DEBRIDE the SCABS - page 5

Replacement nurses arrive to prepare for possible strike Alternately titled.... SCABS-R-US on the move...... Replacement nurses arrive to prepare for possible strike Maura Lerner ... Read More

  1. Visit  Charles S. Smith, RN, MS profile page
    0
    Originally posted by Christina Terranova RN:
    <STRONG>With all due consideration for the opinions posted here, I remain firm in my stand, and that of others, to refer to call those that choose to break a union line a SCAB.

    In reference to talk of choices, I say CHOOSE not to belong to a union, CHOOSE to watch your patients suffer helplessly, CHOOSE to let your license be ripped from your hands due to poor workplace conditions, CHOOSE to risk civil or criminal prosecution due to the unsafe staffing conditions, CHOOSE to accept less pay for your professional time-if you like. It is your choice.

    Those of us that CHOOSE otherwise, CHOOSE to stand up, CHOOSE speak out, and CHOOSE to fight back do so. Those if us that CHOOSE collective bargaining to facilitate meeting the standards of practice in our hostile workplaces follow the federal laws of the NLRA, and make every attempt to bargain in good faith. If management refuses, we then CHOOSE, by democratic membership majority vote, to strike.

    We then CHOOSE to risk our livelihoods, jobs, families, health [by losing health insurance] economics, etc.-by standing out on the street in the name of what we feel is fair and right for our patients, and our professions. Not for the moment, but for the long run. The future.

    CHOOSE to walk the other way, and not join in, and I say Gods speed to you.
    CHOOSE to walk over the line and betray and disgrace our hard efforts, and then I call you SCAB.

    This fight is not for the weak at heart. A strike vote is not an invitation for tea and cookies. It is rough, it is harsh, and when my colleagues, east west or in between feel the need to do so, I respect their judgment, their efforts, and will stand by them.

    Name calling? No. It is real and frankly a fair and actually kind term for how I and many others actually regard SCABS.

    Debride the scabs, and let management bargain in good faith with their own nurses.

    My opinion, of course,of which I am most fully entitled to.</STRONG>
    You have offered an either/or choice situation and I firmly believe there are many more choices available to us. I personally choose to have a successful, fulfilling career and be financially sound at the same time without depending on an outside source for it. I depend on me. That is my choice. I have stood up for me and for my colleagues and we are heard. We offer a different option to the healthcare community and to the public and are well received. We don't have to walk off the job to get what we want. We simply ask for it.

    regards
    chas
  2. Visit  MollyJ profile page
    0
    Dplear and Jenny, I support each of your's right to do what you think you must. It is, for me, that difficult and that simple.

    I think when a whole city's worth of hospitals involving, what, 8 or more hospitals strikes, nurses are saying, "This is one sick system. There is no refuge where I can go to give Safe Care. I care about my community and this is what I must do." And I disagree that imported nurses dilute this message because those traveler nurses are there to fill a gap. They deliver the babies that are stupid enough to be born during a strike, take care of the MI patients who were union-insensitive and occluded their coronary arteries anyhow during that time. We as nurses know that not all patients can wait until after a strike to need us. But they (the imported nurses) are not committed enough to the community to want to stay there over the long haul, no matter how good the money. Sooner or later they will travel on to a place where there are new adventures, where they don't have to deal with the unit hassles (a true advantage of being a traveler). They are not, at their high cost, meant to be a sustainable solution, but a stop-gap measure. [Please don't think I disparage the traveler nurse. You serve our communities on the short term and through some critical times but you _choose_ to be a traveler.] But the message of the nurses who live and vote in that community comes out louder. They are saying, "This city's hospital system is so unsafe, so scary that I was left with nothing else to do but strike."

    Do not focus your energy on these nurses that come in to fill the gap while you make your very important points with YOUR community.

    And please, watch your words. We have to work with each other in the not so distant future. We need all of each other.

    And Charles, while I have taken a leaf out of your book and given myself more options in nursing practice, the real plight of the bedside nurse concerns all of us. Someone has to be there--for us, for our families when we need those services. In total, I believe it when these nurses say they have tried to jimmy the system, work with the system, move around the system, but everywhere they turn, there are grave problems. We hear the grindings of a dying system. But nurses must advocate for themselves and their patients. But please don't second guess your colleagues who, during this time, feel that their place is at the bedside.

    The reality is someone has to be there, even now.
  3. Visit  fiestynurse profile page
    0
    Solidarity is such an important issue when a group of workers decide to walk off the job and fight for better working conditions and pay. The working conditions that union workers were fighting for in the early part of the century were things that we now take for granted, such as a forty hour work week. They also fought against child labor and horrific working conditions. I firmly believe in and will stand by the American worker and will not cross a strike line, no matter who it is. I still do not respect a strike-breaker, relief worker, opportunist, or whatever you want to refer to them as. For me they are still SCABs! If this makes me a bad person, then so be it.
    The real injustice is, not only are these scabs benefiting monetarily by working at these striking hospitals, but they also will reap benefits in the future from what these striking nurses are fighting for.

