Nurses crossing picket lines?? - page 5

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   Euskadi1946
    Quote from zenman
    Keep laughing cause you're going nowhere. Nurses, considering their numbers, are basically impotent. You are aware of that are you? How many nurses are there? How many are not working in nursing? How many are in unions? You're fighting little isolated battles all over. You have to look at the big picture. You want me to hand you the answer? No!! I don't have a "blanket" criticism of unions; they are just better ways. Think outside the box. Be creative. I took a senator out to lunch once as a registered nurse to tell him about some EMS issues. I asked a hospital CEO, when I had only been at a hospital about 3 weeks, if he would buy pizza for all the staff cause we were working our butts off. His eyes glazed over, probably cause no one had ever asked him that before and his answer, "Oh, ok!" Lots of pizza arrived shortly thereafter.
    And I suppose you want a medal for asking the CEO for pizzas?? We nurses don't want pizza, we want decent nurse/patient ratios, decent working conditions, decent benefits. Decent pay is an absolute plus too. Pizzas will always be available to us. The same problems will exist after they have been eaten!!
  2. by   RNPATL
    Quote from zenman
    Very good post.
    Thank you. I am not as good at the quoting as you are in your replies, so I will just provide a brief comment. And I appreciated your respectful reply.

    I agree that unions should not be the voice of the nurse. I think the voice of the nurse should be an organization that represents nurses as a whole. There is not an organization of this nature that exists. People will say that the ANA is that organization, but as a staff nurse, I do not see anything on the local or national level that the ANA is doing for me and my plight as a staff nurse.

    I think all nurses should get involved with a professional organization that is focused on lobbying for the interest of quality patient care and better overall conditions for nurses.

    Randy - like you and many others on this board, I do not know what the answer is. I wish I had the answer and I really wish that as a group of professionals, we could use our nurmbers and strength to mandate change. If nurses came together as one united group and demanded change, we literally could bring health care to its knees. However, far to many nurses are scared to have a voice because they have been beaten down by managers and administrators. Many nurses, while jobs are plentiful, are afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs. These are real issues and real fears of nurses. Better to shut up and put up. However, today, I believe the crisis in health care is growing to such a point, that even the nurses that have shut up and put up over the years are now becoming more concerned and are voicing their concerns. Management continues to not listen and it is business as usual for them. While unions may not be the answer (and I do agree with you on this) .... it is a start for nurses. We need advocacy for our profession and we need a way to start.

    It is a tough question, with no real great answers, but it is worth the effort to explore and discover different opinions of the subject.

    It my hope and dream that one day nurses will be a united front and can truly advocate not only for their patient, but for their profession. Perhaps, one day, in my professional career, or at least before I die, I can see this to a reality. Perhaps.
  3. by   movealong
    Quote from zenman
    Very good post.



    But is it the "most wise" decision for "all" concerned? That's one point I want to stress.



    Why is it our only voice...I wonder?



    Are we using power in the most effective manner?



    Unions do have their place.



    Like I said earlier, hospitals are not breeding grounds for creativity and most probably deserve what happens to them.



    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!



    Yep, something's wrong with the system.



    Why is this?



    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!



    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.
    Sorry but not everyone's experience is the same. I was a union nurse for 13 years. Never once did I hear anything remotely similiar to " I'll tell the union on you".

    Nobody ran to the union for any or every little thing. We had good relationships with our supervisors in most cases. The nurses were great. Many nurses were there for years (because of the union) so we all knew each other and worked well together. We knew most other personnel from other depts too. They were intellient and hard working nurses.

    We knew the higher ups from way back before the system got so large. Heck we used to eat with them. But when management refused to come to the table to even talk about a contract offer, what do you do? Things have since changed. They are still unionized but management changed and for the better. Some of the nurses benefits are tied into how the company is doing, and that makes sense. You want the company you work for to do well, and you'll work hard to make sure it does. It made the nurses a real part of the system.

    Unions don't make bad nurses.

