Nurses crossing picket lines?? - page 4

My friend, who is an experienced travel RN, is thinking about taking a job where she will make $5,000 a week pay, but she has to go to another state and cross a picket line to get to work. I know a... Read More

  1. by   zenman
    Thanks Aussie for opening back up.

    Posted by Hellllllo Nurse: And now, I'm done talking to you.
    Talk "with" me then and let's continue to work on "our" nursing problems. I have my experience and you have yours...and there are many others who can help. We have yet to come together as a group.

    And any nurse that visits Oahu has a free place to stay. I'll be moving into a bigger place end of the month. You have to buy me a meal. Don't worry, I'm cheap!
  2. by   zenman
    Posted by Hellllllo Nurse: Exactly. This is why we need to unionize.
    Fighting little battles all over the place is not why you need to unionize. You'll get nowhere.

    Wow, you got pizza? Haven't we all? I've had plenty of freakin' pizza's from CEOs.
    Missing the point? What are "you" doing to make your workplace a better place? Have you invited your hospital CEO to lunch, one-on-one? Do you know his/her daily battles, concerns. Have you asked him/her how you could help to make things better? If you want to fight a war, you must know as much as possible.
  3. by   zenman
    Posted by fergus51:You make it sound like you believe you know how to change things for the better, so what have you done specifically to do that? I don't think it's that you object to handing me answers, I think it's that you don't have them to give.
    I don't have all the answers. If I told you what I thought would be the answer(s), I would just be attacked...as part of human nature. We can work on the answers, though. Let me give you a case. I was once a director of a large hospital-based home health agency. There were 200 people reporting to me and I reported to the hospital CEO. With this many people, most of them running around covering 50 counties, there is the potential for my pager to go off many times a day. Anytime one of my managers came to me with a problem, my answer was "why." After we worked through this, I asked them what three approaches did they see as workable. They picked one and they owned it, not me. They worked through problems on their own after that. My pager rarely went off. Our team was so successful that me and my Director of Operations were invited to Chicago to speak at a Industrial Engineer seminar on reengineering. I actually am a lazy guy with nothing but common sense; the people made it happen. The three directors before me lasted one year each. I lasted 2.5 years and was asked to leave after standing up to admin in defense of a gay guy.
  4. by   fergus51
    I can appreciate that. I would be interested in hearing your ideas, in a pm if you don't want to post on this thread and I wouldn't attack you or discuss it with anyone.

    I do like that type of management style btw. In my experience, people can often work out their own problems if they are given the power to do it. The key is they have to be given that power. I've had managers that wanted to decide EVERYTHING... I wondered if I was supposed to consult them before using the bathroom.... Notice the use of past tense there!
  5. by   zenman
    Posted earlier: Wow, you got pizza?
    Shamans say the the world is as you dream it. After a short nap before my 12 hr shift, I went downstairs and my cute little blonde wife greeted me with, "I got some pizza for you!" Life is so sweet!
  6. by   zenman
    Posted by fergus51: I can appreciate that. I would be interested in hearing your ideas, in a pm if you don't want to post on this thread and I wouldn't attack you or discuss it with anyone.
    Let's just work on it together with as many as possible. No time tonight...place is full and it's nut's.
  7. by   RNPATL
    Quote from zenman
    I can justify my actions. I still want a professional nurse to tell me why they walked out on the very people they profess to help and call it justified. Let's see..."I'm sorry madam about your sick child, but I'll be out on the picket line tomorrow. Your child may die because I didn't arrange for any other nurses to come in and take care of him, but in the end it will be better for everyone in the future. I just don't know any other way to accomplish what we want.""

    Yes, I enjoyed the money I made...$35 an hour (which was less than the $65 an hour I billed prior to coming here) and time and a half past 40. The traveling nurses were amazed at what the nurses were making here and many were asking, "What are they striking for?"



    Before we talk about criminals, answer my question above.
    Randy - I have taken the time to read much of this thread and really feel compelled to respond to this post. In my opinion, nurses strike for very good reasons. I am sorry, but I can not imagine a single mother (or father in my case) who needs to earn a salary, pay the bills and put food on the table, striking just because she (or he) is following the group. A nurse that goes on strike, takes this decision very seriously. For many nurses, we are passionate about the quality of care we provide our patients. Taking care of 7-8 patients on a busy med-surg unit is very dangerous. Many nurses feel that the only voice they have is the power of the union and the ability to strike. I can't imagine any nurse really wanting to take this action. I agree with you that striking may not be the answer and that as a large professional group, nurses have a lot more power than they realize. But, in our world today, unions do play a role in advocating for better working conditions and for better safety standards for the patient through the power of striking.

