bonnie-b 543 Views
Joined: Apr 22, '99;
Posts: 1 (0% Liked)
I just finished being on strike for 10 days. Our Union decided to walk after negotiations went nowhere with our employer/government. My provincial Union (8400 members) held a strike vote prior to Christmas with I believe 75% in favor. Contract expired March 31 and we walked out April 8 at 7 am. The government legislated us back to work within 6 hours. (Passed a law that made it illegal for us to strike) In the bill that they passed was an imposed wage increase. Myself and thousands of others were incenced that they refused to bargin over wages and other important issues. My Union refused to go back ~ making it an illegal strike.
Not only did the bill that was passed by the government give us a pitiful wage increase, it took away our right to collective bargining. It completely disregarded the nursing crisis that is going on right now. We are stressed and demoralized with chronic overload and extreme nurse shortages. It is nearly impossible to attain safe patient care.
We went back to work after 10 days because the government agreed to bargin again. But as I know now the word of an elected member of government means absolutely nothing. The government and the employer's "fat cats" (that haven't got a clue about the real issues of patient care - only the numbers) put their 'Spin doctors' to work with the media immediately.
The thing that has appalled me is the lying that the CEO's and government have done. I would have never believed it. We played fair (typical nurses) and what we should have done was to hire our own spin doctors and heavy hitting union advisors.
Get this ~> Managers that worked during the strike received back and foot massages after their 12 hour shift, free meals (They brought in a chef as they were "tired of hospital food") dietary pushed around a cart with snacks between coffee and meal breaks, maid service 2 times in the 10 days and now they will likely get as they did in '91 (our last strike) $1000 PER DAY bonus's. They had to work sooo hard you know...3- 12 hour shifts in a row!!!!! before they took a day's rest and then back to the grindstone!!
As I write this contract negotiations are supposedly going on. However I am back at work and nothing has changed.
There is still a possibility that we might walk out AGAIN! I don't want to loose anymore wages but I won't be a "scab" and cross the line either. Strike pay of $100 per week doesn't pay the bills - just puts food on the table. My 'Rainy day' fund came into full action!
It is a tough time but the one really positive outcome - regardless of what the contract may be is that Nurses took a stand together and refused to be bullied even if it did mean breaking the law. Solidarity was and is strong. I am very proud to be a nurse !
Support each other and the entire group will be strong.
Solidarity forever Union sisters and brothers!
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