DEBRIDE the SCABS - page 7

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. by   Jenny P
    Mandatory overtime was prohibited in the MNA Twin City contracts back in 1987; so that wasn't an issue here at this time. The non-contract hospitals here do use mandatory overtime, and outstate areas do not address it in many of their MNA contracts. We are trying to get the state of Minnesota to ban mandatory overtime for nurses within the state and have been actively lobbying for this. I'm not sure if the bill has been passed yet (our state government is still trying to finish all of their last minute stuff), but we feel very strongly that NO NURSE should be forced to work beyond her scheduled shift. So, you can volunteer to work an extra shift, or we work short-- and that is what has caused the burn out here.
    The short staffing was addressed; and no, nurse patient ratios were not addressed in my contract, but patient flow (admissions, discharges, closing units to admissions, etc.) was, and unit autonomy was also. The hospital will be hiring extra nurses to help with admissions and transfers and discharges. More ceative scheduling will be allowed, with Baylor weekend plans, intermittant casual staffing and per diem staffing (which we've never had at my hospital before), and shift and rotating differentials were significantly increased. They have also added a differential to the float pool staff (which has become almost non-existant this past year).
  2. by   Jenny P
    I forgot to mention, 2 hospitals did vote to strike and are out on strike right now and a third hospital is voting today whether to strike or ratify their contract. The 2 hospitals that are on strike have about 1500 nurses out.
    Please note: the hospital corporations got together and offered all 13 hospitals similar salary and pension packages; but the benefits, longevity, educational and staffing issues are all different. That is why North settled on their first vote back on May 17th, and why each of the 11th hour votes were so different-- each hospitals' nurses decided if their whole contract would be a workable solution for their facility or not.
  3. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Originally posted by Christina Terranova RN:
    <STRONG>"(Both sides are just greedy and don't care about patients "
    Not true. If the nurses who are forced to strike didn't care about their patients, and the work conditions they are forced to provide care under,[which ultimately determines the level of care provided] then they would just take Charles' advice, and leave hospital nursing and just worry about themselves. In fact, that is why there is a nursing "shortage" for clinical nursing as we speak. Because so many have done exactly that, follow their ID and take care of themselves. And they have every right to remove themselves form the abusive work conditions that exist.

    But these Nurses are not. They are mustering up their courage, and fortitude and standing up for those that cannot stand up for themselves-the ill patient in the bed. They are working to preserve the profession by creating decent reasonable work conditions.
    They are standing up for the rights of patients to receive safe, quality care, and they are fighting for the right of the RN to provide that caliper of care under safe equitable work conditions.

    As I said before, sure, this is a free county. Carpetbaggers, SCABS, whatsoever you want to cal them, they are opportunists who feed off the weakened system-kinda like the definition of a parasite actually.

    Accuse me of name calling if you wish. My position is that these SCABS take high wages that could pay for multitudes of nursing in the communitas these hospitals serve. They are flown around the country, held up in first rate hotels and accommodations, meals, etc., paid for, so that a corporate action to keep the little nurses laborer in line will be successful.
    When they fly off into the sunset to undermine the next unified effort of their professional colleagues, they brag about their money [see the AJN SCAB ad] and start the cash register for the next ride.
    Least that should happen is they are called out publicly for what they are, for their lack of integrity and greedy actions.</STRONG>
    Christina...where on earth did you get the idea that I suggest nurses leave nursing or leave the bedside? I have never advocated anything of the sort. I have spent my life and career advocating for nurses, but not in an adversarial way. My focus is on nurse retention at the bedside, always has been and always will be, just in a different way than you. There are other options besides across a bargaining table. Please dont have tunnel vision about this, merely because I disagree with the labels you use for your nurse colleagues. I am very supportive of your efforts to change your system, to take a stand for your rights and to be vocal. Your anger, however, comes through loudly and clearly and probably overshadows your real intent. Just remember that your solution is not the only one.

    regards
    chas
  4. by   kjmta57
    I can not even though my primary role is nursing strike by law.we can picket but not strike.but we by far (or should I say the officers get what they want by their contract for the most part)I belong to bargaining unit 6 in california or CCPOA.but the reason it works is we work togeather with a very strong representative in sacramento.we no matter what stand togeather.After reading these post I have agood understanding why nursing will never really get to the point it should for its patients or employees.we undermind each other and want to benifit our selves instead of the profession as a whole.why cross a strike line except the only benifit is yourself and why even stay a nurse if your primary goal is money and not the patient?nursing will stale mate for another 30 years the way it is going with even more missions and responsibilities placed on nurses.
  5. by   Dplear
    The website www.scab.orgdid not go underground, and yes you need authentication to go into the forums, but anyone can join for free, there is a button to register. It even has a BB for union nurses to post on so feel free to pos away there
  6. by   RNPD
    "My focus is on nurse retention at the bedside, always has been and always will be, just in a different way than you. There are other options besides across a bargaining table.....Just remember that your solution is not the only one."