    I think we need to really explore and discuss the fact that nurses go on strike because management does not listen. Patient's receiving poor care, nurses being forced to work mandatory overtime, declining benefits and the list goes on and on. Oh and Randy, I am aware of the reimbursement issues in health care. But, I have to agree with many of the posters .... perhaps if the CEO's of many of these hospitals added their bonuses back into the bottom-line, we might have a little more revenue to provide sufficient staff to provide safe care to the patients. In my local community (in Florida - before I moved to NC) - the CEO was making $650,000 a year and was about to receive a yearly bonus of $50,000 at the same time he had made the decision to cut more nursing positions at the hospital. The reason he made the $50,000 bonus was because he was running a "tight ship." What he was doing, was creating a hospital environment that was unsafe and placed nurses in very dangerous positions. And, to answer another question .... ball players are not paid by Medicare nor are their coaches .... so I do not think we are comparing apples to apples here. Certainly if the coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs was being paid by Medicare, his overall salary should reflect the declining reimbursement ..... much like a CEO's salary should reflect declining reimbursement. Seems strange to me that CEO wages and compensation packages are growing at the same time reimbursement is declining. ummm.

    We can debate your perspective all day. However, I have to say that nurses need a voice out there. Perhaps the only voice the nurses feel they have is a union. Perhaps if the ANA was more proactive with the bedside RN, memberships would improve and then the ANA could be the real voice of the nurse - much like the AMA is for physicians. Whatever the case, I think most nurses take a strike action very serious. And, for most nurses, I am sure they worry about the patient's in the hospital as much as they worry about how they are going to feed their family during such a tramatic time. It is not easy at all.

    One last point ..... you indicated that you had crossed the picket line to cover for nurses that were on strike and that you provided better care than they did. How can you make a valid and blanket statement like this? Were you aware of the working conditions before the strike? Many hospitals that go on strike have increased their staffing because of the media publicity. They want to come across as the victums. Are you aware of what the staffing ratios were prior to the strike and the challenges those nurses faced? I can assure you that the conditions were pretty bad for those men and women to leave their jobs, caring for their patients, to walk a picket line.

    I think it is ok to have differing perspectives on issues, but I think it is important to respect the decisions of others. I struggle with the idea of striking, but I can certainly respect the decision a nurse on strike goes through to come to that conclusion.
    Last edit by RNPATL on Jul 8, '04
  8. by   teeituptom
    The only time I crossed picket lines is for the big bucks that I was getting, I like big bucks.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from RNPATL
    Randy - I have taken the time to read much of this thread and really feel compelled to respond to this post. In my opinion, nurses strike for very good reasons. I am sorry, but I can not imagine a single mother (or father in my case) who needs to earn a salary, pay the bills and put food on the table, striking just because she (or he) is following the group. A nurse that goes on strike, takes this decision very seriously. For many nurses, we are passionate about the quality of care we provide our patients. Taking care of 7-8 patients on a busy med-surg unit is very dangerous. Many nurses feel that the only voice they have is the power of the union and the ability to strike. I can't imagine any nurse really wanting to take this action. I agree with you that striking may not be the answer and that as a large professional group, nurses have a lot more power than they realize. But, in our world today, unions do play a role in advocating for better working conditions and for better safety standards for the patient through the power of striking.

    I think we need to really explore and discuss the fact that nurses go on strike because management does not listen. Patient's receiving poor care, nurses being forced to work mandatory overtime, declining benefits and the list goes on and on. Oh and Randy, I am aware of the reimbursement issues in health care. But, I have to agree with many of the posters .... perhaps if the CEO's of many of these hospitals added their bonuses back into the bottom-line, we might have a little more revenue to provide sufficient staff to provide safe care to the patients. In my local community (in Florida - before I moved to NC) - the CEO was making $650,000 a year and was about to receive a yearly bonus of $50,000 at the same time he had made the decision to cut more nursing positions at the hospital. The reason he made the $50,000 bonus was because he was running a "tight ship." What he was doing, was creating a hospital environment that was unsafe and placed nurses in very dangerous positions. And, to answer another question .... ball players are not paid by Medicare nor are their coaches .... so I do not think we are comparing apples to apples here. Certainly if the coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs was being paid by Medicare, his overall salary should reflect the declining reimbursement ..... much like a CEO's salary should reflect declining reimbursement. Seems strange to me that CEO wages and compensation packages are growing at the same time reimbursement is declining. ummm.

