Today there were traveller's being trained. Does anyone know anything about this?
Dec 10, '09
Yes the hospital is preparing itself for a one day strike. The patients must come first and they have to be cared for by competent professionals. The CNA has been authorized by a small number of nurses at COH to call the strike and I am assuming if negotiations go poorly on Dec 16th that a strike will be held. The union has to give 10 days notice in which case the trained travelors will be called in. I am grateful that COH is preparing so our patients are protected. I would prefer that a peaceful solution be reached and I personally do not see the issues as so severe that there is a need for a strike. More information can be found at this link and please join in. www.lotsahelpinghands.com/c/620309/
This is RN's for peacefull resolution.
Dec 11, '09
Tackles48 did you take part in the vote as to whether there should be a strike at COH . A vote for a strike is taken and the majority of votes decides whether a strike is authorized or not .
Putting it bluntly an even smaller number of COH staff voted against authorization of a strike , so something COH is doing must be upsetting enough that a larger group of professional nurses feel the way to resolve the situation is to threaten a strike .
You may not feel the situation justifies this action , but the majority does .
Now because you lost the vote you appear to be trying to organize strike breakers , I could expect that of the management but I am saddened that a fellow nurse would , reject the democratic process and betray there fellow nurses in such a manner .
Dec 12, '09
Dear individual ( so sorry we are not properly introduce)
I am so sorry that you feel betrayed truly. I am not against collective bargaining. I am not for a huge political machine either that takes advantage of hard working RN's. I and everyone else involved is allowed the freedom here in America to have a difference of opinion and have that opinion respected. There is also a very simple fact that you may have been unaware of. 60% of the nurses at COH no longer pay the CNA dues through payroll deduction. I am not the only one and I am hearing from many nurses that are tired of being afraid of the CNA and the union nurses if they dare to rasie their voice about what they believe. For whatever reason CNA lost the right to be a closed shop at COH. There are nearly 700 COH nurses available to be in the union and somewhere around 420 don't choose to belong for whatever reason. Why is that? The number of RN's who voted to strike was not the majority of COH nurses since the CNA did not ask every RN to vote who works there. The CNA will not even disclose how many RN's voted or what the count was. Why not? Nor will they just ask for a vote of all nurses at COH on the best and final offer. I am not saying that the offer is what it ought to be or not mind you. The CNA has had three years to prepare a good strong argument for itself as the collective bargainaing unit and yet they and COH have failed to reach an agreement causing stress on all sides which no one needs or wants. EVeryone has the right to an opinion and I have been in unions and out of unions for the last 30 years and I no longer believe that the huge political machine that unions have become represents the best interests for everyone in every situation in the nursing field. We are no longer in slave labor and we make a very good wage with very good benefits. We are highly trained and very intelligent and can make good decisions all on our own. Our most precious resources of our patients and our dependent family members stand to loose a great deal in the event of a strike. Relationships at COH are already suffering and what for? We have the best ratio's in the state of California. I have applied for jobs at other hospitals over the last two years mostly because COH is a drive through traffic for me and I can not find another place that pays as much or lets me care for 3-4 patients the way COH does. When my husband needed an organ transplant they gave me more time off than they were required to. They kept my job and they paid my insurance co-pays for the time I was out so that I did not have to pay them and my insurance was intact. I would like to see COH and CNA agree on several key issues before they go one step further.
Agree on which facilities we compare to for wage and benefit market surveys. Currently they both use a different set of comps and you can't reach any agreement without comparing apples to apples. RN's here at COH can not make good decisons for themselves without this agreement. If the market supports more than the best and final offer then there is something to argue for. Not by striking but by proven market surveys which can't be argued with.
When the above is reached real numbers need to be released. Not percentages. I can't decipher what it means when xyz union got a 20% increase. If you don't know where they started and where they ended up it is all just rhetoric on both sides. Maybe these nurses were only making $30 an hour and really needed a major increase to get to market standards. We don't know who is feeding us truth and who is feeding us trash without real numbers. Neither side is using real numbers at this point. Just percentages.
Agree on the financials of what COH made or did not make over this past three contract years and what the top brass is making. Rank and file can not be expected to accept less than what was expected if top money makers are getting raises. COH financials can be found by googling it on the net and it is wordy but certainly looks as if they are very sound financially.
Agree on what benefits cost COH to provide. If benefits for a $40 an hour nurse cost COH $10 then an option B nurse should make $50 an hour. If the benefits cost COH $8 for that same nurse then the option b nurse should make $48 an hour and so on to be fair to all nurses. That calculation should be public knowledge and not up for discussion its just what is equal and fair. Why would anyone want it to be less than equal and fair.
I also do not feel obligated to take care of the "unborn nurses." Those that will be joining COH three years from now when COH is putting all the flat rates into effect. It will be time for a new contract then and that would be the best time to work on that area in my opinion.
God Bless and I pray for a speedy and fair resolution to this issue and I have no ill will for you and I respect your opinion to have a different point of view than mine. Let's keep talking OK? Talking is good and if enough of get talking andpressure all sides to agree to real answeres this could get done without any strike I assure. I have seen it done before.
