Weird, but missing my old state's nurses union! - page 2

by llhRN

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I found myself back home to Ohio after a 1 1/2 year stent in California as an RN (and I was a regular FTE, not a traveler). The ICU I came from was a well-oiled machine and staff morale seemed to be pretty high. I lived in an... Read More


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    Quote from llhRN
    I found myself back home to Ohio after a 1 1/2 year stent in California as an RN (and I was a regular FTE, not a traveler). The ICU I came from was a well-oiled machine and staff morale seemed to be pretty high. I lived in an area of California where the cost of living was VERY comparable to Ohio, yet nurses were paid upwards of $30/hr and staffing ratios were mandated. If our unit was short a nurse, they were required to fill the hole instead of having the nurses pick up the slack for 4+ hours until a replacement could be found. If we missed any or all of our breaks during the day, and the charge RN was aware, we filled out a form and got paid extra for missing a break/lunch. If we were made to work more than 12 hours in one shift, every hour over that was paid doubletime. In a nutshell, our union had everything to do with this and I was so happy to feel that someone had our backs.Now that I'm back to Ohio, staffing can be downright unsafe!! Nurses are frequently asked to stay an extra 4 hours because they couldn't find a nurse to fill a hole in staffing. Overtime for us is anything over 80 hours in a pay period.... Meaning, if I have to work an extra four hours each week, I get NO overtime. Basically, if I work one extra day a pay period, it is worthless.... I would only get overtime if I worked two or more shifts. I asked one of the nurses about how unfair this is, and she shrugged her shoulders and said they just "suck it up." Our management has hired tons of new grads to save money and seem to have their hands tied behind their backs most of the time, that they can't always do what's right for the nurses or our patients. We have nursing assistants, but we only get 1-2 to cover 30-something beds, so they're NEVER available when you need them. Not to mention, the pay difference is about 25-30% less in Ohio. There is no nurse's union to have my back and it feels like a nurse's destiny lies in the greedy hands of hospital administrators. Nurses here basically get crapped on and no one has the balls to stand up and fight back!!California has its problems, but my quality of work environment was the best I've seen, and I've worked for several hospitals in Ohio before moving out to CA.... but isn't there anything that can be done to make the work environment more healthy? Why hasn't anyone stood up and addressed this problem? Feedback??
    Omg this sounds just like my job! the merry go round of new grads, 1-2 aides for 30pts usually sitting a 1:1, mandating ,no ot until 80s in 2 weeks even if u were mandated a few times, the nurses mostly accept it and seem to have drank the koolaide big time! except i am not in ohio.
    andywolfe likes this.
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    Quote from 8mpg
    Im sorry you feel that way. I work with 3 nurses from California in my small ICU and they all say they are much better off here. One gal just moved here and said she paid $10k in state taxes last year on top of all the FICA, SS, Medicare, etc PLUS sales tax. Her take home income was around the 50% mark after all deductions including union dues. Im not sure where you are in Texas but a gallon of milk is no where near $4 a gallon. Im payin $2.50. Parts of california just topped $5 per gallon if you didnt see that in the newspaper where the state government switched early to winter grade fuel to make it cheaper. I just paid $3.35/gal. Also, when houses are soooo expensive in California they entertain 60 year mortgages and interest only mortgages, this is not something done in Texas due to the low cost of living.

    Yes, we have the same basic federally mandated taxes. We do have sales tax but we do not pay property tax on top of it. Paying state tax and 9.75% sales tax in California can eat you up.

    2011 California Tax Rate Schedules
    Schedule X — Single or married/RDP filing separately
    If the taxable income is
    Over But not over Tax is Of amount over
    $0 $7,316 $0.00 Plus 1.00% $0
    $7,316 $17,346 $73.16 Plus 2.00% $7,316
    $17,346 $27,377 $273.76 Plus 4.00% $17,346
    $27,377 $38,004 $675.00 Plus 6.00% $27,377
    $38,004 $48,029 $1,312.62 Plus 8.00% $38,004
    $48,029 And over $2,114.62 Plus 9.30% $48,029

    This is the CA Tax Rate Schedules for 2011. This is direct from the state website.

    https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/2011_Ca...ions.shtml#ifr

    In order for a person to pay about 10K in state income tax only, they must be earning at least $132,000.

    Here is a crude calculation below

    So out of that $132,000 on the first $48,029 you pay a tax of 2,114.62 and the remaining $84,000, you pay a tax of 84,000 X 9.3% = $7812. $7812.00+ $2114.62=$9,926 which is close to 10 thousand dollar.

