or the hospital has no incentive to settle...I'm not here to claim that Unions are all good, but it really bothers me how these replacements are making out like bandits--earning more than they otherwise could--by hampering the chances of all nurses progressing nationally.
  8. by   catlady
    Quote from nyforlove
    I'm not trying to dictate what the hospital does--they have a right to try to operate and the replacements have a right to work...I'm expressing my opinion, which is that these replacement nurses are benefitting in the short-term by undermining long-term progress for all nurses nationally and I don't hold them in high regard...If we are to succeed as a profession, we must be unified---the patients at the struck hospital can easily be treated at other institutions...As for a "no-strike" clause, when the contract expires, there has to be a right-to-strike or the hospital has no incentive to settle...I'm not here to claim that Unions are all good, but it really bothers me how these replacements are making out like bandits--earning more than they otherwise could--by hampering the chances of all nurses progressing nationally.
    If it were that easy for them to go to another hospital, they'd have gone there, first. Then the other hospital would have to pony up staff to take care of them, probably agency nurses.

    What's really bothering you--that there are replacement nurses or that they're making a good living? Should they work for nothing? They're flying in on short notice, going into a hostile environment, with absolutely no core staff to orient them, probably enduring catcalls and taunts from the folks on the picket lines, working ridiculously long hours, running the potential of their assignment being cancelled at any moment, and they should make nothing?

    And no, before you ask, I've never worked as a replacement nurse.
  9. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Not only that, but you wonder what the working conditions are like to begin with at the facility. If the staff felt the need to unionize in the first place, they were probably not so good. They can't be getting any better with this other stuff going on. The nurses coming in to a bad situation should be getting premium wages. If the hospital is too cheap to pay their own employees a premium wage, what are these people suppossed to do? Volunteer and work for free? Have you signed up to work out of the goodness of your heart? At the end of the day I know who has my back, it's me. Not other nurses, not management and not union reps. Sure they all like to blow smoke up certain orifices about what all they do for me, but we all know that's simply not true.
    Last edit by NurseyBaby'05 on Sep 8, '06
  10. by   fedupnurse
    Nurses don't choose to go on strike. I know, I have been there. We are forced to fight for what is fair by a group of greedy business executives who couldn't care less about the patients who are caught in the middle. Unions have to give a 10 day strike notice and the purpose of that is so that the hospital can make decisions regarding closing units, cancelling surgeries, etc. When hospitals choose to continue with business as usual, blame the executives making those decisions. I would never allow anyone I care about to be in a health facility that is on strike. My uncle was a patient in my hospital around the time we went on strike. When we gave our 10 day notice I met with his doctors and said you either fix him before the date of the deadline or transfer him to another hospital and I made the arrangments for him to go to that other hospital. Had a doc lined up, etc. I think the point of the original post is the usual saga of how nurses don't stick together. Here we have a strong group of nurses at RWJ tired of getting worse healthcare choices that charity care patients in NJ and there is another subgroup of our profession willing to undermine their efforts because they are going for the big bucks. If every nurse said no to crossing picket lines this wouldn't be an issue. If hospitals knew agencies like US Nursing Corp did not exist they would have no choice but to bargain in good faith. No one on a picket line enjoys it or takes it lightly. It is heatrt breaking. But if we cave to these business executives who are only looking at the bottom line how much worse will patient care conditions continue to become when these executives know there will always be someone willing to cross that line???
    Last edit by fedupnurse on Sep 9, '06
  11. by   clcrtrn
    Quote from catlady
    How do you expect your patients to receive care when you're not there? Do you really think the managers can handle the patient load? If it's really about patient care, you'll be grateful someone's caring for your patients.

    Eventually the expense of the replacement workers is going to strain your employer and they will need to talk to you. But what did you expect when you went out on strike? That the mere mention of a strike would make the management fold?
    Administration is completely to blame for the current situation. They pushed us to a strike thinking that we would not remain united and instead, accept the healthcare plan as poor as it was. During the last couple of meetings between the hospital and the union, the hospital adamently refused to talk. At the last meeting, administration walked in and walked out-literally. They have refused to bargain in good faith from the begining.

    We have always maintained that we want to get back to the patients and repeatedly asked the hospital to come to the table, negotiate and put and end to the strike. They have consistently refused. THEY are the reason the strike is lasting as long as it is. THEY continually refuse to talk. THEY are putting the patients at risk.
  12. by   nyforlove
    Quote from catlady
    If it were that easy for them to go to another hospital, they'd have gone there, first. Then the other hospital would have to pony up staff to take care of them, probably agency nurses.

    What's really bothering you--that there are replacement nurses or that they're making a good living? Should they work for nothing? They're flying in on short notice, going into a hostile environment, with absolutely no core staff to orient them, probably enduring catcalls and taunts from the folks on the picket lines, working ridiculously long hours, running the potential of their assignment being cancelled at any moment, and they should make nothing?

    And no, before you ask, I've never worked as a replacement nurse.
    As I said several times, with the supposed nursing shortage, there seems no reason for the replacements to work at the struck hospital for premium wages--That IS what bothers me---that the hospital finds it in its interest to pay an inflated wage solely to defeat the progress of nurses as a profession---and that our fellow professionals--RNs--are facilitating it notwithstanding employment opportunities elsewhere.
  13. by   catlady
    Quote from clcrtrn
    Administration is completely to blame for the current situation. They pushed us to a strike thinking that we would not remain united and instead, accept the healthcare plan as poor as it was. During the last couple of meetings between the hospital and the union, the hospital adamently refused to talk. At the last meeting, administration walked in and walked out-literally. They have refused to bargain in good faith from the begining.
    Whenever anyone tries to paint one side as "completely to blame," I know they need to hold up the mirror to their own face.

    There is no way that you have come to such an impasse solely due to the action of one side alone. You are both responsible. You walked out on your patients. They let you walk. Shame on both of you.
  14. by   VivaLasViejas
    moderator's note: i'd like to remind everyone to please keep this discussion civil, and to debate the topic, not other posters. thank you.

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