Havoc forecast if San Pablo California hospital shuts down

  1. san francisco chronicle, april 9, 2004

    havoc forecast if california hospital shuts down

    if beleaguered doctors medical center in san pablo, calif., closes because of its current financial crisis, patients left only with a nearby kaiser hospital could wait as long as 12 hours for treatment, according to a study.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   dmcsprnstriker
    We were in a similar situation when Tenet "came to the rescue" and saved our facility from bankruptcy. The five year lease Tenet signed to take over and manage our hospital enabled us to keep the doors open - just long enough for them to take advantage of, rape & pillage our community as they have done to others time and time again. I call it their 5-yr plan. Just add our name to the long list of Tenet victims.

    As predicted, Tenet bailed out of the lease by giving the necessary 6 months notice without attending to required earthquake retrofitting, as with other Tenet facilities up for sale.

    So here we are again - facing possible closure - but this time the air is so different. This time there is also the reality of dealing with an ugly internal situation: a hostile return to work atmosphere after our 13+ month long nurses strike. Our facility was broke but used to have integrity and respect BEFORE Tenet took over. Now we're not only broke, we're broken and marred by their name and reputation. Used & abused and kicked to the curb - looking for another knight in shining armor to save us from closure and virtual extinction. It figures the community would have to mop up the mess that greedy Tenet left behind.

    As you can see, I'm one of those striking nurses and I'm one who elected to put my position on hold for up to 2 years. We all knew Tenet would bail out - it was just a matter of time. Time & money they seemed to have plenty of. Independence day comes a little later this year - JULY 31, 2004 - when Tenet is scheduled to leave. I can only have faith that we can survive this as well.

    Words cannot describe the past 2 years and the scars that remain, not to mention the battle that continues. It reminds me of the Tenet RNs in PA who went on strike only to have announcement of the hospital's closure happen the day after reaching a settlement. Tenet doesn't negotiate in good faith or with good intentions. EVER. It is company policy. Actually, the reality is that they don't know HOW to negotiate. They never had to before in their non-union corporation. I think some crash courses are in order....multitask this!

    Now Tenet has to deal with a union-busting resistant virus (nurses organizing w/CNA) that has infected it's system to the very core - one that I'm proud to have been a part of creating and injecting into the beligerent host! They helped escalate the process by their own actions and nurses saw through it.

    Angry? Who's angry? Bitter? Who's bitter? Issues. Let's just call it issues....
  4. by   dmcsprnstriker
    Just wanted to thank you for being on top of so many topics. I scan the boards every once and a while and I'm impressed with the knowledge and awareness that you have. It is especially heartwarming to know you are aware of our plight and our struggle in San Pablo/Pinole. Thank you again for just being you and being there. It makes a difference.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    I have so much admiration and respect for the Doctors nurses who went out for all nurses and against the disrespect for nursing work they have. NURSES are the patient advocates.

    Thank you!
  6. by   music
    I certainly have respect for ALL nurses but .............
    There are always two sides to a story and I don't think we have heard the whole story.

    Interesting.......Space nurse has had over 4,ooo posts and many of them are direct copies of press releases etc. from the CNA web site.

    I'm a patient advocate also and would never go on strike for that very reason.......Just a thought folks.
  7. by   movealong
    Quote from music
    I certainly have respect for ALL nurses but .............
    There are always two sides to a story and I don't think we have heard the whole story.

    Interesting.......Space nurse has had over 4,ooo posts and many of them are direct copies of press releases etc. from the CNA web site.

    I'm a patient advocate also and would never go on strike for that very reason.......Just a thought folks.
    I consider myself a patient advocate, but I would strike depending on the circumstances. To try to strike for better working conditions, better patient care ratios directly benefit the patients. Getting better pay, better benefits indirectly benefit patients. Retaining good nurses, keeping nurses in the workforce, or keep them working at that specific hospital.........one cannot be shortsighted about these areas and how they can impact a hospital.

    Hospitals have ways of preparing for strikes. All elective surgeries are postponed. They bring in nurses from outside regions. I worked once for a unionized hospital and we approved a strike vote, but settled before it came down to a strike. My friend was in management at the time, and filled me in on what actions the hospitals can take to preapre for a strike.
  8. by   music
    Hi Movealong,

    Thanks for you professional and honest response. I certainly support your right to strike if you believe it is in the best interest of the patients and nurses. I just don't think I personally could do that. I just wonder who paid the insurance premiums and the other benefits for all the nurses at Doctors on strike for 13 months? Did the union do that for them? Probably not. What happened to their benefits? If they had known they would be out for 13 months would they have done it?

