Survey: Would you cross a picket line when RNs were striking? - page 11

This months survey question: Would you cross a picket line when RNs were striking (at your own hospital or another)? Yes or No? FYI: Here are the results from this survey: Q: Would you... Read More

  1. by   betts
    It was an after-thought too his remarks clearly directed at me. Him disliking me is of no consequence it's just my upbringing; (like that excuse)?...lol
    I guess maybe I'm too emotional and taken to sentiment easily.
    I was taught too be kind to unkind people--they need it the most but practice what I preached and hurting his feelings isn't what I meant to happen which is obvious from his reply.
    I appreciate your thoughtfulness and coming too my defense. As my husband says; "Conscious is when your aware of something, and conscience is when you wish you weren't."
  2. by   NurseDennie
    Hi

    Isn't this a long-running thread? I think that really says something. As does the passion shown here.

    I've had exactly TWO experiences with unionization, one of them was many many years ago in a different career entirely. The union was voted in and began negotiating. Everything was settled EXCEPT "dues check-off" which is where the union dues come out of the paychecks rather than the union members having to write a check. This was THE ONLY issue unsettled and the company refused to budge on this.

    The union also refused to budge. So what happened? They blocked each other for over a year. Another vote was taken and the union was voted out. It was obvious that the union's stance was for its own benefit as an entity, as the workers really didn't give much of a flip one way or the other.

    The other was this last year at the hospital. The union started up - I don't actually know who started what, but then the name calling began and things got very icky. Letters were sent, accusing administration of stuff that I KNOW didn't happen. The union never made it to vote there. This is a right-to-work state, which means that unions are not popular, so that might be part of it.

    I also think that we are definitely in the same sort of situation that gave rise to unions in the first place. It's hard for me to think of "professionalism" and "unionization" in the same breath, although I know that there are professions which are unionized.

    So I don't know. I still don't know if I'd join a strike and walk a picket line.

    Would I cross a picket line? Not "no."

    HELL no.

    Love

    Dennie
  3. by   Jay Levan
    Hey MustangSheba, I didn't know Mustangs could sit on a fence "Just kidding"(thought I better add
    that ) I believe that if we are listening to ourselves here, it is Crystal Clear why our profession is having such a hard time advancing our position. We have it all in these 27 pages, we have
    The Liberalists,The Conservatives, The Bashers,The Brawlers,The Bawlers,and last but not least The Fence
    Sitters I would ask a question of all who have Posted on this subject, including myself, "How do we Unite the profession, instead of shredding it apart???"
    I think a good start, would be to have One National Organization, rather than Multiple State Organizations representing us. This would promote a "One Nurse, One Vote"
    process, thereby allowing each Individual their differences, yet easily accomplishing common goals, by the process of "Majority
    Rules"
    Survey Says, 60something% wouldn't cross, 30something% would, The wouldn'ts are the Majority See how easy that would be to formulate a chosen direction, instead of bashing each other over the head????
    Last edit by Jay Levan on Nov 17, '01
  4. by   CareerRN
    A year ago if someone would have asked me this same question, then I would have said no in a heart beat. Recently, I have been pondering this question a little more in depth and now the answer is not so quite cut and dry.

    You see, I have been listening to both sides and all the arguments. Even after all the arguments, there is something that stands out in my mind. That is the fact that I have heard more than a few unionized nurses say they would not walk out if there was a national movement for a work stoppage. This kind of sounds like the same "I have mine, now you get yours" kind of a thing. So if I took that message to heart, then it would be so easy to dismiss the "for the good of the profession" argument. In fact, it is back to the same "take care of number one" theme that many have spoken about here.

    The lure of being able to quadruple an income, working in a place that is better staffed as has been pointed out as a side benefit of working a stride is a strong enticement. The prospect of waiting years for this profession to actually take it upon it's self to unite and take control of our practice is disappointing. The fact that so many nurses are content with the legislation that is being pushed for the import of foreign nurses and training of new nurses before our problems are resolved is also disappointing. Study after study with no real movement on a national level can be added to this as well. Now if you want to consider waiting for the federal government to step in and pass laws and regulations as real progress, then that is up to you.

    Now I have worked at unionized facilities in the past and I can agree there is the problem of dead wood who do only the minimum, but get paid and benefit as much as someone who does more. I have seen a lot of nurses who would go out of their way to do this or that and succumb to the union mentality or just simply get fed up because there was no extra benefit or consideration for their actions. I have lived the "seniority rules" environment where first come first serve no longer exists. I have personally lost vacation days and requested days off, sometimes months after the fact, because someone with higher seniority decided they wanted the same time off, knowing that I had already put in for the same time. They simply wrote their name on the exact same days where my request was in plain veiw. They knew the policy backwards and forward and knew that they would get them unless someone else with even more seniority than them put in for them. It is not hard to become antiunion. To be totally honest, I have been treated better overall at some non-unionized facilities where I was still treated like an individual and not as part of the bunch.