    We can debate your perspective all day. However, I have to say that nurses need a voice out there. Perhaps the only voice the nurses feel they have is a union. Perhaps if the ANA was more proactive with the bedside RN, memberships would improve and then the ANA could be the real voice of the nurse - much like the AMA is for physicians. Whatever the case, I think most nurses take a strike action very serious. And, for most nurses, I am sure they worry about the patient's in the hospital as much as they worry about how they are going to feed their family during such a tramatic time. It is not easy at all.

    One last point ..... you indicated that you had crossed the picket line to cover for nurses that were on strike and that you provided better care than they did. How can you make a valid and blanket statement like this? Were you aware of the working conditions before the strike? Many hospitals that go on strike have increased their staffing because of the media publicity. They want to come across as the victums. Are you aware of what the staffing ratios were prior to the strike and the challenges those nurses faced? I can assure you that the conditions were pretty bad for those men and women to leave their jobs, caring for their patients, to walk a picket line.

    I think it is ok to have differing perspectives on issues, but I think it is important to respect the decisions of others. I struggle with the idea of striking, but I can certainly respect the decision a nurse on strike goes through to come to that conclusion.
    never mind. I just want to say well-said. I am through w/this thread. Have a good day everyone.
  10. by   zenman
    Posted by RNPATL: Randy - I have taken the time to read much of this thread and really feel compelled to respond to this post.
    Very good post.

    In my opinion, nurses strike for very good reasons. <snip> A nurse that goes on strike, takes this decision very seriously.
    But is it the "most wise" decision for "all" concerned? That's one point I want to stress.

    For many nurses, we are passionate about the quality of care we provide our patients.<snip> Many nurses feel that the only voice they have is the power of the union and the ability to strike.
    Why is it our only voice...I wonder?

    I can't imagine any nurse really wanting to take this action. I agree with you that striking may not be the answer and that as a large professional group, nurses have a lot more power than they realize.
    Are we using power in the most effective manner?

    But, in our world today, unions do play a role in advocating for better working conditions and for better safety standards for the patient through the power of striking.
    Unions do have their place.

    I think we need to really explore and discuss the fact that nurses go on strike because management does not listen.
    Like I said earlier, hospitals are not breeding grounds for creativity and most probably deserve what happens to them.

    Oh and Randy, I am aware of the reimbursement issues in health care. But, I have to agree with many of the posters .... perhaps if the CEO's of many of these hospitals added their bonuses back into the bottom-line, we might have a little more revenue to provide sufficient staff to provide safe care to the patients. In my local community (in Florida - before I moved to NC) - the CEO was making $650,000 a year and was about to receive a yearly bonus of $50,000 at the same time he had made the decision to cut more nursing positions at the hospital. The reason he made the $50,000 bonus was because he was running a "tight ship." What he was doing, was creating a hospital environment that was unsafe and placed nurses in very dangerous positions. <snip>
    True, but there are several issues here. Is the CEO being paid a fair wage in regards to his peers? If so, are we to fault him for his fair salary? We have our opinions on the matter.. I think the president of Chysler could have kept a few factories running with his obscene salary instead of putting people out of work. I think that I personally would put money back into my people because I could surely survive on just a few million a year!! But...someone is trying to please shareholders!

    Seems strange to me that CEO wages and compensation packages are growing at the same time reimbursement is declining. ummm.
    Yep, something's wrong with the system.

    Perhaps the only voice the nurses feel they have is a union.
    Why is this?