    I was a union nurse for years and proud of it. I have a great work ethic, that's how I was raised. And I really do not care if someone calls me a blue collar worker or not. It mmakes no difference to me. I know what I am, whatever label anyone would wish to assign me. Doesn't change who I am, or what I do.
    Last edit by movealong on Jul 8, '04
  4. by   zenman
    Posted by RNPATL: Thank you. I am not as good at the quoting as you are in your replies, so I will just provide a brief comment. And I appreciated your respectful reply.
    You're welcome. You are a role model for others on this board.

    I agree that unions should not be the voice of the nurse. I think the voice of the nurse should be an organization that represents nurses as a whole. There is not an organization of this nature that exists. People will say that the ANA is that organization, but as a staff nurse, I do not see anything on the local or national level that the ANA is doing for me and my plight as a staff nurse.
    You got it!!

    I think all nurses should get involved with a professional organization that is focused on lobbying for the interest of quality patient care and better overall conditions for nurses.
    Yes, yes, yes!!!

    Randy - like you and many others on this board, I do not know what the answer is. I wish I had the answer and I really wish that as a group of professionals, we could use our nurmbers and strength to mandate change. If nurses came together as one united group and demanded change, we literally could bring health care to its knees.
    I think you do have the answer! Whew, my work here is done! You may now take over. I'm 53 and basically bored with Western medicine. Practicing and teaching Zen Shiatsu is one of my greatest pleasures. It is so much fun to teaching a healing art that is healing for both patient and practitioner. I do incorporate the nursing process into my practice so I do stay in touch. Soon as I get my school up, I'll be out of the hospital. Luckily, there are people like you can see clearly and will be there to take care of me.

    LAWS are there for the benefit of the majority. Power, money and politics (whether you like it or not) rule. Fighting little battles over the place is not very effective. Work on a national level.

    However, far to many nurses are scared to have a voice because they have been beaten down by managers and administrators. Many nurses, while jobs are plentiful, are afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs. These are real issues and real fears of nurses. Better to shut up and put up.
    A real shift occurred with me a long time ago when I adopted a "I'll keep my bags packed" attitude. A lot of tension about my job left. I'f I'm fired today, I'll say, "Thank you. I'll now be taking a vacation." There is usually many places for us to go. Being desperate about losing a job is not a pretty thing.

    It is a tough question, with no real great answers, but it is worth the effort to explore and discover different opinions of the subject.

    It my hope and dream that one day nurses will be a united front and can truly advocate not only for their patient, but for their profession. Perhaps, one day, in my professional career, or at least before I die, I can see this to a reality. Perhaps.
    You have shown great insight and the ability to discuss the issue by staying on track. You probably even understand my pizza comments! You are probably wasting your time working as a nurse. Maybe you could do more good if we could call you "Senator!" You may now take over. On my last day at one hospital, I asked (I know; I get so much just my asking), the CEOs admin assistant if she would do me a favor. So, as I walked out the lobby of the hospital, I heard overhead "Randall Sexton has now left the building!"
  5. by   RNPATL
    Thank you Randy .... I have often thought about running for office and perhaps one day you will see a sign that says Vote for RNPATL for State Senator or Governor or maybe even President.
    Last edit by RNPATL on Jul 8, '04 : Reason: Typos .... my plight in life.
  6. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from RNPATL



    If nurses came together as one united group and demanded change, we literally could bring health care to its knees. However, far to many nurses are scared to have a voice because they have been beaten down by managers and administrators. Many nurses, while jobs are plentiful, are afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs. These are real issues and real fears of nurses. Better to shut up and put up. However, today, I believe the crisis in health care is growing to such a point, that even the nurses that have shut up and put up over the years are now becoming more concerned and are voicing their concerns. Management continues to not listen and it is business as usual for them. While unions may not be the answer (and I do agree with you on this) .... it is a start for nurses. We need advocacy for our profession and we need a way to start.
    i am proposing that there is a strong correlation between the horizontal violence amongst nurses and the evident inability of nurses to voice their discontents to mgmt.

