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

  1. 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 cross a picket line when RNs were striking?

    Yes: 38.52 %
    No : 61.48 %


    We encourage your comments and discussion on this question. To post your comments, just click on the "Post Reply" button.

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    Brian Short
    http://allnurses.com
    It's how nurses surf the web!

    [This message has been edited by bshort (edited November 19, 2000).]
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  2. 225 Comments

  3. by   peggy miller
    I've been a nurse for 27 years and my priority is still my patients. We are having problems where I work such as nursing shortages, taking away some of our benifits but there has to be a better way to get out point across than to strike and make the patient suffer. I don't believe in that. I would sign a petition or become involved in meetings with administration but will not strike.
  4. by   poochdog
    We had a strike at our hospital in July and August 2000. Not only did SCABS from US Nursing cross the picket line but the majority of our own RN CO-WORKERS ended up crossing the line after they had voted to strike. This caused a decrease in the efforts of our cause and also has caused many bad feelings that will probably never be resolved.
  5. by   nrsjo
    I would not cross the picket line. One of the biggest problems I have found is a real lack of cohesiveness amongst nurses. It's rare to find co-workers to back up their words with action. And frequently the person who bucks the system to try and make things better is labled a trouble maker.
    In case no one has noticed....patients are already suffering. The care is already bad. And horribly unsafe. Going on strike isn't going to cause any greater harm to patients.
  6. by   hollykate
    First of all, I have never been involved in a strike. Initially I felt a little leary about the notion of striking, then I read a post on another BB that explained things pretty well. This nurses stated that when she was involved in a strike, they let the administration know 10 days in advance, giving administration time to cancel all non emergent procedures/surgeries. and also time to discharge lots of pts and transfer those that could go elsewhere. This striking commitee also decided that certain nurses would be allowed to cross the picket line to care for pts too unstable to be moved, or pts who couldn't be moved due to specialty of care- Bone Marrow transplant, or Burns. Problem comes in when the hospital trys to make everything look as if it is normal, by not doing the above things- of course, moving all thos people out and cancelling surgeries would cut into their profits, so I see why it isn't done. But knowing that something like this is usually done, made me feel pretty strongly about not crossing someone elses pickett line. I am curious- for those who have been involved in a strike, did you do the above? Or was I just fed a piece of baloney?
  7. by   SoCalRN
    Personally, I am saddened that RN's have had to resort to unions and the union mentality. I am further saddenened by hospital administrations' actions to try to ward off unions; the lack of open communication, the hiring of independent firms to oust union presence, and the attempts to buy loyalty by providing free meals, buttons, etc. to RN's. I would and have crossed the picket line; I feel strongly about providing patient care in the environment I know best. Travelling nurses cannot possibly function as capably as the "natives". Crucial supplies being found, calling a code, just knowing a few basic phone numbers in a hospital all contribute to the quality of care. I also dislike union tactics....the same lack of communication except to the select few union representatives, the "meetings" done in restaurants with meals provided, the continual barrage of junk mail delivered to my home.

    I see in-hospital relationships becoming tainted by union vs. non-union loyalties. Some of my fellow RN's and I endured taunts and gestures while trying to simply do our jobs. To be considered professionals and therefore obtain the benefits befitting professionals, I believe we need to ACT as professionals. Professional demeanor to me is not demonstrating on a sidewalk carrying a cardboard sign. I would far rather see organization of RN's within an institution, with the best and brightest meeting in earnest with administrators to discuss and resolve issues. Many would probably say I'm too idealist; I would rather be idealist than resigned; I would rather be idealist than a follower of the majority.


  8. by   lsmo
    Originally posted by bshort:
    This months survey question:
    Would you cross a picket line when RNs were striking (at your own hospital or another)? NO.Based on some of the responses I am reading, I sense a theme, "THE PROBLEMS OF THE WORLD ARE OURS TO FIX"..... C'mon! Nurses please stop taking the blame for your employers ineffectiveness. It is not the nurse who is hurting the patient by striking! The employer has many opportunities to prevent such a drastic action. Unfortunately, it is often ONLY through this last resort that nurses attempt to improve their working conditions, quality of life for themselves and in turn for their patients. Explain to me how dutiful or idealistic it is to require nurses to endure ineffective administration of the business of patient care for the safety of the patient? A strike is the only trump card unionized nurses have. Believe me, it isn't a sudden turn of events. Many, many opportunities are given to put differences to rest and to continue along a more mutually agreeable course when nurses are negotiating their conditions of employment. Nurses who say they would never strike may be thinking very narrowly-- take into account that any measures taken to secure improvements in RN's conditions of employment will only make the profession of nursing more appealing, marketable and attractive---especially at a time when retention and recruitment is down for our profession. Nurses need to stop thinking they will harm the patient by advocating for employee-friendly working conditions or improvements in benefits like healthcare and pensions etc. If nurses don't get the professional "perks" in line or better than other highly skilled professional career paths--we will NEVER be able to retain the highly needed experienced nurses and recruit the best and brightest to the field. With all the concern over the patient's welfare, nurses often overlook their own needs. By not insisting on workplace improvements it isnot just our patient's, but our own quality of life that suffers as nurses. We need to start taking care of ourselves--insisting on improvements in our workplace-safety, staffing, education, and assuring "our place at the table" as we negotiate the issues relating to our practice.