    I wonder who in their right mind will leave a job that pays them $132,000 for one that pays about 60k-70k (high RN wages in Texas) just so that they can save some money on state taxes and gas
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    This post hits home, especially after my shift last night. I picked up a 4 hr shift to give myself 40 hrs this week. We walk in to 12 pts and they gave us 3 nurses, a tech and no unit secretary. One of the nurses was charge so she is not supposed to take pts until after 2300 so she can get the chart checks done along with all of the other charge duties....well that didn't last. We wound up with 3 admits back to back...and without a unit secretary, we were there trying to get our patients taken care of and assessed plus putting in orders on new pts because our hospital has not started physician order entry yet I wound up staying until 0100 to help them catch up. This is beginning to be a typical shift. I love what I do, but I worry that with all the budget cuts, that this is the new normal and it's scary. It is not safe, not for us and not for our patients.
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    The way it is in Ohio, is the way it is in most states. There are more Ohio-ish conditions than there are California - ish conditions. As long as nursing keeps letting employers get away this, the employers will. That is the real business philosphy. The rest of this "stick up for business, that is the way it is, ADIET, customer service, CEO needs money to run business, the poor booh whoo nursing managers( get out the violin) and what those poor creatures go through has paralized nurses. It has clouded most of our thinking - which is what it is designed to. And when that doesn't work- threaten and intimate them. There one thing managers hate - a strong independent well informed smart nurse. That nurse becomes a threat and out the door they go. That's how managment gets away with this and keeps it submissive culture going. It's called " keeping the nurse in their place" Insults and mud is flug at the nurse who speaks out in the hope managment can publically humiliate that outspoken nurse into shutting up. look at some of these kinds of advisarial posts on AN and who makes them. Over most of our states- management has a nice little financial playground for themselves. The bedside nurse is being worked like dogs while managment reaps the financial rewards of your slave labor.

    Many years ago( in the late 1980's- early 1990's and we had a nursing union) I can remember a nursing supervisor saying to us, after negotiating one contract when our nursing salaries began to increase, "You staff nurses are making more than us managers".
    Managment has been on the warpath since then.
    The more we drink management's kool-aid and roll over and play dead like good little nurses, the more harm we do to ourselves.
    Last edit by kcmylorn on Oct 16, '12
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    I don't get when nurses say they hate unions. Yes they are not perfect, but without them who is there to protect us? I WISH I was with a union.
    GradyGramNot, Prac, pseudomonas, and 2 others like this.
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    Which is why I will never work outside of California as a nurse. Taxes ARE high and housing IS high, but I think if you live in the right areas, the salary still offsets it. Esp the nurses doing crazy OT out here. Hope you can come back!
    pseudomonas and andywolfe like this.
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    NOTHING compares to living in northern california... the "higher $tandard of living" is balanced by a higher standard of living - i can't be convinced otherwise.
    andywolfe likes this.
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    How can one describe it? Nursing in my non-union state was always frantic and non-fulfilling because there were just too many tasks and not nearly enough time.

    Nursing in California was, "Ahhh, now this is how it's supposed to be. I get it now. I can function as a professional and not as a harried person."

    Unions work.
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    Your post had me realize how grateful I am to work in NYC. $58 hr $104 k yr ( 20 yrs exp.). Any thoughts I had of re-locating have quickly dissolved!!

    As regards staffing earlier post of 2-3 pt in a unit seems reasonable unless A pt/s are highly unstable. When I worked CVRU I often was the charge nurse with 1 unstable IABP /Vented, 1 2nd day post op (still on a few IVCD ).(We are also expected to serve at code team for the rest of the hospital.)

    So we may be getting a little more money but it sounds like more expected of us. I am no wonder nurse but to me is absolutely workable.
    multi10 likes this.
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    One thing that struck me is that there seems to be a complaint that the hospital doesn't have enough staff or doesn't try hard enough to get someone to cover a shift, but on the other hand, there's the complaint that the hospital hires a bunch of new grads to save money. Didn't we all have to start out as new nurses at some point? We have a shortage of nurses, but then we complain about having to work with new nurses.
    As for how overtime is calculated and at what point, I don't know about Ohio or California, but in Texas that is determined by state law. Here we get paid for over 40 in a week. I just wonder if those states pay on overtime according to state law or is that determined by unions?
    At your old job in California, you said "they" were required to cover the shift. Who? Who was required to work the extra hours so the nurse on the floor didn't have to? Just curious. Here there are a lot of times when the director or assistant director has to pull the shift because they can't get anyone to come in. So, they're not out there working a 12 hour shift on the floor, and I know the appearance is they have the "easy" job. But, what people sometimes don't take into account is the fact that those 8-9 hour shifts are also 5 days a week, not 3 days at a time. Also, they are on call 24 hours. And when they cover one of those shifts that someone called in for, they still have to do their regular job. Sometimes you just can't magically pull a nurse out of thin air.


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