I am on the same boat. The hospital I worked at until this week, has been using the same rethoric to control, even more, the saff, and not only that, they did cut a lot of the benefits, blaming it on the economy. Of course, all the benefits that the employees had, such as, USP differential (a $5/hr extra for working unscheduled shifts, so that, they could save by not using too much agency), 100% tuition reimbursement, and not allowing the per diem nurses to schedule in advance, besides that, they will not give merit raises, let alone, cost of living raises this year, then, all sacrifices are for the employees.
My case is very common, I voiced my dissagreement with all this, and said it openly. It did cost me the position. They forced me to resign. The "nurse manager," if you can call such an arbitrary, autocratic person, a manager, suddenly gave me a final warnig for unnaceptable behavior, such as, complaining during shift change that the pt was a pain in the butt, or saying that I was going to have a bad night, or because someone heard me gossiping, or a CNA said I was not quick enough responding to a pt's request.
In the end, I was forced to resign. Fortunately, I found job with an agency, making more money, but with less benefits, but I hope it will work better.
The morals of the lesson is: learn to submit yourself to a communist style system, where voicing your thoughts, is punished. Then, you have no
t rights to disagree, Do not
complain of being understaff and picking up more patient load, Do not
say you are unhappy with not getting a raise, Do not
say you disagree with not getting your extra pay when working OT, Do not
complain for loosing the tuition help, .DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT.
In the meantime, management did not cut their bonuses, the institution did not cut the expenses on remodeling and building a new pavillion, and the CEO got a 25% raise.
I, also, can't wait for things to return to normal, and see what they will do when the struggle to hire nurses, which still is a problem even in this down economy becuase I still see it, and the competition to hire a nurse is all over again