Nurses outraged by plan to strip health professionals of overtime pay - page 5

Some nurses are outraged over a quiet move by the U.S. Department of Labor that could strip registered nurses and other health professionals nationwide from overtime pay. South Florida... Read More

  1. by   Jennerizer
    According to the first article, it only affects those in nursing that make over $65,000 annually (not including overtime). Basically, unless you are currently making more than $30-35 an hour, it won't affect you at all.

    I imagine that if this does take effect, the future of nursing would be agency related in which the nurse is no longer an employee, but rather a sub-contractor & will be able to negotiate their own pay rate. We are after all professionals, so we should be demanding a professional salary.
  2. by   ainz
    Nurses are educated professionals. Let us conduct ourselves as such. We do not need unions to speak for us. We do not need to try to find another field. We do not need to sit back and allow the leadership of healthcare organizations to make decisions that will maximize their profits and personal bonuses at the expense of patient care (believe me, these issues are at the root of this OT issue). We need to learn the realities of the environment we are working in and the nature of the people we are dealing with. We need to learn how to utilize the political process to bring about change by creating new law. We are not at the mercy of "administration." We need qualified nurses with additional management and finance education to assume positions of leadership, authority, and decision-making in our healthcare organizations and get the accountants, lawyers, business degree people out of these positions. Our product is healthcare. We need people with clinical expertise to provide the leadership in our healthcare organizations. Nurses have the best view. If we (collectively as nurses) continue to sit back and behave like down-trodden, powerless refugees at the mercy of the "evil and powerful administration," we will continue to be the receivers of idiotic and profit-driven decisions and policies that will keep us frustrated and behaving like mere hourly employees with no real power. What do you think your hospital/organization would be like if nurses (with the proper additional education) held the positions of CEO, COO, CFO, VP, etc., and incorporated the ethics and values of nursing into their decisions and focused on taking care of patients? Many business people that currently hold such positions would say the organization would go bankrupt. What do you think nurses?
  3. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I think that we keep SAYING that we are "PROFESSIONALS" but that we are not treated like professionals, we don't have the power of professionals.

    Part of my daily RN duties include scrubbing trash cans, and refilling paper towel and soap dispensers. How professional is that?

    We do not have the united front that most professionals do.

    So, although it may be very unpopular for me to say so, I really do not think nursing is yet a profession. It's struggling to be one, but its not, IMO.

    I would DEARLY LOVE to be in a union. I think a national nurses union would be the best thing that could happen to nursing.
  4. by   Enabled
    First of all I was in a union and it only collected my dues and didn't help with I needed it. Hopefully, we will have even our hours of care on a patient's bill instead of being included in the room charge. We go to all computer and the dumb MDs still won't do their own looking up.
    The nurses that weren't union where I worked last were still covered by any additions the union was able to bargain for. The hospital would not allow for long term disability for the "professional" staff but for everyone else. Now that I am disabled I am fighting like hell to get back to work.
    We have been downgraded ever since Florence came on the scene. A friend is a nurse manager and she went from being charge and working as a nurse manager for 6 mos. without any training and when overtime had to be paid the money bags told her the RNs are milking the overtime. I wish I could have been in that room because she is someone who cares about her staff and the patients' welfare. At 6 mos. they gave her a week of training when she had already been doing the schedule and the budget for the u nit. We are walked on continuously and it has to stop.
    I believe in union as far as working conditions and some salary. However, having been a history teacher before my 20 as a nurse unions have gone way overboard when someone is getting a couple of hundred to dig holes. Look at the waste of the post office. Those prices will continue to go up until the few that use it can no longer afford it.
    The hourly rate here in Fl. to get your car repaired was over $60/hr because the book says taking out 3 bolts and changing the part and putting the 3 bolts back in takes 2 hours. We need to get real. We are not compensated for what we do or have done or will do.
    Talking about profit. I was in the hospital in December and I had to have fingersticks. They charged me four times a day $23.00. Come on I can buy over a month and a half on what they were getting in one day.And you know they get discounts because they buy in quantity. Let's make our positions respected more than they are now and that is almost nil. ANA and the state nursing associations I haven't seen anything coming down the pike from them. They just keep quoting information about the shortage.
    I recently gave a presentation on nursing to high school and junior high school students who were disadvantaged. The were to stay at a college and various departments put on a presentation in the health field. The main questions dealt with money not being enough so that they could have their sport cars. When asked the approximately 50 students if they would consider nursing not one raised their hand. I guess they are smarter than we give some kids credit for. I don't know if I could honestly recommend nursing to anyone. It is fine for me but with the way things are there is going to be a major change before any of this will be resolved.

    The kids in their late teens and early twenties most have no idea in the world of what they want to do or what they need to do it. There is no longer a work ethic or anything else for that matter. Their parents were given as much as their parents could give as they wanted a better life but they don't understand that times have changed and they need to take on responsibility.

    Beginning this weekend I am going to write each member Congress and see what kind of a respons I get. I wrote to a local congressman and I got a letter back about the enviroment when I had asked for his views on mental health parity law.

    According to most polls nursing is one of the most respected careers even over doctors. Then why don't we get the respect and the professional respect and not a servant to the docs. I once had a doc ask for a chart and I kept going and said it was in the rack. It was right in front of him and he made a big deal of it.