    it compares to one of those times that my don told me that "i act like a man in that if something bothers me, i take care of it: when something bothers a woman, they just complain amongst each other." perhaps if we collectively voiced our dissatisfaction with our higher ups, rather than with each other, the feeling of empowerment would drastically reduce the way that nursing so scathingly treats each other.

    leslie
  7. by   teeituptom
    Quote from CeCiRN
    And I suppose you want a medal for asking the CEO for pizzas?? We nurses don't want pizza, we want decent nurse/patient ratios, decent working conditions, decent benefits. Decent pay is an absolute plus too. Pizzas will always be available to us. The same problems will exist after they have been eaten!!

    along with a little gas also
  8. by   husker-nurse
    and now for my last question; isnt Huang Po what I ordered at the Chinese place the other night? (maybe a little chuckle is in order here!). To quote a very famous man "Can't we all just get along?" United we stand.......
  9. by   DC2RN
    Quote from zenman
    A real shift occurred with me a long time ago when I adopted a "I'll keep my bags packed" attitude. A lot of tension about my job left. I'f I'm fired today, I'll say, "Thank you. I'll now be taking a vacation." There is usually many places for us to go. Being desperate about losing a job is not a pretty thing.
    This attitude is a real life changer. It makes you immune to a lot of crap. If things get bad or abusive, you LEAVE! Just make sure you have something lined up before you go. It is the hottest nursing market in years and projected to get better. You will NOT have a problem getting another job. I always work with one foot out the door of the facility where I work.

    My attitude shift occured after my first job. I had a miserable tyrant for a boss. I tried so hard to please everyone, and in the end I ended up downsized after an office reorganization. You know what? The sun came up the next day! I found another job. And soon after I reallized the layoff was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was ashamed that I allowed myself to be treated that way.

    I don't understand why nurses put up with so much nonsense from management, when a great job is just up the street. You are a free agent in a sellers market. You have the power! If more nurses would put up with less crap, management would not dare try to dish it out!
  10. by   DC2RN
    Quote from KacyLynnLPN
    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 little bit about strikes and picket lines from my father, who has been a manager in a auto-parts factory for years. I can remember during strikes people would actually try to attack him physically, damage his car, and even threaten to kill him. Needless to say, I am pretty upset about my friend taking this position. I am very concerned for her safety. Does anyone know anything about nurses on strike? Can those strikes be as violent and dangerous as other union strikes?? I am trying to talk my friend out of going. Any insight/advice you could give me would be great. Thanks.

    If the travel RNs are making $5000/wk, imagine how much the agencies are charging the hospital. Maybe $7000-$8000/wk. (I'm guessing.) I think a few weeks where the hospital has to pay nurses this rate will teach the HOSPITAL a lesson in economics.

    This reminds me of a local nurses strike a few months ago. The picketing nurses signed up with local temporary nursing agencies, and made MORE than they made at the hospital. The hospital imported scab travelers who needed to be paid a small fortune to cross a picket line. Everybody made more money, except the hospital.

    So what was the down side of crossing a picket line, again? :chuckle
  11. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from DC2RN


    So what was the down side of crossing a picket line, again? :chuckle

    apparently nothing you'd understand.
  12. by   zenman
    Posted by DC2RN: This reminds me of a local nurses strike a few months ago. The picketing nurses signed up with local temporary nursing agencies, and made MORE than they made at the hospital. The hospital imported scab travelers who needed to be paid a small fortune to cross a picket line. Everybody made more money, except the hospital.
    Do hospitals carry strike insurance? If so, they may not lose by much.
  13. by   zenman
    Poster by husker-nurse: and now for my last question; isnt Huang Po what I ordered at the Chinese place the other night? (maybe a little chuckle is in order here!).
    Depending on what you ate and how much fluid you drank, it could be Hung Poo! :chuckle

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