DEBRIDE the SCABS - page 9

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   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Originally posted by nurs4kids:
    <STRONG>Chas,
    Thank you for your reply and your patronizing tolerance. Quiet to the contrary, my question arose only AFTER I read your description of what you do. You still did not answer my question, or were rather evasive, so I am only left to assume. I apologize if the term is offensive to you, but this is a country of free speech. Just as you are offended by the term, so are many of us by the actions of a "scab". Only those with flexible lives (not the primary caretaker of children, family, etc) benefit by scabbing. Those same people hurt those of us who do NOT have the flexibility. Were there no scabs, the hospitals would be more flexible to our needs. A hospital would do all possible to prevent a strike if it knew it had no scabs to take the place of regular nurses. So, you see we are all offended or hurt one way or another.</STRONG>
    Yes, we are all hurt or wounded in one way or another. Wounds do not heal by heaping salt into them. I do not participate in either polarized group, yet am equally wounded as a nurse by the divisiveness because both groups supposedly represent my profession. Focusing on the issues rather than the people involved brings a bit of sanity to the situation I think. Name calling, hating, aggressive behavior, militancy, and all of the other negatives damage us all immeasurably in the end. Stand up for your beliefs, yes....destroy others for theirs...no.

    chas
  2. by   -jt
    "Focusing on the issues rather than the people involved brings a bit of sanity to the situation I think."


    The issue is that when those people get involved & cross RN strike lines, they impede the RNs from being able to get the hospital to address the issues. Its contradictory to support the striking nurses for trying to improve the situation for themselves & their pts & then also support the scabs who come in & are used by the hospital to help prevent the striking nurses from obtaining their goals. Forget the sugar coating. Call a spade a spade. People have to take responsibility for their actions & if they choose that action, they take what comes with the territory. Complaining about words does nothing.
    Those striking nurses are out there for pt as well as their own safety. Other nurses come in to feed off their struggle.
    Case closed.
    None are coming in to walk the line with those nurses in support of their effort to fix problems we all are facing. Imagine if nurses from all over the country came to make a statement WITH the striking nurses & tell the world that we as a professional group are not going to stand for the administrations bottom line menatlity & treatment anymore? Why arent those Southern nurses coming up here to walk with us & let their hospitals know they want the same safe environments & compensations instead of running up here to work strikes because their own jobs pay so poorly?
    What is wrong with saying Strike-Breakers Stay Home!
  3. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Originally posted by -jt:
    <STRONG>"Focusing on the issues rather than the people involved brings a bit of sanity to the situation I think."


    The issue is that when those people get involved & cross RN strike lines, they impede the RNs from being able to get the hospital to address the issues. Its contradictory to support the striking nurses for trying to improve the situation for themselves & their pts & then also support the scabs who come in & are used by the hospital to help prevent the striking nurses from obtaining their goals. Forget the sugar coating. Call a spade a spade. People have to take responsibility for their actions & if they choose that action, they take what comes with the territory. Complaining about words does nothing.
    Those striking nurses are out there for pt as well as their own safety. Other nurses come in to feed off their struggle.
    Case closed.
    None are coming in to walk the line with those nurses in support of their effort to fix problems we all are facing. Imagine if nurses from all over the country came to make a statement WITH the striking nurses & tell the world that we as a professional group are not going to stand for the administrations bottom line menatlity & treatment anymore? Why arent those Southern nurses coming up here to walk with us & let their hospitals know they want the same safe environments & compensations instead of running up here to work strikes because their own jobs pay so poorly?
    What is wrong with saying Strike-Breakers Stay Home!</STRONG>
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking RNs not to cross the picket lines! And it is not contradictory to be see both sides of an issue. But there is something wrong with intimidating people and using strong arm tactics to achieve an outcome. Casting all Southern nurses as opportunistic, low paid, etc, is a bit out of line, don't you think? At the end of the day, you struck, you bargained and there is some advancement in your cause in your hospitals. But, I question just what kind of work environment you establish with adversarial approaches. While I do not propsose that hospitals are trusting, safe environments, I do suggest that beginning to move toward one is highly improbable when the atmosphere is charged with "them against us" mentality. And if you want to call "a spade a spade"... when was the last time a contract was turned down based solely on patient issues? I would be interested to know, because what I read suggests that negotiations are usually, if not always stalemated because of nurse wages and benefits. So, to tell the public that nurses are fighting for their safety is a bit inauthentic. Why don't you say to the public that if we don't get more money, more benefits and more of what we want you won't have a nurse period...?

