Minnesota Nurses Voted! - page 3

It is 1:15 AM and I just got off the MNA hotline that our bargaining unit has rejected the contract the hospital put forward and we will be going out on strike June 1st unless the negotiations start... Read More

  1. by   Jenny P
    TimonRN, Believe me, I am SOOO glad that North did ratify their contract because it does prove that it isn't all just about the money. The person who commented about how your hospital broke ranks was referring to the fact that North Memorial broke ranks with the other hospital administrations and addressed some of our other problems; this just goes to prove that there are other things involved with this contract and it isn't all "just about the money" as the hospital administrations are trying to make it appear.
    Haji, you are off base here, because there are all sorts of contingency plans of what should be done with the patients. Strike breakers are not called that just for kicks; they are hired to prolong a strike, wear down the striking nurses, and keep up the appearances of "business as usual" to the general public.
    With strikebreakers in place, the hospitals don't have to bargain in good faith; they can lowball the offers and cause the nurses to worry about how each nurse will pay their monthly bills and put food on the table. It wears some of the nurses out and they cross their own picket lines even though they believe in the cause of the strike. It also costs the hospitals a lot of money; money that could really be spent on a decent contract for the nurses who work at that hospital all of the time.
  2. by   -jt
    < but it DOES NOT MEAN that we NURSES broke rank from the other 12 hospitals, and I very much resent the comment that we left the other nurses holding the bag!! >

    I made that comment & I was not referring to the NURSES breaking ranks with the other hospitals. I said the HOSPITAL broke ranks from the other 12 & DID agree to the things the nurses felt were important enough to strike over - safe staffing & benefits (a recrutiment/retention incentive). If one hospital could do it, the others can. As for the other comment, the way the media portrays it, it is not always being made clear to the public that you were offered DIFFERENT contracts & you accepted yours because it DOES have what you wanted & were going to strike over if you didnt get. In some stories it looks like those RNs accepted what the others are fighting against & some people may ask why the nurses have to strike when that contract was good enough for one group of nurses. Also, some of those 9,000 RNs may not know the details & will feel that you bailed out. The fact that you received a BETTER offer than the other 12 hospitals are giving & that your hospital DID compromise to your demands for workplace improvements should be kept out in the forefront....not only to set the record straight, & get all the RNs on the same page but also to pressure those other 12 facilities into agreeing to the same.

    Good luck to all of you.
  3. by   -jt
    "Now, if a nurse from your union decides to cross the picket line, and then still reap the benefits of the strike settlement, that is a whole new ballgame. I would imagine that nurse would find a very cold working environment upon the return of the nurses who walked the lines."


    In NY, if one of our nurses crosses her unions strike line anywhere, not just at her own place of employment, she'd be brought before a hearing, fined, & maybe even thrown out of the union. The union MEMBERS wrote those rules THEMSELVES last year when scabs helped the hospital keep the Nyack nurses on strike from Christmas to Mothers Day.

    FYI, Nurses who cross other nurse's strike lines for a living proudly call THEMSELVES scabs & even maintain their own website with that very name.

    If scabs were not available, the hospitals would have to practically shut down if the nurses went on strike & if the hospitals did that, theyd lose a lot of money. In that case, they would not let there be a strike. Rather than risk it, they would do EXACTLY what that one hospital did - agree to address the issues the RNs feel they need to strike over. Then there would be no strike & the pts would be cared for by their own nurses.

    Scabs: stay home & let these nurses fight for what they need without their leverage being diluted by you.

    BTW....... the scab agency is offering the same pay as every other legitimate RN agency...$40/hr. In order to make the big bucks, you have to rack up overtime & agree to a minimum of 60 hrs/wk working 7 days in a row of 12 - 16 hr shifts. You can do that with any agency & make the same money - without crossing another RNs strike line & cutting them down while they are trying to improve their own conditions. So...

    #1 you can make the same kind of money working the same kind of hrs with a real RN agency & not have to cross a strike line to do it.
    #2 if scabs werent available, there would be no strike in the first place because the hospital would find a way to settle with the nurses rather than shut itself down. And the pts would have the care they need. So....
    There is just no excuse to cross the line. It cant be rationalized anyway you slice it.
  4. by   timonrn
    Thank you all so much for clarifying what was said. This is a very emotional topic here in the Twin Cities and as we speak the "angry" nurses at my hospital are demanding a recount. So anyway you look at it, we have deffinately changed. Nurses are angry at nurses and this shouldn't be the case!! Our VP of nursing services told the staff that we are all suffering from "survivor guilt." And, yes, it is interesting how much weight the media around here puts on what ever that chick who represents the hospitals sais--she always gets more press than the MNA does!! (you all from MN know who I'm talking about).
  5. by   ragtopannie
    I just wanted to say I'm ready to kick some booty!!! Bring on the picket signs and lets hope that SHIREEN GHANDI-KOSEL doesn't need healthcare in the next few weeks.