    --------------------------------------------

    Chas-what are some of the options you have used to focus on nurse retention? I would like to hear some other solutions that have worked for you. I have always felt that it would be better if nurses were respected enough to do their own bargaining and to be listened to when they try to tell admin what is needed for the good of the patients. Unfortunately, I have never met an admin like that, and so collective bargaining is the next best thing. But without, I have never seen more than three nurses at a time agree with ANYTHING!.
  7. by   RNPD
    MollyJ, the HOSPITAL has lost the trust of the community, not the nurses. By and large, the community backed the nurses. Once it came out in the local papers that the hospital spent that kind of money to break the union, as well as another $14 MILLION unaccounted for and being investigated by the NYS Attorney General, ($33 MILLION in total, at a hospital that had posted PROFITS for most of the previous decade), the hospital lost all credibility. There is now a new admin in place and apparently the workers are willing to give them a chance because an effort to organize non nursing personnel by the CWA (Communications Workers of America) this week was defeated by about a 2 to 1 margin. And from what my friends who work there tell me the new DON is great, very pro nursing and trying VERY hard to heal all rifts. Amazingly, there doesn't seem to be much animosity between staff and supervision. In fact, one friend told me that when she went back the only real instances of animosity that she encountered were on the part of a SUPERVISOR toward the staff. This hurt the staff very much. I don't know anyone who works directly with the staff scabs that crossed the line, and so i don't know how that worked out. But my friend says that the ones she knows of who crossed were not all that well liked in the first place.

    One thing that i have to say again, NO ONE wins in a strike. The loss of income or capital, as well as lack of trust, has lingering implications for a long time to come.
  8. by   fergus51
    Originally posted by MollyJ:
    <STRONG>
    I appreciate our neighbors to the north who reflect their discomfiture with the idea that some of us would even see essential services not covered.
    .</STRONG>
    Please don't misinterpret my statement of fact to mean I agree that nurses should not be allowed to strike when conditions demand it. I think it is a sick double standard that nurses are selfish if they strike for better conditions. I don't believe that in your country essential services could not be covered by other hospitals in the same city or area. Here we are essential services because ALL the hospitals are staffed by nurses in the same union in each province.

    Less than a year ago northern docs in my province "withdrew services" (not a strike :rolleyes solely for the issue of money. Nothing about patient care. NOTHING. I had one patient with multiple fractures (including a broken hip) who was transported to our hospital, 8 hours from his home in an ambulance because orthopedic surgeons wouldn't help him. That is disgusting. When nurses are striking to improve wages and conditions and patients can go to other hospitals in the area, it is necessary and courageous.
  9. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Originally posted by RNPD:
    <STRONG>"My focus is on nurse retention at the bedside, always has been and always will be, just in a different way than you. There are other options besides across a bargaining table.....Just remember that your solution is not the only one."

    --------------------------------------------

    Chas-what are some of the options you have used to focus on nurse retention? I would like to hear some other solutions that have worked for you. I have always felt that it would be better if nurses were respected enough to do their own bargaining and to be listened to when they try to tell admin what is needed for the good of the patients. Unfortunately, I have never met an admin like that, and so collective bargaining is the next best thing. But without, I have never seen more than three nurses at a time agree with ANYTHING!.</STRONG>
    Thanx folks for the great thread. There are some interesting levels to this discussion. The question posted above concerning the Supreme Court decision about LTC RNs in supervisory roles is a poignant example of how RNs must be informed when seeking employment. In nursing school we were taught to advocate on behalf of patients. This seems to be an obvious nursing role. What our instructors failed to mention, however, is the blurred line between our rights, responsibilities and obligations as RNs licensed by individual government authorities (states) and our obligations and responsibilities as employees of companies/hospitals/healthcare agencies when we accept employment. From time to time, these 2 roles (the role of the licensed Registered Nurse and the role of employee) are diametrically opposed to one another and cause internal and external conflict (the recent Supreme Court decision and the numerous whistle blowing legislation occurring in many states today are examples). The fact is that when one becomes an employee of any organization you automatically assign the organization the right to control your behavior on some level. Look at your employee handbook, your human resources policies, your nursing policies and procedures to get an idea of how much control the organization has on your behavior, individually and collectively. Employees give the organization the right to sanction and to reward. Organization theory/research has done much over the last 2 decades to look at employee roles and how they are enacted by professionals, paraprofessionals and non-professionals. Professionals have more conflict in bureaucratic and hierarchical organizations and are more suited to working in organizations with a more open system approach to management/leadership. Registered Nurses have a higher authority than the organization...State Law. Much of our conflict occurs when our obligations by law are opposed to our obligations to employers. Having studied organization theory extensively, I have come to the understanding that RNs really must look to law first. I founded a Professional Practice Group (equal partners) of RNs who are engaged in Independent Practice for that very reason. We take our roles as Registered Nurses seriously. We are not employed by anyone, yet we practice in organizations expertly and professionally. We make our own opportunities and we reap our own rewards. My message to RNs is clear...if you choose to be employed, you choose to have control exerted over you.