Dec 12, '09
Nurses don't like strikes because we are patient advocates...and we know that hospitals need nurses to safely care for patients. We know that patients cannot possibly enter the hospital for an elective shoulder surgery and come out without seeing a nurse. We know that they cannot get meds, or dressing changes, etc without nurses. Unfortunately, many in positions of power in hospitals seem to have forgotten this fact, that people stay in hospitals for nursing care. The fact that you currently have a nursing union in your facility speaks to the reality that at some point they were treating their nursing staff badly enough that the staff unionized in order to protect themselves.
I am confused...if you are not a union member why would you be obligated to a union strike?
I am sorry to say that in the era of greed (current era) nursing are always going to be on the brown end of the stick unless we are unionized, IMHO
Dec 12, '09
Praise God that we live in a free country. No one can be made to strike even if they belong to the union. Our issues at COH are simply not that big that a strike is warranted. We have lower than California legislated patient to nurse ratios. And even if we had a 5:1 ratio that is still very acceptable and COH would staff according to what our patients need. They have plenty of money to do so. Past behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour. When we have not enough staff for the acuity on my unit we call the manager and she gets someone over there or comes herself to help. Our pay is higher than any I have been able to see at the local hospitals I have applied to in the past. Our benefits are extraordinary. We don't get the brown end of the stick here. Do we have some issues with finances and getting the raises that would be expected for the quality of care and work we put in sure but whatever happened in the past must be way past and no longer applicable with our current administration. I am not against collective bargaining but our union dues are way out of proportion to the rest of the country and 60% of our nurses no longer choose to pay them through payroll deduction so I think that speaks loudly for what they feel is needed here. The majority of COH RN's were not allowed to vote only CNA RN's and from the private emails I have received other RN's either wish to not be involved as they are very happy with their salaries or they are so intimidated by the word union that they feel that speaking up would cause trouble to come their way. That is sad. I maintain that in the USA people should be able to freely speak their opinion, rationally and calmy and have dialogue without worry. All opinions can be heard and respected here. I think it is possible that while unions used to serve a very big real and necassary cause that in their current form they are to big and wield to much power. The healthcare industry might be better served by each hospital being it's own separate bargaining collective with no big dues and salaries being paid to top brass who have a conflict of interest. Local RN's know what they need for salaries and they know what their hospital needs for the patients. Somehow the lobbying and pushing forward of health reform needs to be separated out from the local rank and file work and negotiations to avoid conflicts of interest and put the needs of local RN's and their patients first. Big union has lost site of this and I think that is why %60 of COH RN's no longer care to be a part of it. Just my point of view.
Dec 13, '09
I appreciate your point of view tackles. We are in a conundrum in the big union vs local union issue. As nurses we often need both. We need to have someone to speak for us as a group to our employers AND we need someone to speak for us as a group to our lawmakers. Small fragmented unions cannot accomplish the latter. And, as you have pointed out, not all employers require a union to provide a safe ratio, a reasonable wage, and appropriate expectations for their professional staff. However, we would be foolish to think that local RNs knowing what they need for salaries has ANY impact on what their salaries will actually be. Likewise, RNs knowing what nurse/pt ratios are safe and unsafe does not necessarily impact the hiring or staffing practices of their local hospitals or LTCs. So, it is my experience that nurses who are and have been happy with their employment circumstances are often dismissive of the current importance of unions.
IMHO this is part of the reason that we struggle with a national organization to represent us, lobby for us. We suffer mightily from the "I'm okay" syndrome...too many of us feel that we are okay so everybody must be okay. Additionally, we get lulled into thinking that the hospitals are "taking care of us" when that is not what we need. What we need is the voice and the empowerment to advance nursing at the bedside, to improve patient safety, to improve patient outcomes...to be more of what good nurses are and less of the general laborer that too many employers desire.
Dec 13, '09
But, what the pro-union camp needs to understand is that NO one organization can be everything to everyone. I understand the needs of nurses elsewhere and that change needs to be instituted, but that doesn't necessarily mean that ALL nurses should be unionized.
Dec 13, '09
I completely agree with you PICUNP...I, for example, have never worked for a union although I sure would have benefited from one recently. As I said before, not all employers require the presence of a union to treat their nursing staff well. So, not all nurses need to be "unionized".
We do, however, need a unified voice in the chambers of congress and our state capitols. Healthcare change over the years has had little effective nursing input and it has been disastrous for the profession. Professional nurses need to be represented when decisions are made about the delivery of healthcare.
As we can see from the example of allnurses, nurses are a diverse group and we often have differing ideas and expectations. We DO, however, largely agree on topics concerning staffing and safety, etc. Unfortunately, we have ZERO lobbying influence in the halls of our government. We represent a huge work force in this country...what WE think about OUR jobs and how they impact PATIENT goals and outcomes should be a heck of a lot more obvious and important to our political and industry leaders.
I agree that no one union will be "everything to everybody"...but then you can apply that truism to everything including ourselves as nurses. The fact that some will be unhappy with it does not mean that it should not exist or that it is not needed by the "group". I have joined some groups before, in order to accomplish something unachievable on my own. I am willing to do it again.
Dec 14, '09
Tewdles it is so true there are the whole gamut of good to bad people in both Unions and management , so although some of us may have aproblem with one side or the other we have to find a way to accept that others have a different point of view and not generalize , that because some are bad everything about management and unions is bad .
Jan 22, '10
Any update on what happened with this potential strike? Never heard anything else about it.