    Yes or No?

    Please visit http://allnurses.com and participate in the survey towards the bottom of the page.

    We encourage your comments and discussion on this question. To post your comments, just click on the "Post Reply" button.




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    L.Smo RN
  9. by   sparrow
    In the position I currently hold as management, I'm afraid I will not have a choice if the time ever comes - but I ain't going to like it! If I were a staff nurse - NO, I would not cross the picket line. And if I worked for an agency, I could not go to work in any facility as a "scab" where the nurses were on strike! Not like the agency nurses who were brought in as strike busters at GW just recently!
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Dear SoCalRN,
    Have you actually been able to organize the best and brightest in your institution to meet in earnest with administrators to resolve issues? Do the administrators now provide safe staffing for all units? Are you given orientation before floating and only floated to units where you have competency? If you notify your charge RN or supervisor you need more staff do you get help? If so, please let us know where you work.
    If not maybe working together with the majority for improved patient care and decent working conditions for nurses is more professional than having to constantly say,"I'm sorry" to patients because you cannot give the care they are in the hospital to receive.
    If you ever have to wrap a young man in a body bag after he bled to death after elective surgery because the RNs were replaced by untrained people you will know that carrying a sign may be a more professional alternative. The aide who stopped answering his call light said, "He just complained of pain, since it was not time for pain medicine I didn't tell you because you were so busy." This was a float.
    A hospital where nurses are respected as professionals, where the NURSES determine staffing and control patient care (instead of someone with an MBA) is not likely to have the nurses start a union.
    I can tell you are a caring nurse.You know traveling nurses cannot function as well as staff who are familiar with the hospital. You would cross the line for the patients sake. I disagree because of my experiences.The union busters cost $$$. Union employees also should never interrupt patient care thus the restaurant and letters. Why not go to the restaurant, eat a meal, and ask the hard questions of the union employees as well as your hospitals union representatives. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO YOUR OPINION, THEY NEED TO HEAR IT! (Also see what ACTION you get from administration).
    As nurses we have had to learn to be realistic. Real life can be tough. I'm glad you also want to be idealistic. Lets all realize most of us became nurses to do good work. Hospital administrators don't know what the nursing process is and often do NOT want to learn, nor do they respect us enough to do their job. The purpose of a hospital is NURSING CARE. Their job is to provide all that is needed for quality nursing care. IT IS WRONG for them not to respect the work that is the reason for the hospital, therefore their job!
    Once at my hospital ALL the managers went away for a week. The hospital functioned just fine! What if all the nurses left?
    We who care cannot help but be saddened by the poor care we are forced to provide. I feel guilty when the patient or family complains even when I have done my best.
    If we were true professionals we would have the control over our practice our responsibility requires.

    [This message has been edited by spacenurse (edited October 16, 2000).]
  11. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by sparrow:
    In the position I currently hold as management, I'm afraid I will not have a choice if the time ever comes - but I ain't going to like it! If I were a staff nurse - NO, I would not cross the picket line. And if I worked for an agency, I could not go to work in any facility as a "scab" where the nurses were on strike! Not like the agency nurses who were brought in as strike busters at GW just recently!
    THANK YOU! You are a nurse like I want as my manager.

  12. by   goldilocksrn
    Short and sweet... The answer is no, and for shame on any nurse that would cross the picket line and undermine other nurses for standing up for themselves.
  13. 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.

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    C.E.Worden,LPN
  14. by   lita1857
    I have gone over and over it in my mind ...I'm not sure what I would do, wish I could say for sure that I'd take a stand one way...but the truth is BOTH arguements have great validity. To spacenurse, when I read your post it took my breathe away....talking about the depth of saddness....

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