    Sorry, but after watching what the grocery workers went through and hearing some things about the nurses who went on strike at Doctors for 13 months, I don't think anyone got what they really wanted and so what was really the gain from all that?

    I would rather work with my colleagues to solve the problems internally. But that is just my opinion and that of a great many others.

    However, I am well aware that there are many who feel it is the only thing to do. How can we all come together and put our power to work in a professional way that is acceptable to all? I don't want to see nurses on the sidewalk carrying signs on a stick. I want to see them caring for patients, talking in meetings. discussing problems openly and not waiting for some outside force to fix them............But then maybe I am living in a dream world and just wishing for something that isn't possible.

    Maybe nurses are not smart enough to fix it themselves. Maybe they need union organizers who are not nurses to be their muscle...............maybe they don't have the time or the energy to fight on their own. Just thoughts.

    I really am listening to the pro union nurses and hearing what they have to say. I hate for nurses to feel they have no choice but this to get the attention of their management. I think we are all smarter than that and should be able to do it TOGETHER............I am really just trying to figure it out and am aware of the fact that many nurses feel that unions are the only way to be heard. I just want you to know that in my search I am also finding many nurses who don't want unions so again, I ask you and others reading this to think of a way we can all come together for ALL. THIS would really help us AND our patients. And all the nurses who get paid the premium pay for coming in when a strike is on would be out of a job because there would be no more strikes............................and the union organizers, many of whom make more than new nurses, would have to take a cut in pay. Just things to think about.
  9. by   NurseHardee
    And what pray tell is the Tenet side to its policies with nursing care, Music? I worked for them at one hospital and they paid their CNAs so little that they only gave them a raise when the Federal minimim wage was increased during that time. And their policy was to try to classify everybody as part time all the time, PLUS their HR refused to timely do the paperwork even for benefits on full time people that had some marginal health care, etc.

    Instead of actually saying why Tenet even has a side that nurses should consider, you just flame Spacenurse because she supports the CNA. And patient advocates go on strike, rather than just let management kill both the nursing staff, and the patients, too.

    Nurse Hardee
    `````````````````````````````````````````````````` ````

    Quote from music
    I certainly have respect for ALL nurses but .............
    There are always two sides to a story and I don't think we have heard the whole story.

    Interesting.......Space nurse has had over 4,ooo posts and many of them are direct copies of press releases etc. from the CNA web site.

    I'm a patient advocate also and would never go on strike for that very reason.......Just a thought folks.
  10. by   music
    NurseHardee,

    I don't work for Tenet and as a matter of fact, have for a long time wondered how they got away with so much greed at the top.

    I meant there are two sides to every story regarding nurses striking.........Some may be glad they did it and some may not.
    I didn't mean Tenet has a side to tell. I know several Tenet nurses
    who are right now fighting against unionizing at Tenet because they feel
    Tenet made a backdoor deal with the CNA and have an agreement
    BEFORE the nurses even vote.

    Some feel this is just Tenet's way of capping salaries and saving money.
    So they still don't have the nurses best interest at heart if that is the case.

    And, with apologies to Spacenurse and to you, I was not flaming on Spacenurse. I just commented on the fact that he/she has posted over 4000 times on this board and most of those are copies of items on the CNA site. So with all due respect, I just want to point out that there are other ways of looking at things and many nurses who may have other viewpoints. So, just like Spacenurse putting the CNA info out there, I am putting out another message that we can all look at.

    I just hope we can all come together, no matter if we are pro union or against. If we ALL came together to discuss our problems and identify solutions, sort of like the UN, WE could be a VERY powerful group.

    Hope that clears it up.

    Respectfully,
    MUSIC
  11. by   NurseHardee
    Having been out to a Bay Area Tenet facility on a travel assignment fairly recently, I can totally assure you that Tenet hates the CNA. Those friends of yours are just making excuses about why they should not actually try to accomplish something by getting their facility organized by a good union, not a bad one.

    What kind of logic is it that says that I, Nurse Jane/ Joe, shouldn't vote for CNA to represent me because Tenet has a deal with them already? Do you really think that Tenet is inviting in the CNA to its facilities? There is no reason in the world for them to do that, and they are not.

    These nurse friends are thinking that way out of fear of what Tenet will do to them more than anything else. Though they express it as if they are really scared of the CNA. I heard this sort of stuff constantly on my contract. What they are scared of is that Tenet will get so nasty resisting a union in house, that the work environment will become insufferable. They are scared, but they respond by attacking the CNA instead of standing solidly with the CNA nurses who are trying to defend ALL nurses from predatory corporations like Tenet.

