Nurses strike

  1. What do you think of nurses unions turning down a 20% pay raise?

    Just bugs the heck out of me. I am not sure what these nurses are trying to prove, but in today's economy turning down a 20% pay raise is a slap in the face to most Americans. Especially with unemployment rates at such a high rate.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   askater
    Maybe they want better working conditions. I don't know the story...but that's a big factor in disatisfaction with jobs.
  4. by   RNPD
    What union? Where? Hospital. LTC, what? Is the facility in financial trouble or posting huge profits? How long since they had a raise? How does the present salary, as well as the proposed salary, compare with the standard in the area? Over how many years will the 20% raise be spread out? Are they asking for more money than 20% and no other issues, or did they turn down the 20% proposal because other demands weren't met (such as better staffing, mandatory OT, etc)?

    Answer those questions so i can give an educated opinion.
  5. by   fergus51
    Go RNPD! Took the words wirght out of my mouth
  6. by   Jenny P
    Here in the Twin Cities last summer we received an average 20% pay raise (from 19% to 21%, depending on where each hospitals' salaries were at the time) over 3 years and we were asking for 30%. BUT also tied into that contract were such things as pensions, a cap on health insurance costs, seniority bonuses, and a couple of other things I can't remember right now. Each hospital was offering slightly different contracts, and that is why only 2 of the possible 9 hospitals went on strike. The hospital association here had decided to cap us all out at the same salary so we wouldn't be jumping from 1 to the other for salary increases-- as if salary is the only thing we look at!
    There were a lot of nurses who wanted the 30% increase, but there were too many other things at risk in the same contract to push for it exclusively. Doing that would probably have caused us to lose ground again in pensions and health care areas.
  7. by   P_RN
    Would this be the Oregon Nurses Association?

    http://www.fairpay4nurses.org/

    I've seen this discussion in other sites from other nurses. It's not a flat 20%. It's prorated/stepwise whatever. It's also bennies, degrees, management etc. Might want to read up.

    http://news.statesmanjournal.com/article.cfm?i=35590

    Nurses say OHSU's latest offer is nothing new

    The key change would prevent a holiday strike like the one under way now.

    The Associated Press
    January 6

    PORTLAND-Striking nurses at Oregon Health & Science University rejected an extended contract offer with expanded benefits late Friday after a mediation failed to end the 20-day walkout.

    Nurses said the 39-month contract offer of a 20 percent pay increase-6 percent in each of the first three years, 2 percent in the final three months-was unacceptable.

    Under the offer, nurses' contracts would expire Dec. 31, 2004, meaning they could not launch a strike during the holidays, as they have this year.

    "They didn't change their offer at all, except to lengthen the term of the contract," said Kathleen Sheridan, a negotiator for the Oregon Nurses Association, which represents 1,500 OHSU nurses. "They're trying to push the contract ahead so the nurses will be striking at other times-not Christmas."

    The hospital has had difficulty filling spots left by the 1,300 registered nurses on strike. Last week, the hospital's inpatient caseload fell to 57 percent of capacity compared with 61 percent at the same time last year.

    The patient load had dropped to a low of 47 percent on Christmas.

    The nurses have offered to decrease their wage proposal by 1 percent over two years of the contract. They also reduced their request for additional employer contributions to their health care.

    Still, nurses are demanding a nearly 19 percent wage increase over two years and improved health insurance options. OHSU has said it will not offer more than a 14 percent wage increase.

    OHSU's latest offer also included a $30-per-month increase in insurance for full-time nurses.

    "This is nothing," Sheridan said later Friday after a 12-hour mediation session, the third that has been held with the two sides. "They didn't come anywhere near what the nurses were asking for."

    The hospital also offered to cover nurses' insurance during the strike if ONA negotiators agreed to remain neutral on the offer if it were taken up for a vote. The representatives declined.

    OHSU Nursing Director Bonnie Driggers said the hospital would not bend on its decision to remove nurses' ability to strike during the holidays.

    "We believe that it's unfair to our patients and their families to have the additional burden over the holidays of a work stoppage," Driggers said. "We believe this is a good offer."

    No future mediation sessions were scheduled.
    Last edit by P_RN on Jan 7, '02
  8. by   -jt
    <What do you think of nurses unions turning down a 20% pay raise? >


    I'd think the rest of the contract which contained this offer was not acceptable to them and they had to turn it down or live with unacceptable conditions - the results of which were more important than money.