    So now later in life with retirement getting closer and closer and wanting more out of life that money can buy. I have to ask myself honestly is waiting for change to happen that is needed actually going to happen with the effort that is being put into it or is it going to be years. I can use my knowledge and skills and cash in on today or wait and see about tomorrow. I can tell you that every time I hear a union nurse say they will not walk out if there was a national work stoppage it makes me think about today.

    If there was a national movement toward nurses actually taking control of the profession without the use of formal labor unions in wich everyone would actually participate in and all nurses would benefit then,without a second thought, I would not work if there was a national work stoppage.

    I have not worked a strike up until this point and have no immediate plans to do so. But I have to add that if unionized nurses want the same consideration from other nurses, then maybe some need to rethink their commitment to the profession in case of a national work stoppage.
    Last edit by CareerRN on Nov 17, '01
  5. by   KARRN3
    I WOULD ABSOLUTELY NOT EVER CROSS A PICKET LINE. WHEN I READ ABOUT NURSES GOING ON STRIKE SOMEWHERE I ALWAYS MAKE A POINT TO FIND OUT WHY THEY ARE ON STRIKE. USUALLY IT'S THINGS LIKE MANDATORY OVERTIME, POOR STAFFING ETC. THOSE ARE PATIENT SAFETY ISSUES. NURSES DON'T STRIKE BECAUSE THEY ARE LOOKING TO GET RICH, THEY STRIKE WHEN THEY FEEL THEY HAVE BEEN FORCED BY ADMINISTRATION TO COMPROMISE PATIENT CARE AND THEY HAVE TO TAKE A STAND. EVER WONDER WHY A HOSPITAL CAN'T PAY NURSES A DECENT WAGE,ARE CUTTING BENEFITS ETC. BUT THEY HAVE THE MONEY TO HIRE STRIKE BUSTER NURSES TO COME IN.THERE ISN'T ENOUGH MONEY IN THE WORLD THAT I WOULD UNDERMINE MY
    FELLOW NURSES THAT WAY.
  6. by   kaycee
    I have been a nurse working in a hospital at the bedside for 26yrs. I have never worked in a union hospital. I used to feel I could never strike. BUT, over the years I have the nursing profession start to erode from all the things that have already been discussed.
    Would I strike now. Yes. Would I cross a picket line. Absolutely not.
    I would never undermine other nurses who were striking to better their situation. That's the problem. We as a group can't come together. We would be an awfully strong group if we could. I don't know the answer but I've been actively seeking change at my hospital, and my state.
    No matter how much we disagree on this board, I think we can all agree that the nursing profession needs help. Too bad we can't all unite to give it the boost it needs.
  7. by   RNPD
    You see I have been listening to both sides and all the arguments. Even after all the arguments there is something that stands out in my mind. That is the fact that I have heard more than a few unionized nurses say they would not walk out if there was a national movement for a work stoppage.~CareerRN

    But I have to add that if unionized nurses want the same consideration from other nurses, then maybe some need to rethink their commitment to the profession in case of a national work stoppage.~CareerRN
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What you report here is hearsay. Conduct a scientific poll that supports your conclusion, if you wish to be taken seriously. Because, the fact is that I have heard more than a few unionized nurses say they would DEFINITELY walk out if there was a national movement for a work stoppage. But I have to add that if NON-unionized nurses want the same consideration from other nurses, then maybe some need to rethink their commitment to the profession in case of a national work stoppage.

    You see, I am using the exact opposite argument to support MY POV. Without proof, your argument-and mine-are worthless, and therefore mean nothing.
  8. by   CareerRN
    I have to say that I have reviewed some of the older posts where there was a discussion about a work stoppage and have found remarks from JT saying that unionized nurses would not participate.

    She pointed out the fact that it would be illegal for them to do this. Now JT seems to be the expert union activist and on this BB who holds the union line. So if she reports that she would not participate in a national walk out for the good of the profession, then why should I think anyone else would.

    Yes, I have heard other unionized nurses say the same thing on other BBs. Usually it is in the form of start up a union and do like we did or we have it pretty good now so there is no reason for us to walk out.

    It is nice to see that there are some unionized nurses who would walk out. I have to ask wouldn't it be nice if as a profession we could actually control our own profession in a way that labor unions would not be needed?
  9. by   rjlrn95
    I know I will catch H*** for this but here goes:

    What happened to "Freedom" of speech and thought on this thread?? These are granted to us by the constitution. Can we not respect what others thoughts and feelings are without tearing into them.

    If I choose to cross a picket line- for whatever reason- it is the choice I-see that-I- will have to live with -- and == allows those who are on strike to strike.

    But understand that striking does not accomplish any thing!!!!! The hospital will "write off" the extra expenses incurred and they will keep you out on strike until they have recouped what they will offer at the table -- when it will benefit them the most.
  10. by   VickyRN
    Survey: Would you cross a picket line when RNs were striking?

    Answer: NO, NO, a thousand times NO!!! Not for all the blood money they can offer ($100/hr). I have my morals and can't be bought!!!!
  11. by   -jt
    <I have reviewed some of the older posts where there was a discussion about a work stoppage and have found remarks from JT saying that unionized nurses would not participate..... Now JT seems to be the expert union activist and on this BB who holds the union line.>

    LOL!!! Well thanks. Im published on the subject too so does that make me THE expert??? LOL. (Thats was funny!)