    Nurse Hardee
    `````````````````````````````````````````````````` ````
    Quote from music
    NurseHardee,

    I don't work for Tenet and as a matter of fact, have for a long time wondered how they got away with so much greed at the top.

    I meant there are two sides to every story regarding nurses striking.........Some may be glad they did it and some may not.
    I didn't mean Tenet has a side to tell. I know several Tenet nurses
    who are right now fighting against unionizing at Tenet because they feel
    Tenet made a backdoor deal with the CNA and have an agreement
    BEFORE the nurses even vote.

    Some feel this is just Tenet's way of capping salaries and saving money.
    So they still don't have the nurses best interest at heart if that is the case.

    And, with apologies to Spacenurse and to you, I was not flaming on Spacenurse. I just commented on the fact that he/she has posted over 4000 times on this board and most of those are copies of items on the CNA site. So with all due respect, I just want to point out that there are other ways of looking at things and many nurses who may have other viewpoints. So, just like Spacenurse putting the CNA info out there, I am putting out another message that we can all look at.

    I just hope we can all come together, no matter if we are pro union or against. If we ALL came together to discuss our problems and identify solutions, sort of like the UN, WE could be a VERY powerful group.

    Hope that clears it up.

    Respectfully,
    MUSIC
  12. by   music
    NurseHardee,

    Like I said in the beginning, there are two sides to every story.
    I'm just trying to bring out another way of looking at things.
    I appreciate your comments and will consider them. I know there are many peole who feel the same as you do. There are also many who feel differently.

    I think we have to accept our differences and find our common ground together. Thank you for sharing.


    Last edit by music on Apr 21, '04
  13. by   movealong
    Quote from music
    Hi Movealong,

    Thanks for you professional and honest response. I certainly support your right to strike if you believe it is in the best interest of the patients and nurses. I just don't think I personally could do that. I just wonder who paid the insurance premiums and the other benefits for all the nurses at Doctors on strike for 13 months? Did the union do that for them? Probably not. What happened to their benefits? If they had known they would be out for 13 months would they have done it?

    Sorry, but after watching what the grocery workers went through and hearing some things about the nurses who went on strike at Doctors for 13 months, I don't think anyone got what they really wanted and so what was really the gain from all that?

    I would rather work with my colleagues to solve the problems internally. But that is just my opinion and that of a great many others.

    However, I am well aware that there are many who feel it is the only thing to do. How can we all come together and put our power to work in a professional way that is acceptable to all? I don't want to see nurses on the sidewalk carrying signs on a stick. I want to see them caring for patients, talking in meetings. discussing problems openly and not waiting for some outside force to fix them............But then maybe I am living in a dream world and just wishing for something that isn't possible.

    Maybe nurses are not smart enough to fix it themselves. Maybe they need union organizers who are not nurses to be their muscle...............maybe they don't have the time or the energy to fight on their own. Just thoughts.

    I really am listening to the pro union nurses and hearing what they have to say. I hate for nurses to feel they have no choice but this to get the attention of their management. I think we are all smarter than that and should be able to do it TOGETHER............I am really just trying to figure it out and am aware of the fact that many nurses feel that unions are the only way to be heard. I just want you to know that in my search I am also finding many nurses who don't want unions so again, I ask you and others reading this to think of a way we can all come together for ALL. THIS would really help us AND our patients. And all the nurses who get paid the premium pay for coming in when a strike is on would be out of a job because there would be no more strikes............................and the union organizers, many of whom make more than new nurses, would have to take a cut in pay. Just things to think about.
    I respect your opinion. I would rather see issues talked over as well. In the one instance I was involved with, the hospital company refused to come to the table to bargin. If memory serves me correctly, a federal mediator had to come in. It's hard to talk with anyone who refuses to bargin...........It was never my desire to carry pickets, but I would...

    The hospital that was union had nurses that stayed for years with them. I worked for them for about 13 years and I was maybe halfway up the ladder in terms of senority!!! Most of us knew that hospital system inside out, which was really helpful. I knew lots of the other nurses in different departments, techs, the doctors, you name it. We worked very well together. We provided great care for the patient. I think. because we knew the system and the insurance so very well, we were able to help them learn how to work the system, how to make it work for them. I have yet to work with with another group of nurses that pulled together as a team so well. That's just my experience.
  14. by   music
    Thanks Movealong,

    You are talking in a way I can hear and understand. You're right......You can't talk things over if the other side won't come to the table. Thanks for giving me your side of the story. I appreciate your feedback and it is good to know that you had such a positive experience with a union hospital.

    It helps to hear your viewpoint. We may see some things differently but we are all in this profession together and need to support each other whenever we can. I will keep listening and hope others will do the same.



    Thanks for sharing.

    music

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