    One last point ..... you indicated that you had crossed the picket line to cover for nurses that were on strike and that you provided better care than they did. How can you make a valid and blanket statement like this? Were you aware of the working conditions before the strike? Many hospitals that go on strike have increased their staffing because of the media publicity. They want to come across as the victums. Are you aware of what the staffing ratios were prior to the strike and the challenges those nurses faced? I can assure you that the conditions were pretty bad for those men and women to leave their jobs, caring for their patients, to walk a picket line.
    Sorry, no blanket statement intended. Some of the nurses are great and I respect their clinical ability. Others...well, I'm trying to stay healthy and out of the hospital. I'm still dealing with some of these nurses as they do not meet the ability of others I have worked with. I think staffing stayed the same. Mandatory OT was an issue as was retirement plan, grievances, etc.. Wages went up. As I said earlier, some of the travelers wondered why they were striking. My personal feeling is that all problems are managements fault. One CEO told me that if his hospital fell down because it was on an earthquake fault line, it would be his fault because he didn't check it out!

    I think it is ok to have differing perspectives on issues, but I think it is important to respect the decisions of others. I struggle with the idea of striking, but I can certainly respect the decision a nurse on strike goes through to come to that conclusion.
    No problem there. What really irks me is that nurses "have" to depend on unions. I don't see the union leaders forgoing their salary while the nurses are doing without. Retirement...set up your own. Never depend on a company's retirement plan. Some companies go under. Have your eggs in more than one basket. From what I understand the union here didn't let the nurses know till the night before that the strike was on. Now the union is in a shambles. Lawsuits, top people getting the boot, all kinds of problems. This is what nurses consider their voice??? I think unions, in my experience foster a certain dependency. I left my mother and was in the Army 3 days after graduating from high school. If I want something, I'll go ask for it. I don't need a go-between and have never had one except for when my ex-wife got after me with a mean lawyer! I think overall teamwork goes downhill with a union. "I'll tell my union on you" is common. What's the matter; can't talk for yourself? I've just never seen some nurses act the way this group does. I covered at a GM plant once and during my shift guys were coming in with sore backs and scrapped knuckles. I asked the nurse that worked there full time if this happened everyday. She said it did. I told her that if these guys were out fishing and got a hook in their hand they would just get another beer and get their buddy to pull it out with a pair of plyers and keep on fishing!

    A charge nurse called me up to her unit a few weeks ago. When I got there four nurses were sitting at the nurses station charting. The charge nurse told me that a CNA from the previous shift had left a bunch of patients wet and that the CNAs were not answering call lights. One CNA heard her and told her that they were trying to catch up and didn't have time to answer the call lights. I told the nurses that charting could wait and that the patients came first. I then went and helped the CNAs catch up till they told me they had it under control. Course I wrote the lazy, not very bright, nurses up. Where is common sense today? The things CNAs told me during the strike about the nurses didn't make me feel good to be a nurse. Many CNAs cried when we left.

    That's just a few of my union issues.
  11. by   zenman
    Posted by me: Shamans say the the world is as you dream it. After a short nap before my 12 hr shift, I went downstairs and my cute little blonde wife greeted me with, "I got some pizza for you!" Life is so sweet!
    So, on one of my many trips to the ED tonight, the staff says, "Hey Randy, want some pizza?" I've got to dream of something else!
  12. by   RNIAM
    I am so happy that I will be taking my first job at a unionized hospital. I will become an active union member. I would never cross a picket line.
  13. by   Dixiedi
    I sat and read every post in this thread top to bottom. There towards the end, I noticed a lot of reference to other employees slaries.

    I had read not too long ago an article about CEOs and their wages. Took a few minutes to see if I could find it without luck, but I did find this rather interesting article. It will prove my point that we lowly workers should not be concerned with what the CEO makes. His/her job is so far removed from how we look at management positions that it's not even comparable to our job or even the job of the DON. The CEO lives in a totally different world than we do. (Though through many family contacts I have had dinner and attended a few weddings with CEOs of some very large companies and find they are usually just regular people. Still, they just do not work in the same world we do.)

    First, here's a quick quote from the article I found extremely interesting.
    [QOUTE]
    "Why executives should be paid more than they deserve
    If workers are paid their marginal product its difficult to understand why some CEOs are paid such high wages. But think of the CEO's wage as a prize. Valuable prizes make everyone else work hard in order to become the CEO. With this model, the tournament model (JSTOR) of Lazear and Rosen, it may even make sense that CEO wages go up as profits go down. After all, shouldn't prizes be set highest when motivation is most required? No doubt, some will see this argument as more proof that economists are just shills for the capitalist class.
    [/QOUTE]

    Here's the link. Follow the links as presented, it's really very interesting.
    http://www.marginalrevolution.com/ma...s_good_to.html

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