    But lets clarify.....

    I dont think I said the union nurses WOULDNT participate in a stoppage. I said they couldnt legally & their union could not support the action without facing BIG legal trouble and hefty fines for breaking federal law, therefore, the unions would not support it and could not be a part of it or even know about it. For nurses with contracts in effect, the legalities involved would be a stumbling block because a lot of nurses might not want to risk legal difficulties. This might result in many nurses in certain areas or facilities not joining in and we all know if you want to make an impact, you cant just have a handful of people taking the action.

    That does not mean that nurses cant do what they want on their own. In fact, if you are reading my posts, you might have seen one where I told of the day in 1998 when 250 nurses at my hospital did exactly that on the spur of the moment. Well, almost on the spur of the moment.

    We (the nurses) actually started talking about it at 7am & had it all planned by 9am to walk out at noon. We also arranged to have the TV, radio, & newspapers out there along with some of our local elected officials, church leaders, and community activist groups. We called them at 9am & they were out there to greet & support us as we walked out the door - and so were the cop cars & fire engines from the neighborhood - blaring sirens in support. The action we took by walking out that day solidified our resolve to fight an abusive administration, pulled us all together, got the community on our side even more than they already were and most important of all, it was a big pep rally - rejuvenating and re-energizing the nurses to continue their battle - which we won soon after.

    All in all, It was a great day!

    We spontaneously walked out in protest of our CEO firing our Director of Nurses that day and eliminating most of the Nursing Dept in the midst of a long labor battle. We had a contract in effect. We did it anyway. We just didnt tell our union we were doing it so they could honestly say they knew nothing of it & could not be held legally responsible.

    What was the hospital going to do? Fire almost every nurse who was working that day? They didnt even write one nurse up for discipline. They tried but they couldnt get away with it. It would have been a very different story if only 10 nurses had left the building.

    So your wrong in thinking I said unionized nurses would not participate. Unionized nurses have already done it..... and lived to tell about it. ; )

    My point in bringing up the issue of union nurses with contracts in effect & the legalities that entails was to say that it is not so easy to just say "lets have a national walk out on Tuesday". You walk and you may just be fired. We walk while we have a contract in effect and we may have the feds to deal with. That issue has to be gotten around or you will have whole cities and facilities where nurses feel they cant participate. You need to have as many involved as is possible. So dont ignore this issue.

    Im all for a national walk-out like they did in Ireland and threatened in Canada but we have different laws. There needs to be a lot of planning going into it and all bases covered in order to pull it off and get everybody out there. Even in a strike, we dont just say "hey hospital, we're striking. Heres your 10 day notice". The nurses prepare for it and build momentum towards it for months ahead of time.

    Anyway, there is a much bigger problem with organizing this national walk-out:

    Other nurses in this country are too terrified of the word "strike" to even consider unifying. Thousands of nurses would rather quit than fight. Thousands cant be bothered. Scores of them just dont care. Too many never do anything pro-active for themselves or their workplace situations and would rather complain than lift a finger to help themselves. Too many are just too fearful to take their heads out of the sand. So, if anybody is going to be walking anywhere, somebody has a lot of work to do to get those nurses moving. The majority of US nurses are not cut from the same mold as Irelands nurses or Canadas nurses.

    Thats just the reality.
  12. by   danielle2000
    Originally posted by ceworden
    YES I WOULD CROSS PICKET LINES!!!! I am an LPN with some college added to help get my RN. However, either way I believe that my duty is to my patients. I can understand that low pay, excessive patient load, downsizing, and working conditions are a major problem. However, why put the patients at risk by not taking care of them. To me this is Patient Abandament and very unethical. My first priority is to my patients, not my salary. I did not go into this field for the money. I went into it for the love of the job and the rewards you recieve everyday from patients.

    ------------------
    C.E.Worden,LPN
    (quote) No I would not I really understand what you mean your duty is to your patients but it is not our burden. Administrators can make the changes they can make it safer for the nurse to do his/her job. You can't abandon a patient when your administrator abandons its nursing staff. I couldn't do it because once a nurse crosses over they feel oh there is no problem w/nurses they will do what we want them to do and that is not aceeptable.
  13. by   -jt
    "How do we Unite the profession, instead of shredding it apart???"
    I think a good start, would be to have One National Organization, rather than Multiple State Organizations representing us."

    We do have one national organization.

    We also have one national RN labor union. It was formed 2 yrs ago, is called the United American Nurses. It's the largest RN union in the nation, and one of the largest unions of any union in this country. So far it consists of over 120,000 RNs from
    Alabama
    Alaska
    Colorado
    District of Columbia
    Georgia
    Illinois
    Iowa
    Kansas
    Kentucky
    Michigan
    Minnesota
    Missouri
    Montana
    Nebraska
    New Jersey
    New York
    North Carolina
    Ohio
    Oregon
    US Virgin Islands
    Washington State
    West Virginia
    and Wyoming

    So where are the rest?
    Last edit by -jt on Jan 29, '02

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