    [ June 02, 2001: Message edited by: feistynurse ]
  4. Visit  fergus51 profile page
    0
    The problem with strikebreakers and strikes in the US is the problem with nursing: NO UNITY. (Notice I didn't say "union"). Unless a profession has similar goals and sets about achieving them together, the gains are going to be small.

    As an aside, what does happen to emergency patients that need care during strike time? We are in the middle of a job action in my province and no one can undermine it because all nurses who work here are in the union. They can't bring in travellers because to work here you need to have membership in the union. We are not working any overtime or doing non-nursing duties. Thousands of elective surgeries have been cancelled. BUT, in the event of an all out strike we have to maintain "essential services" level of staffing. Don't you?

    And I don't see how people can get mad that others express their opinion about strikers or strikebreakers. The name calling goes both ways (Both sides are just greedy and don't care about patients ).
  5. Visit  Jenny P profile page
    0
    Dplear, I was raised by my aunt, a woman who taught me to stand up and fight to CHANGE problems, not to run away from them. Going from one hospital to another in a sick system will never fix the underlying system, that can only be done by those who stand up and say "this is broken, and we need to fix it."
    MollyJ, There were originally 13 hospitals in this large group that were under the MNA collective bargaining agreements here in the Twin Cities (1 hospital settled at the first vote). There are 4 other hospitals (including 2 level 1 trauma centers) where people could go for care. When we served the intent to strike notice, the hospitals were given 10 days to lower their census and transport patients to the other hospitals in the area, or sit down at the negotiationg table and bargain fairly with us. They chose to hire strikebreakers; not negotiate at the table, but rather through the media, spreading misinformation instead until their cartel broke up and 3 smaller hospitals settled(whom a strike would probably bankrupt-- Gee, do you suppose THAT is why the larger corporations wanted a strike? I wonder!). Then the 2 Childrens Hospitals' doctors went to their boards and insisted on them settling because of the children being too sick for strikebreakers to care for. In theory,no one would have had to be at these remaining hospitals.
  6. Visit  fergus51 profile page
    0
    Christina, I was being facetious and pointing out the fact that this is what each side calls the other. The strikers are called selfish because they "desert" their patients. The strikebreakers are called selfish because they want the big bucks. Both sides argue they are "doing it for the patients".

    JMP,
    I thought all nurses in Canada were essential services. Didn't the Quebec nurses break the law when they went on strike? I remember they were fined huge amounts of money for not going to work after a judge ordered them back.
  7. Visit  Charles S. Smith, RN, MS profile page
    0
    Originally posted by MollyJ:
    <STRONG>Dplear and Jenny, I support each of your's right to do what you think you must. It is, for me, that difficult and that simple.

    I think when a whole city's worth of hospitals involving, what, 8 or more hospitals strikes, nurses are saying, "This is one sick system. There is no refuge where I can go to give Safe Care. I care about my community and this is what I must do." And I disagree that imported nurses dilute this message because those traveler nurses are there to fill a gap. They deliver the babies that are stupid enough to be born during a strike, take care of the MI patients who were union-insensitive and occluded their coronary arteries anyhow during that time. We as nurses know that not all patients can wait until after a strike to need us. But they (the imported nurses) are not committed enough to the community to want to stay there over the long haul, no matter how good the money. Sooner or later they will travel on to a place where there are new adventures, where they don't have to deal with the unit hassles (a true advantage of being a traveler). They are not, at their high cost, meant to be a sustainable solution, but a stop-gap measure. [Please don't think I disparage the traveler nurse. You serve our communities on the short term and through some critical times but you _choose_ to be a traveler.] But the message of the nurses who live and vote in that community comes out louder. They are saying, "This city's hospital system is so unsafe, so scary that I was left with nothing else to do but strike."

    Do not focus your energy on these nurses that come in to fill the gap while you make your very important points with YOUR community.

    And please, watch your words. We have to work with each other in the not so distant future. We need all of each other.

    And Charles, while I have taken a leaf out of your book and given myself more options in nursing practice, the real plight of the bedside nurse concerns all of us. Someone has to be there--for us, for our families when we need those services. In total, I believe it when these nurses say they have tried to jimmy the system, work with the system, move around the system, but everywhere they turn, there are grave problems. We hear the grindings of a dying system. But nurses must advocate for themselves and their patients. But please don't second guess your colleagues who, during this time, feel that their place is at the bedside.