    This strike is not so much about $$$$, it's about safe-staffing, mandatory OT,and respect for our senior/veteran nurses and trying to keep 'em in the profession.---got it Ms. Ghandi--Kosel???? What is her background in healthcare ANYWAY? Am I the only one who thinks she'a moron who insists on repeatedly on chewing on her shoe?

    I'm sorry about the vote situation at North. The understanding at my hospital is that they were not fully informed of the contract and were told "misinformation" about what we were told about their contract offer and how we said, "yeah North, go for it" when we did not and were merely told, "North was made an offer they couldn't refuse" and we sat in our chairs at the vote stunned because it was our (and my)understanding that North was and still is -poised for a strike. What a mess.

    We are told the SCABS are coming next week and at work last night we were saying to one another,"surely they don't expect us to train them?" Geez.

    Well, got to go all. Thank for the support!
  6. by   -jt
    <I very much resent the comment that we left the other nurses holding the bag!! >
    >
    <The understanding at my hospital is that they were not fully informed of the contract and were told "misinformation" about what we were told about their contract offer and how we said, "yeah North, go for it" when we did not and were merely told, "North was made an offer they couldn't refuse" and we sat in our chairs at the vote stunned because it was our (and my) understanding that North was and still is -poised for a strike. What a mess.>


    THIS is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about. The information is not clear. They feel like they were left holding the bag. And your nurses feel survivor guilt. An informational picket of a few hrs on the day they walk out and a visit to their lines to walk with them on your own time in support of the nurses who didnt get the contract offer you did & have to go on strike might go a long way to easing both sides hard feelings.

    PS
    to the RN who worries about paying the bills..... theres a nursing shortage!! - you will find temporary work - just like the Nyack, NY RNs did for the entire 6 months of their strike. Recruiters even show up at strike lines to sign up RNs & take applications. Other hospitals (not affiliated with the 13 that you dealt with) will be very happy to have you fill in.... or maybe you might do some visiting nursing, or drive a little further to another area... you may not get your usual shift that youre used to, & you may work in an area of the hospital that is not your favorite but you will find work for when you arent on the strike line & you will pay the bills. Remember the recent DC nurses strike? They found so much temp work & such better positions that after their strike was over, many didnt even go back at all.
    Congrats on voting with your convictions. Good luck to all.
  7. by   Jenny P
    At work last night we were talking and one guy (a nurse) was saying his wife (who is not a nurse) is being very unsupportive about the upcoming strike. I pulled up an article in the Pioneer Press by one of the columnists (Laura Billings) from 5/21/01 where she fully supported the nurses. This columnist wrote that if a St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's beginning violinist base pay for next season is $62,700 and the Northwest Airlines mechanics, cleaners and custodians were willing to pay their inspectors $61,000, then nurses deserve a base pay of $50,000 in their contract. She had lots of good thing to say about nurses and nursing. There are supportive media people, but I think the "sound bite" doesn't help one bit. Our (the nurses) reasons can't be condenced as easily as the hospitals side (after all, they just say "NO -It's all the nurses fault"- that fits in a sound bite a whole lot easier than trying to say what our position is.
    As for the nurses who are worried about finances, as Julie said, there are agencies that are hiring and also check out the MNA website with its' sample letters to creditors. I went through this back in 1984 when we were on strike here; and I had been the one supporting my family. Be honest with the creditors and work with them; it makes all the difference in the world. As long as my creditors knew I would be on strike and that I did intend to pay my bills, it was much easier to deal with them.
    I'm feeling very ambivalent right now; I want the 2 sides to sit down to the bargaining table and negotiate honestly, openly, and fairly so we don't have to strike. On the other hand, I do want to strike so that the plight of this profession is brought directly into the public eye and people will "Start Hearing Nurses" (that is the MNA slogan for the past 2 years).
  8. by   PeggyOhio
    Originally posted by Jenny P:
    <STRONG>
    I'm feeling very ambivalent right now; I want the 2 sides to sit down to the bargaining table and negotiate honestly, openly, and fairly so we don't have to strike. On the other hand, I do want to strike so that the plight of this profession is brought directly into the public eye and people will "Start Hearing Nurses" (that is the MNA slogan for the past 2 years). </STRONG>
    Jenny P
    I can identify with your statement so well! When will they listen!

