> Subject: nurses who have it good and don't realise it.
> 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!