Strike Nurses? - page 3

Hello everyone :) I was just wondering whether there are nurses who just work during strikes. A class mate of mine told me she has a friend who travels to different states and only does strikes.... Read More

  1. by   bagladyrn
    3rdShiftGuy- When the nurses go on strike, they give the hospital 10 days notice (required by law), so that arrangements can be made to transfer pts., cancel elective surgeries, etc., or renegotiate. Instead, what usually happens is this is when the hospital hires scabs to cross picket lines. By the way, arrangements are always made for essential, emergency situations to be covered even during a strike. And as said before, the cost of scabs does not come out of the usual operating budget - there is special funding for this, thus negating the argument that costing the hospital money will help shorten a strike.
  2. by   Tweety
    Thanks bag lady. A major hospital in this area voted not to have a union. So we're years behind the times. (Thus understaffed and underpaid). There have been some people very quietly in our hospital, talking to a couple of unions. But I really think we are years away.

    (In the meantime concerns about nurse retention and MD satisfaction have improved things at our hospital a bit. Plus we all got 6% raises this year.)
  3. by   -jt
    <professionals do not join trade unions.


    They may not join "trade" unions but they do join their profession's unions. Not just teachers, either. Tens of thousands of doctors, lawyers, dentists and nurses are in their professions labor unions too. And some RNs do join the healthcare branches of trade unions. My RN union is not a "trade" union like the clerical workers union or the teamsters. Its a professional organization run by RNs and representing only RNs. Its my state nurses association - which is part of the American Nurses Association and its national union branch, the United American Nurses (UAN). UAN consists of over 100,000 RNs in 26 states, so somebody is joining their professions unions. Nursings national professional organization is who sets the standards for what is professional for nursing, so if youre worried about whether being in a union is a "professional" thing to do or not, see what your national professional organization has to say about it:

    <from the American Nurses Association:

    Collective Bargaining is a Professional Imperative!
    One of the primary responsibilities of all professional nurses is to advocate for safe quality care for patients. Steps nurses can take to insure quality patient care include:

    * Participate in workplace decisions affecting nursing care.
    * Acquire the resources needed to perform your job effectively.
    * Safeguard the standards of practice set by the profession.
    * Protect employment rights and secure terms and conditions of employment to attract and retain qualified personnel.

    Advocating for quality care is becoming increasingly difficult for nurses in today's environment of restructuring and mergers, where cost often comes before quality care. Many nurses find that working collectively, through a union contract, to ensure a voice in the workplace is one of the most effective ways to protect themselves, their profession, and their patients.

    Collective bargaining is the most effective way you and your nurse colleagues can protect patients from inadequate and unsafe care.

    Collective bargaining IS professional.
    Nurses have a legal right to use the collective bargaining process to protect their professionalism.

    http://www.nursingworld.org
    Last edit by -jt on Nov 27, '02
  4. by   -jt
    <When the nurses go on strike what happens? Does the hospital close.>

    Not completely but there are laws that they have to follow to cut down revenue-producing services when they dont have enough RNs due to a strike. And losing their own money is the incentive for them to get back to negotiating fairly & avoid a strike in the first place. If the strike happens, emergency services, emergency OR, & critical situations & pts are taken care of & the RNs who work those areas can be allowed to remain, but all other money-making services have to be cut back. Hits them in the pocketbook. Big incentive to avoid a strike. If they dont want to deal with the loss, they can come back to the table & the strike is postponed as long as they are still negotiating fairly. Otherwise, no new admissions (except emergency). No elective surgeries. Facilitate early discharges. Move pts to other hospitals. Line up clinical nursing instructors from the school, clinical nurse specialists and other RN hospital personnel to care for the pts who cant be moved. They have 10 days to do it. Or they can use those 10 days to work out a settlement with their own RNs instead & avert a strike. Their choice. During a strike, teams of staff RNs form a pt safety committee & monitor the conditions & pt care so that no one is put in danger. Dept of Health is also monitoring on site everyday. The hospitals used to fear having to do all this & losing revenue, so they would choose to come back to the table, meet us halfway on the issues, & we could cancel the strike before it even happened. But the creation of strike agencies threw a chink in the process & cut the clout of a strike threat. NOW the hospital just ignores the whole thing as long as possible by using other nurses as scabs. If they have enough of those to maintain services, they dont have to cut down anything & none of the above has to happen. They just tell the RNs "we're hiring temp replacements, so theres the door - see ya". If they have enough scabs to keep business going & money coming in, they dont feel the need or pressure to get back to negotiating with their own RNs & settle the issues. Instead now they just get scabs & let the strike go on as long as their RNs can take it. And they dont care how long it takes to try & break their RNs will, because the hospitals aren't using their own money to pay for it.