    I'm beginning to feel like nurses are the proverbial "Atlas" of health care, holding the "weight" of the whole system on our shoulders, while being told 'just hold it a little longer while we try to figure out what we did wrong'!

    The longer we hold on the more of us 'fall' away and the load gets heavier!

    I've been listening and studying the Senate Committee hearings on-line the past few days. I listened to them backwards, the 5/17 one first and then the 2/13 one next.

    The 5/17 hearing was Ok, I felt hopeful that they were on the right track.

    But then I watched 2/13 hearing. The NURSES on the panel could not even agree on what recommendations to make to the Senate. I was shocked and dismayed.

    And this morning I'm so d*** depressed I could cry. I just don't see this getting better any time soon. And I'm starting to feel like I want to just 'fall' away from nursing, too. But then I know it will only make the load heavier for those that stay.
  9. by   Jenny P
    Peggy Ohio, we shouldn't be compelled to stay in nursing just because the load will be heavier for the rest of the nurses who are left. I think that all of us, as nurses, should be caring for our profession which has been silent too long about what is happening in the workplace these days. The Pioneer Press had its' whole editorial page full of point/counterpoint opinions and letters to the editor about the impending strike. Of course the hospitals view was that they will be open and fully operational; while the nurses expressed our viewpoint about worrying about patient safety at this point already. There was also a news story about the contingency plans for the hospitals and it was reassuring to see that "the ICUs would be fully staffed" as would the E.D.s'!!!!!!! Well, if they can "FULLY STAFF" critical care DURING a strike, why can't they before the strike!!!!!!!
    Another quote in the Star Tribune today was that the Allina system (which has 3 hospitals involved in the strike, employing somewhere around 3000+ nurses) is hiring 750 strikebreaking nurses who will staff approx. 45% of the open slots and the managers and non-union nurses will fill the rest. "Business as usual"? I doubt it. They are negotiating both today and tomorrow with the federal mediators at the table with them. I've checked the hotline several times and there isn't an update yet.
  10. by   -jt
    "the ICUs would be fully staffed" as would the E.D.s'!!!!!!! Well, if they can "FULLY STAFF" critical care DURING a strike, why can't they before the strike!!!!!!!


    good question to ask the newspaper. also, ask why can that one hospital recognize the importance of the taffing issue & agree to address it but other 12 will not.
    Put it in the paper. short & sweet. make people think.
  11. by   -jt
    I just got the UAN newsletter & on the inside of it is a poster - looks like it could have been taken from Ohio NA (UAN founding member)new public education video - with a close up of a pt's hand & him pushing the call bell & the words "How long till your nurse can get there? Good question."

    an excellent visual impact statement.

    Jenny - you are also UAN so I suggest you guys blow that up & plaster it all over the place!
  12. by   timonrn
    JennyP and all other Twin Cities Nurses in the big "12"--My Mom is working this w/e at an Allina hospital and she tells me that she has to train in her replacement for next week!!! I told her to show them how the pumps work and how to get the meds out of the Pyxis but I would refuse to show them how your computerized charting works, etc etc. Is this true at all the hospitals--are you guys actually supposed to orientate these supposed "experienced" replacements!? Of course my Mom is so consciencetous that she plans on giving her replacements the full blown orientation!! NO WAY!! And we figured this out--the hospitals will be paying roughly $16 million PER WEEK to these replacements (salary at 40, 50 or even 60/hr, room & board at a luxery hotel--probably the Northland INN!!, and $400 PER WEEK shopping spree at the MOA, plus travel expenses--after all, gas is $1.89 up here). This is so outrageous!! And the public seems to think that North (and the other non-striking hospitals) is going to take on the "extra" pts? yeah right--we don't even have enough nurses for the beds we operate now!! I don't think so!! unless they plan on pulling managers/supervisors/office workers into action!! And that would mean I would have to orient some nurse who hasn't worked the floor for 10 years!! OMG!! This is looking grimmer and grimmer by the minute--I hope the hospitals and that Shireen chick wake up before Friday and see the potential disaster for what it is!!
  13. by   -jt
    are you guys actually supposed to orientate these supposed "experienced" replacements!?

    when we strike with NYSNA, we have nothing to do with scabs. If the hospital wants to hire people who need to be trained then they can train them. If they CANT train them, or dont have enough of them, well then maybe they should re-think their stance & get back to the table to avert the whole mess. Dont you go making it easy for them and helping them put you out on strike! Just say no.
    Hold your course.

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