    chas
  4. by   natalie
    Originally posted by Charles S. Smith, RN, MS:
    <STRONG>There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking RNs not to cross the picket lines! And it is not contradictory to be see both sides of an issue. But there is something wrong with intimidating people and using strong arm tactics to achieve an outcome. Casting all Southern nurses as opportunistic, low paid, etc, is a bit out of line, don't you think? At the end of the day, you struck, you bargained and there is some advancement in your cause in your hospitals. But, I question just what kind of work environment you establish with adversarial approaches. While I do not propsose that hospitals are trusting, safe environments, I do suggest that beginning to move toward one is highly improbable when the atmosphere is charged with "them against us" mentality. And if you want to call "a spade a spade"... when was the last time a contract was turned down based solely on patient issues? I would be interested to know, because what I read suggests that negotiations are usually, if not always stalemated because of nurse wages and benefits. So, to tell the public that nurses are fighting for their safety is a bit inauthentic. Why don't you say to the public that if we don't get more money, more benefits and more of what we want you won't have a nurse period...?

    chas</STRONG>
    I find it incredible that, knowing the history of the nursing profession, you charge that we have established an "adversarial approach" with hospitals. Kudos to you for your entrepreneurial nursing, but surely you must know of the onerous working conditions of nurses in hospitals.

    Washington Hospital Center strike-The nurses were offered a 17% raise by the hospital. The union COUNTER-OFFERED with a 16% raise (that is not a misprint) in exchange for mandatory overtime language and more say in nurse/patient ratios. The hospital DECLINED!!!

    Current Minnesota strike-The nurses are demanding a say in determining STAFFING ratios.

    Brocton strike-ditto. They want a say in how much gets dumped on them in their workday. They also want money. So what?

    Is there a reason you can give us that nurses should not be demanding fair compensation for work performed?

    Doctors, pilots, teachers, architects. They all have unions. Here's the difference between their professions and ours...they don't have scabs.
  5. by   -jt
    &lt;when was the last time a contract was turned down based solely on patient issues? I would be interested to know, because what I read suggests that negotiations are usually, if not always stalemated because of nurse wages and benefits&gt;

    Charles Charles Charles...... look around at the strikes. The nurses in Minnesota did not accept the contracts UNTIL their STAFFING issues were addressed. Most of them ended up with the same pay increases that were offered in the offers that didnt address the staffing issues. They refused that but once the staffing issues were addressed, accepted it. So those contracts were turned down because of STAFFING issues. Most are. The nurses in DC last year rejected their hospitals offer of a high raise & offered to take less of a raise if the hospital would address its pt issues -the hospital said NO. At my hospital, we didnt even want double-digit raises. We wanted safe staffing ratios & restrictions on mandatory ot. The hospital refused to discuss it - until we took a strike vote last Dec. Six days later not only did they discuss it but they agreed to all of it. Once again, negotiations had been stalled over pt issues - until the threat of a strike sounded. Most negotiations are stalmated over STAFFING and PT issues as well as professional practice...NOT money. Just look at Wild's posts on the matter berating us for NOT turning down contracts on the pay issues and chiding us for NOT getting bigger increases from a strike. He laughed at NY nurses who struck over safe staffing ratios & mandatory OT - because they only took a 5% raise per year of a 3 yr contract....BUT they ELIMINATED the practice of mandatory OT and GAINED staffing guidelines, an RN staffing committee & safe staffing ratios. Thats usually the way it is - not the way you thought. However, The economics are important too because if the pay & benefits are not up to par, RNs will not want to work at that facility, unsafe short staffing will persist & that IS a pt issue - and a strike issue. Economics and pt care issues are related so yes money is an issue too. The thing is nurses will accept less of it & put the pt issues before the amount of any raise they get. I have never heard of a strike happening over just one thing. In all of them that I have heard of, the issues are intertwined just like this. I never heard of a strike where all the other pt issues were addressed adqequately but the nurses stayed on strike just to get even higher raises than were offered. If all the other pt care issues are adequately addressed, they take a smaller raise, & accept the contract, recognizing that the hospital will be spending more money on putting all those other improvements into place & once it does, they will able to recruit/retain more staff. And those are the issues they struck for. Having said all that, still, no nurse should have to defend or make excuses for demanding to be paid a salary reflective of her value/responsibility to the facility & its pts.