    Nurses labor issues are not only about salary. In contract negotiations, most proposals are tied together - "we'll agree to this IF you agree to that" ie: "we'll agree to give you 20% raises but only IF you agree to drop your demand for mandatory OT restrictions"

    I dont know any union RN who would take that offer.

    Nurses in Long Island, NY are on strike for safe staffing guidelines & improvements to their health benefits to help retain nurses. Their hospital may offer them a contract that meets their other proposals but ONLY if the nurses first drop their demand for better health insurance. The nurses turn it down & stayed out on strike over it.

    Last year, in the famous RN strike at Washington Med Center in DC, the hospital offered the RNs MORE than what they were even asking for - but on the condition they drop their demand for safe staffing guidelines. It tried to buy them off. The nurses had said from day 1 that their strike issue was pt safety & they turned down the money. The nurses then counter-offered for a raise % that was even a little LESS than they had initially proposed to the hospital - on the condtion that the hospital meet their safe staffing demands.

    Extortion - throwing a bone at RNs in the form of more money IF they give up their other important needs.

    On the other hand, maybe the nurses have wonderful working conditions but they are so far behind others in the area in salaries that nurses cant afford to work there, even with the wonderful conditions. Maybe it will take more than 20% increases to bring them up to the same level as nurses at other facilities in the area & be competitive enough to recruit & retain nurses to work there.

    Point is, no conclusions can be made about the nurses and their turning down 20% raises until the whole picture (and the rest of that contract and its ramifications) is looked at.
    Last edit by -jt on Jan 8, '02
  9. by   -jt
    <What do you think of nurses unions turning down a 20% pay raise? >

    Id think there was a very good reason. The article clearly shows those reasons the nurses could not accept the offer: accepting that contract for the the "20% raise" would also force the nurses to give up their bargaining leverage in all future negotiations by limiting their right to strike. In addition, its not an offer of a REAL 20% raise - its a 14% raise and the nurses are proposing 19%, so this offer doesnt come close to meeting their needs. The hospital is including the amount it spends on health care to give them & the public the false impression that its a 20% raise:

    "Nurses said the 39-month contract offer of a 20 percent pay increase-6 percent in each of the first three years, 2 percent in the final three months-was unacceptable.

    Under the offer, nurses' contracts would expire Dec. 31, 2004, meaning they could not launch a strike during the holidays, as they have this year.

    "They didn't change their offer at all, except to lengthen the term of the contract," said Kathleen Sheridan, a negotiator for the Oregon Nurses Association, which represents 1,500 OHSU nurses. "They're trying to push the contract ahead so the nurses will be striking at other times-not Christmas."

    nurses are demanding a nearly 19 percent wage increase over two years and improved health insurance options. OHSU has said it will not offer more than a 14 percent wage increase.

    OHSU's latest offer also included a $30-per-month increase in insurance for full-time nurses.

    "This is nothing," Sheridan said later Friday after a 12-hour mediation session, the third that has been held with the two sides. "They didn't come anywhere near what the nurses were asking for."

    http://news.statesmanjournal.com/article.cfm?i=35590



    I agree with the nurses & would have turned it down too.
  10. by   hadit
    Wonder why administration would not want to deal with a strike during the holidays? Could it be that agency nurses are harder to find at this time of year? The issues are many......glad to read some nurses turned down more $$ and instead fought for better working conditions....can't say it's greed when it comes to that. Points worth noting!
    __________________________________


    P_RN said..."They didn't change their offer at all, except to lengthen the term of the contract," said Kathleen Sheridan, a negotiator for the Oregon Nurses Association, which represents 1,500 OHSU nurses. "They're trying to push the contract ahead so the nurses will be striking at other times-not Christmas."

    jt said..."Last year, in the famous RN strike at Washington Med Center in DC, the hospital offered the RNs MORE than what they were even asking for - but on the condition they drop their demand for safe staffing guidelines. It tried to buy them off. The nurses had said from day 1 that their strike issue was pt safety & they turned down the money. The nurses then counter-offered for a raise % that was even a little LESS than they had initially proposed to the hospital - on the condtion that the hospital meet their safe staffing demands. "
  11. by   Cascadians
    The financial pressures and changes OHSU went through, plus the whole "big business" "management" HMO "bottom line" mindset that infected and cankered healthcare, led to a lack of love, safety, and caring for best nursing practices, to make a severe understatement

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