    A second issue involves the mantle of intense competition that RNs have assumed over the years. I remember in nursing school the intense competition to be the best, make the best grades, perform the best procedures, know the most...etc. While my instrutors may have used competition to pull the best from us, the negative effects of pitting student against student was to have one clear winner and the rest losers. Think back on your educational experience and examine the times you were negatively sanctioned by your instructors. Are there experiences there that are memorable for you? Extend this thought process to your nurisng unit and look at your co-workers. How much competition is there? If you want to really know, look at the amount of criticism heaped on others (overtly or covertly), the verbal sanctions that occur, your evaluation system that lumps everyone into a homogeneous group rather than extols the virtues of the individual and the group. We seem to have bought the notion that competition is the healthiest model for our work relations. What about collaboration? Collaborative practice is a win-win. Again, my message to RNs is clear...examine collaborative practice as a viable model for your nursing foundation rather than competition. Independent Practice can offer you the opportunity to practice to your highest capacity wihout destroying others in the process.

    best regards
    chas
  10. by   RNPD
    chas, I think your ideas are wonderful. I don't know that I will ever see the day where RNs can practice as non employees, but it is certainly the way a professional group ought to practice. I commend you for being able to practice at the bedside as an independnt employee. Do you get a fee for service from the hospital as well as reimbursement? What is the nature of your practice? How do you see your individual situation applied to the general population of staff nurse?

    I agree that your way is the ideal and there would not be a need for unions if we all could accomplish this. But until then I will remain a unionized employee, since I have found it better than non union.

    Thank you for adding an interesting aspect to the discussion.
  11. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Originally posted by PeggyOhio:
    <STRONG>Charles,
    I agree your ideas are unique. But I also think it is naive to think that you are immune to competition. I imagine if nurses as independent contractors became the norm it would become extremely cut-throat and competitive.</STRONG>
    No one said our group is immune to competition. We don't compete with each other. We are highly selective in the partners we take on. We create our own demand, thus eliminating the overt competitive nature. The competition thoughts above were related to internal competition, not external market competition. I am curious about your cut-throat statement, however. Please say more.
    chas
  12. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Originally posted by RNPD:
    <STRONG>chas, I think your ideas are wonderful. I don't know that I will ever see the day where RNs can practice as non employees, but it is certainly the way a professional group ought to practice. I commend you for being able to practice at the bedside as an independnt employee. Do you get a fee for service from the hospital as well as reimbursement? What is the nature of your practice? How do you see your individual situation applied to the general population of staff nurse?

    I agree that your way is the ideal and there would not be a need for unions if we all could accomplish this. But until then I will remain a unionized employee, since I have found it better than non union.

    Thank you for adding an interesting aspect to the discussion.</STRONG>
    Thanx for your comments..independent practice is certainly a different twist. I do believe this type of practice can be accomplished by anyone who wants to really change her/his perspective on professional nursing, but it takes work to change mindsets and it takes work to run a business...all with positive outcomes i might add. Simply put, we eliminated the middle man from the equation and bill directly for our services. My hope is that one day we can change law to allow us to bill insurance companies directly as well...but that is down the road a bit. I had a dream of professional practice model over 20 years ago and the timing was right, so i jumped at the chance. Now I teach others who are interested.

    chas
  13. by   janicurn
    The whole subject of scab nurses makes me angry. what leverage do we have as nurses to effecdt changes within our profession when these money hungry "nurse" are willing to work in strike conditions? Check out this http://www.afscme.org/una/unalt011.htm
    there is also a scab.org where scab nurses can post and it makes me sick to hear them complain about how hard it is to leave their family and travel to strike locations. they should stay home and find a real job.

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