    "Realize that its untrue to say we cant afford to boost nurse salaries or nurse staffing. The truth is, theres money enough to afford the type of healthcare and working conditions for nurses that we all want. As a society, we're choosing to spend that money elsewhere. Nurses need to own the legitimacy of being well-paid and compensated as respected professionals. We need to educate the public about the inequities of nursing salaries. We must stop feeling that we should play nice when it comes to economic issues. Our skills, knowledge, and wisdom are valuable, and they should be compensated as such. The public wont get the point about nursing salaries until nurses themselves get it...." http://community.nursingspectrum.com...e.cfm?AID=4098
  6. by   -jt
    &lt; Casting all Southern nurses as opportunistic, low paid, etc, is a bit out of line, &gt;

    yes but that was not my intent at all. I was not making a blanket statement about Southern nurses. I was referring to the 300 nurses from the South that the news article was discussing.
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by Dplear:
    <STRONG>first off the site did NOT go underground, it is: www.scab.org, no s on the end of scab. Second of all I live in a free country, and I have the Right..no more like a responsibility to think for myself and chose to strike or work, I chose to work and under no circumstances does that give you the right to deride me or accuse me of undermining you. This is the USA, a democratic nation, not a socialist nation and I have my rights also.
    www.scab.org

    [ June 01, 2001: Message edited by: Dplear ]</STRONG>
    YOU have rights, yes. Do you have the right to eliminate the First Amendment protections of those who criticize you in this USA?
    No.
    I believe if you had been with me at the failed resucitation attempt on a young man after elective surgery, tried to comfort his wife and children, and helped wrap him in a body bag you might change your opinion.
    The hospital had sent a nurse home early for "budgetary reasons". I came to work nights. His nurse found him clammy, moaning, and hypotensive. There were notes that he kept calling for help. The unlicensed person assigned to him did not tell the ONLY RN left on the unit because, "The nurse was so busy and it was too soon for pain medicine."

    I would strike to get safer staffing. No family should have this happen! No nurse should have to be forced to work under such dangerous understaffing!
    If I want to blame SCABS for helping the hospital avoid negotiating safer staffing with the nurses please do not tell me I cannot speak my opinion. Is it a free country for those who do not agree with you also?




    [ June 12, 2001: Message edited by: spacenurse ]
  8. by   natalie
    Charles,

    "The adversarial issue does concern me though. What about collaboration?"

    What would we be able to collaborate on? This is not a facetious question. I honestly can't drum up an idea as to how striking nurses and scabs can collaborate.
  9. by   fergus51
    I don't think there is anything wrong with nurses striking for money. Let's face it we can't continue to draw people into this profession and keep them here unless we offer good wages. In order to provide the staffing we need to care for patients we must provide good wages. So I don't think nurses ever strike solely for money (they are considering the impact on patient care if nurses continue to leave the profession or the area in droves).
  10. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Originally posted by natalie:
    <STRONG>Charles,

    "The adversarial issue does concern me though. What about collaboration?"

    What would we be able to collaborate on? This is not a facetious question. I honestly can't drum up an idea as to how striking nurses and scabs can collaborate.</STRONG>
    Actually I was referring to nurses and hospital admin collaborating.
  11. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Originally posted by fergus51:
    <STRONG>I don't think there is anything wrong with nurses striking for money. Let's face it we can't continue to draw people into this profession and keep them here unless we offer good wages. In order to provide the staffing we need to care for patients we must provide good wages. So I don't think nurses ever strike solely for money (they are considering the impact on patient care if nurses continue to leave the profession or the area in droves).</STRONG>
    In some areas of the country it might be very appropriate to address the wage and benefit issue, especially if hospitals truly have monopsony power over employment. With our current low numbers of nurses and the high probability that it will get worse over time, we should look at some additional solutions that will carry us long term, like work to elevate the status of the profession in real terms and economic ones. I see that as the only long term fix on the horizon.
    chas
  12. by   fergus51
    I completely agree Charles. I am in BC, Canada and we lose TONS of nurses to the US every year. The status of the profession is the same in each country, but people go where the money is. That's why I think wages are extremely important and nurses shouldn't accept a contract that doesn't adress this issue.
  13. by   Jenny P
    Charles, one of the things that has come out after the fact, is that last Thursday evening, when the hospital started to look at its' census and the number of strikebreakers it had for the strike beginning at 05:30 AM Friday, it was 98 strikebreakers short! Guess what? The Hospital had to ask the nurse negotiators to come back to the table to bargain again! Just because there weren't enough bodies to fill the slots! If there weren't strikebreakers involved, we could have had this offer several weeks ago, and would have been treated a lot better than we were! That is what makes us so angry about strikebreakers! Maybe if strikebreakers were willing to come and work for the same salary that we are paid, and with the same staffing ratios we have, then I could believe that they care for the patients and not just the money.

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