Here's an update. Today, 97 of the possible 103 nurses who work in my facility voted NOT to have a union. The actual vote was 61 to 36 against the union. One more vote against the union was placed in a seperate envelope as the union was going to challange it should the voting be close. Another nurse resigned before the voting took place and was not eligible to vote. She had been counted as a voting member by the union forces, and 3 voting members were out of the state or country. The union would not allow absentee ballots. So actually only one nurse who could vote didn't vote.
I think this is an impressive message to everyone. The union forces have been on tv and in our newspaper this week. We got a short one minute segment last night, interspersed with pictures of the pro union forces. The union/MNA had told everyone it was a sure thing, even the media believed it.
One of our radion stations called to get the voting results. When they learned that the union was not voted in, didn't have any questions ready as they told us they hadn't expected this.
Needless to say we, my coworkers and I, are elated. We worked hard and maintained our professional attitude. We refused to stoop to the meaness of spirit that was displayed by MNA . It wasn't always easy as we were sickened by the inunendoes and attacks. But we prevailed.
Nurses are intelligent people. Good guys do finish first.
Now for the rebuilding and healing. We have a good future together. We want to get on with doing our job and getting better at it.
Unions may have big sticks but we are living proof that they don't always win.
> Currently my 64 bed community hospital is in a
> unionization struggle. It
> is tearing us apart. The MNA attempted to
> unionize us approx 2 years
> ago. They couldn't get enough cards then so
> backed off. Our LPNs want to
> unionize and cannot be represented by MNA unless
> the RNs belong to MNA's
> union. So the LPNs are really pushing the issue.
> Three years ago we merged with the medical group
> that staffed our
> hospital. Until then we had been a county
> facility. We have been
> experiencing all the usual growing pains of a new
> merger. But, the
> nursing staff got together and formed a TQI group
> 1&1/2 years ago. We
> have presented our case to the board of govenors.
> We have received 3
> raises, gotten double time for mandatory OT, sign
> on bonuses, finders
> bonuses, a continuing education plan, ie
> $1000/yr, health insurance for
> retiring nurses, raised the on call pay to
> $3.00/hr, etc. etc.
> The patient to nurse ratio is 4 pts to 1 nurse on
> days. On nights, if
> there are 12 patients then we have 3 nurses. I am
> not counting the
> Special Care Unit. If someone has to be in house
> for numbers, they can
> sleep in for half pay.
> The majority of our physicians treat us with
> respect. The main doctor
> who has been probelmatical was sent to behavior
> mod classes and he was
> shut out of the ER for 3 months.
> So what does the staff have to gripe about? There
> were things that
> happened years ago that they are
> still grinding on
> about. The woman who they hired to represent
> nursing spoke from both
> sides of her mouth. Nurses are not dummies. We
> figured her out fast.
> There went the credibility quotient! The
> organization did not have a CAO
> for a LONG time(leaderless). Last fall they
> finally hired a man who is a
> plain talking, logical, interested, individual.
> Things are getting
> fixed, changed and put into order. Nursing and
> the patients have an
> advocate. A much respected head nurse took the
> DON position.
> So what's the beef? With the nursing shortage we
> have had instances of
> mandatory ot. We go by dates. It is not a daily
> or even weekly, event.
> The LPNs were removed from the ED staff, with
> over a years notice that
> it was in the works. The ED LPNs were transferred
> to M&S or the OB
> dept..No one lost hours or seniority. A new
> position was created, M&S-OB
> head nurse with Lead nurses in both areas who
> took over the daily charge
> of the areas. The job did not have any clear
> guidelines and got no
> support from the director of patient care
> services. It was a major
> Communication had not been a high priority for
> the Medical group before
> the merger. They have had to learn our culture as
> we have tried to learn
> theirs. It was not a marriage made in heaven.
> But, much progress has
> been made.
> The union reared it head again this past January.
> We go to a vote this
> month. The LPNs have been shut out as the NLRB
> dosen't consider them a
> bargaining unit. The union has been putting out
> what can best be called,
> politely, muckraking news papers. They have taken
> to inuendo and just
> short of slanderous statements. When confronted,
> their response is that
> they must have been misunderstood. etc. etc. I
> have been threatened with
> firing if I don't stop talking to the staff .I am
> a voting member.
> A group of nurses have gotten together to put out
> bullitons. Our papers
> disappear or get written on. We get ridiculed
> when we are not around to
> defend ourselves. Today, I read the latest
> muckrakers gazette. It made
> me ill.
> I have made a point of educating myself on the
> contracts and what the
> unions can and cannot do. I have compared them to
> what I have now. I am
> faring much better in my current position and
> non- union workplace than
> I would be if we went union. And I didn't have to
> pay anyone $400 to do
> it for me.
> I am heartsick over the animosity that has
> evolved. I am insulted by the
> inuendos and half truths that the union is
> publishing. These are not
> people I want representing me. These are
> polititians,. in the sleaziest
> sense of the word, but not professional .
> You know the old line, "Promise her anything but
> give her....."
> It's what we may be "getting" that has me
feel like the
> little kid who noticed that the emperor had no clothes on.
> Any suggestions? Help!