This week has been full of bonus money, committee meetings as well as navigating through the new union contract.
This week is the annual underway for summer vacation selection; in negotiations, this was a HUGE issue amongst nurses and administration; it was a tiring process that even got thrown around when nurses wanted to discuss more issues, such as staffing, benefits and wages. There were times when I needed these icons
to express my frustration when we would have a proposal to discuss, and then the administration would present vacation selection as a part of discussion.
With the contract settled, ratified, and in effect, the language stating seniority is the tie breaker when it comes to key situations such as transfers and-you guessed it-vacation selection-it can pose challenges.
In the past, I never really had an issue with summer vacation selection because I vacation primarily in the spring and fall; however, with Memorial Day included as a "summer holiday" despite it still being the spring and around my birthday, it remains to be seen if I get my vacation.
The benefit of being a part of creating the contract, is to be the point person to discuss aspects of the contract, whether it be my home unit or another hospital unit.
Having a joint effort with staff and management in terms of staffing, especially during a high peak time and to plan while maintaining the contract can be challenging and be a collaborative process that can be successful.
With my unit having a ton of turnover that has since subsided, I am considered being a part of senior staff-unless someone more senior is going to be a part of the tie breaker, I may get my request.
If I don't, I'm not as inclined to be upset either.
I think I have evolved enough as a nurse to know the value of seniority-I don't long for the days of building experience, then moving to another organization in order to gain a substantial increase in income; when helping build a wage scale that even includes cost of living increase, incentives that the more years you have as a nurse, the benefits increase.
Working on making a better workplace for the benefit of patients and peers has made me reflective of how I DO want to stay, even though there is still more work to do.
If that means working more years at a facility and unit where I have the opportunity to collaborate and continue to grow as a nurse, then I can stand in line and be able to be first.
What have you learned this week?