    So contrary to scab popular belief, they do nothing to help the nurses - they are only helping the hospital to knock them down. And the hospital repays them nicely for allowing themselves to be used like this --- with the tax payers dollars & medicare/medicaid monies. But personally, I dont think $40 is enough. I cant think of an amount that would be enough for an RN to do that to another RN.
    Last edit by -jt on Nov 27, '02
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Yanno, I don't believe for one NEW YORK MINUTE Scabs are doing what they do because they care for patients in such an altruistic manner.......come ON....they do it for the big bucks. And I guess we can all justify this in our personal situations in one way or the other...but let's call it what it is. It's not about protecting patients when one chooses to cross that line.....it's like Tom says, making some extra $$$ to go enjoy the links......or perhaps taking care of your family in a time of great need......it's about taking care of one's own, in truth. Right or wrong, this is what it is. Don't even pretend it's about caring for PATIENTS! Personally, my family would have to be in DIRE straits before I would sink to this. I just don't think my conscience could handle it unless we were looking at being forced to the curb. Since this is not my case and unlikely will be, I WILL NOT DO THIS TO FELLOW NURSES FIGHTING A GOOD FIGHT, period.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Nov 27, '02
  6. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heart of Texas

    Well, I just love it when -jt gets involved in this, its a hoot. Typical, yankee, republican prounionistic sloganism. But at least -jt is very consistent at all times. But then so am I. Im a complete 180 from -jt. Yes, Im in nursing because I love it, and have done so for decades now. Yes I will cross a picket line, but I;m not cheap enough to do it for 40/hr. I usually get a lot more than that.
    And I will periodicallly when I'm so inclined do it and enjoy the rewards.
    Now some bring up terms like solidarity, brotherhood and sisterhood and such. Sorry ya'll Im in this field for 2 reasons. 1 I do what I love to do. 2. I can make good money and support my very large family. And thats all there is to it. I can think of a couple of times where I got almost 80 an hour, along with room and board, travel, licensure in those states also. Not a bad deal for me one bit. My ultimate responsibility in life is to myself and my family first and foremost. Plus playing as much golf as possible,



    doo wah ditty to you -jt
  7. by   Gomer
    Originally posted by teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heart of Texas

    Well, I just love it when -jt gets involved in this, its a hoot..... Im in this field for 2 reasons. 1 I do what I love to do. 2. I can make good money


    doo wah ditty to you -jt

    AMEN!!!! AND WELL SAID!
    Last edit by Gomer on Nov 27, '02
  8. by   911fltrn
    From watching strikes around the country it seems that nurses always get what they want (its always reasonable stuff) as long as they stay out on strike! Dont believe for one second hospitals can afford to have their nurses stay out on strike. Their overhead for nurses at least triples. It irritates me that hospitals pay that money they say they dont have. For example 45 days of strike pay would probably pay three years of what the staff is looking for. Havent worked a strike but may. R.N.s will always win in my opinion if they stay out on strike. The hospital will give in. Happy thanksgiving all!
  9. by   fergus51
    Well, t least I appreciate you honesty Teeituptom. I tink it's morally wrong, but it's better than hearing a scab say "I am just doing it because I care for the patients" when they wouldn't work in that faciliy under the crap wages and conditions the staff nurses are expected to.
  10. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by 911fltrn
    From watching strikes around the country it seems that nurses always get what they want (its always reasonable stuff) as long as they stay out on strike! Dont believe for one second hospitals can afford to have their nurses stay out on strike. Their overhead for nurses at least triples. It irritates me that hospitals pay that money they say they dont have. For example 45 days of strike pay would probably pay three years of what the staff is looking for. Havent worked a strike but may. R.N.s will always win in my opinion if they stay out on strike. The hospital will give in. Happy thanksgiving all!
    maybe other states they get what they want.
    As far as your remark about hospitals affording it.
    I was horrified, as was every nurse in this region, when the nursing administrartor of a hospital came on television and stated that, "It is less expensive to bring in travel nurses than to negotiate with striking nurses."
    This hospital has had a union for almost 3 years now, and they still do not have a union contract.
    Understand I have never been involved or worked for this hospital but I do support the nurses.
    Many of the same doctors who have privileges at that hospital also have them at ours. They have some very nasty things to say about how the nurses are treated over there. They tell me that now there are more nurses with southern accents over there than in the entire state. The hospital makes no bones about being staffed by primailry travellers.
    It is not a shortage issue. We have 3 nursing schools in the area with a very small local population base. Many nurses simply have stopped practicing. Local nurses refuse to work at this other hospital. To keep it interesting nurses are clammoring to work for us. (and we don't need them)
    Last edit by Agnus on Nov 30, '02

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