    The reality is someone has to be there, even now.</STRONG>
    Molly...I could not agree with you more about the plight of the bedside nurse. I am there working at the bedside too. I work side by side with nurses who are struggling with important life decisions, not only patient and work decisions. I applaud anyone who makes a choice for her/his own nursing life and even if I dont value the decision, I can still support it for them....just not for me. My approach is to help folks look for all the options possible and not be locked into an either/or situation, which by its very nature leads to confusion and discontent. I love nursing, always have and always will...but now is my time to help others find a less frustrating, more satisfying way to have a great nursing career. I want nurses to be there when I am in need, just as I have been for the last 30+ years. I am getting close to the time when I will need nursing care. My legacy must be one that helps reshape this profession even if it is "one nurse at a time". I make no distinction between the nurses who were to strike and the nurses who would come to relieve the strikers. Both groups have important missions to fulfill. What I would prefer, however, is to see the negativity associated with both groups and the overt conflict between the groups ended. Like you said...stop the name calling. We must stand together at the end of the day.

    best regards
    chas
  8. Visit  Smitty,RN profile page
    0
    Gee, before this discussions goes away and is forgotten- someone please update us when it is over to see if the strike was effective- I have heard nothing about it until I read this BB. I am skeptical about the effectiveness of striking- I have no other knowledge except what has happened locally- and that is NOT MUCH CHANGE- after a whole lot of trouble.
  9. Visit  rncountry profile page
    0
    As always Charles, well said.
    I have a question that I would like thought about while this discussion is going on. What would happen if nurses right to strike was taken away? Don't laugh or say it wouldn't happen. As something that is considered essential services it is conceivable that either state or federal gov't could at some point say, that nurses do not have the legal right to strike anymore. Particularly as this shortage gets worse. I ask this because when I think of nurses in unions it leds me to think of other professionals that are in unions as well. In my state, Michigan teachers no longer have the right to strike legally. If I remember right that happened about two years ago. It is not as if teachers do not have large powerful unions either. I have pondered on this since the recent supreme court ruling. From what I can ascertain nurses in nursing homes are considered supervisors therefore not eligible for union membership. Can this also not be argued for hospital nurses? Most hospitals have some sort of patient care tech or certified aides that we supervise, and as an RN I supervise LPNs as well by the defination that the supreme court ruled with. Since there is such a push now from the ANA/UAN and the CNA for unionization as a way to unify nurses voices I can't help but wonder what the future could potentially bring us in the form of new provisions as the nursing shortage worsens and the public truly becomes worried about a nurse being able to provide appropriate care. With the supreme court ruling what are our professional associations looking towards? Would only true primary care nurses be eligible for unionization? I know it is entirely possible that nurses not being able to strike may never happen, police still have that right, just wondered what would happen if it did. Any contingency plans out there? How about what would those that have been so bitter and angry towards one another do then? Could you still be able to work with one another to build something new and different to help each other? Just wondering.
  10. Visit  timonrn profile page
    0
    How interesting...Allina systems nurses voted today (they own the bulk of the health care in the Twin Cities) and one more hospital votes Sunday; otherwise all but three of the hospitals here averted a strike...so far. We'll all know by tommorow night. And the replacement nurses that USNURSING CORP brought in? Saw them on the news last night, whining how they are in this cramped hotel with NOTHING to do, no transportation anywhere (bummer, no Mall of America)and they hadn't been fed yet!!! And they are saying that they are not getting their bonus' as promised in the recruitment ads!! However they do get $250/day to "stand by." Doesn't sound like such a good deal after all, huh!!! One lady said she left her nursing job in Calif. with the hopes of making about $7,000 in two weeks. SUCKERS!!! I almost felt bad enough to care...haha
  11. Visit  OC_An Khe profile page
    0
    rncountry
    You raise a particular timely question in light of the recent Supeme Court decision. But you need to carry it a step further. What if Nurses aren't allowed to form or join unions at all? Very possible to return to those days.
  12. Visit  donmurray profile page
    0
    A Texan who lives in a democratic country? After that election result? You must be joking, right? Be that as it may, any worker who consciously undermines another's efforts to better their condition by use of their ultimate sanction,invites opprobrium to be heaped upon themselves.
    ps. Since when were democracy and socialism mutually exclusive?
  13. Visit  Christina Terranova RN profile page
    0
    In reference to the Supreme court decision-there are many contingency plans in motion. Things shall be revealed in the proper time frames.

    But what we Must realize is this:
    This decision determining these nurses as supervisors under the NLRA and therefore not entitled to collective bargaining is based upon the position that these nurses, while exercising "independent judgment" in responsibly directing other employees-do so in the primary INTEREST OF THE EMPLOYER.

    This decision on a much deeper level rips away the nurses primary role as patient advocate. This ruling says a nurses responsibility is to the employer FIRST, not the patient.
    However, this ruling does not affect our state statutory obligations to act in the interests of our patients. Why our role-our responsibility-as patient advocate-was not argued before the court boggles my mind. I can tell you I personally wrote each nurses association, union, etc.-and beseeched them to write amicus briefs on this issue. Only the ANA responded and did so, but from how I see it their language in the brief only sealed this fate, and did not help us at all.


    This effectively places a noose around our necks at the state level, and ties our hands behind our backs at a federal level.

    I for one am not willing to give up my role as the primary patient advocate, union or no union. The battle has just begun.

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