    Many years ago med students, up to attendings were required to switch places with nursing so that they had an idea of what it was like. I think they need to reinstitute that practice. I think some of the administrators who are doing all the talking should put on a set of scrubs and work with a tech on each shift then with a nurse. they couldn't keep up. Many then they would understand what we go through in a day. I really doubt it.
  5. by   ainz
    Nursing is continuing to struggle with defining itself as a true profession, it does not quite meet all of the criteria. However, in order to become something, such as a professional, you must first visualize yourself as a professional, think of yourself as a professional, and behave as a professional. It is disturbing and disheartening to me to read/hear comments made by nurses that say we are not professionals, we don't have the power, we are not united, and then they sort of throw in the towel and say "oh well, we need a union because we can't manage this ourselves." To that I say BS!! Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Nothing comes easy or cheap in this world and respect and recognition with adequate compensation for nurses is no exception. I am proud to be a RN. I make a valuable contribution to the outcome of our patients. Nurses provide a unique service and hospitals cannot survive without them, nurses need to understand this fact, it is a tremendous source of power and leverage. We need nurses to pursue leadership positions and to get involved in the legislative process. If not, then we will continue to scrub trash cans, get paid by the hour, get screwed regularly by administration, be treated as inferiors by the doctors, and end up having to ask a union to come take care of our business because we do not have the where-with-all to handle it ourselves!!
  6. by   -jt
    <We need nurses to pursue leadership positions and to get involved in the legislative process. If not, then we will continue to scrub trash cans, get paid by the hour, get screwed regularly by administration, be treated as inferiors by the doctors, and end up having to ask a union to come take care of our business because we do not have the where-with-all to handle it ourselves!!>

    I agree with you about getting involved in the legislative process but we dont ask a union to come in and handle our business for us. We ask an RN union to come in and help us handle it ourselves and so we can have the labor law protections that guarantee organized workers a share of control along with the employer.

    "The union" is not some third party outsider coming in to take care of our business for us. Its us taking care of our own business. Ours is an RN union - run for & by the staff RNs. We are doing exactly the kind of things that you suggest. The staff nurses at the facility take care of their own business themselves, with their collective strength, but they're doing it with the expertise of the RN union resources and the binding legal power of union labor laws that they wouldnt have backing them if they werent a union. Without that legal backing, the employer still has the ultimate control and final say.
  7. by   VickyRN
    "The union" is not some third party outsider coming in to take care of our business for us. Its us taking care of our own business. Ours is an RN union - run for & by the staff RNs. We are doing exactly the kind of things that you suggest. The staff nurses at the facility take care of their own business themselves, with their collective strength, but they're doing it with the expertise of the RN union resources and the binding legal power of union labor laws that they wouldnt have backing them if they werent a union. Without that legal backing, the employer still has the ultimate control and final say.
    This is wonderful. Wish we could have this everywhere. Even breathing the "U" word will get your fanny kicked out the door fast in the hospitals around here.
  8. by   jnette
    Originally posted by VickyRN
    This is wonderful. Wish we could have this everywhere. Even breathing the "U" word will get your fanny kicked out the door fast in the hospitals around here.
    HA HA !!! My thoughts exactly, Vicki ! I posted sth. onthis on one of the other threads on this OT topic. Folks here a ever so subtly THREATENED if they even mention that "U"word ! And not just hospitals, but all other businesses.
  9. by   Teshiee
    I don't understand why when something isn't broke they try to fix it and screws it up. The day we don't get paid ot is the day I will be doing something else. I don't work for free. They think the nursing shortage is bad now they will truly feel it then. This damn country is slowly trying to opress the common hard worker to the point you can't even get ahead. So much for patriotic behavior!!!!! I think everyone should just stop paying taxes but that is another issue!!!!!! They can't even decide on patient ratios so much bullcorn!!!!!!!
  10. by   ainz
    Thus the root of the issue concerning unions and labor relations. If we view ourselves as "common hard workers" then that is how we will be treated. I do not consider myself a common hard worker nor do I consider other professional RNs common hard workers though they may conduct themselves as such. I can tell you that most healthcare organizations' administrative teams do view nursing as "common laborers," paid by the hour, expendable, and an expense that erodes profits. If they could find a way to rid the organization of nurses for cheaper labor they would do it in a heartbeat. Why? Because nursing has not demonstrated how they bring revenue into the organization and actually make money for organization. Physicians are held in high esteem because it is clear how they bring revenue into the organization--they are the only ones (ultimately) that can admit patients and order interventions that generate revenue. It is all about the money!!!!! Nursing is viewed as an expense, not a revenue generator. Our system is not set up to recognize the contributions of RNs. We need to change that.
  11. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Originally posted by -jt
    [B
    "The union" is not some third party outsider coming in to take care of our business for us. Its us taking care of our own business. Ours is an RN union - run for & by the staff RNs. We are doing exactly the kind of things that you suggest. The staff nurses at the facility take care of their own business themselves, with their collective strength, but they're doing it with the expertise of the RN union resources and the binding legal power of union labor laws that they wouldnt have backing them if they werent a union. Without that legal backing, the employer still has the ultimate control and final say. [/B]
    Thank you.
  12. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    As a lone RN, I have worked hard, and stuck my neck out in bringing dangerous and unfair working conditions to the attention of mgmt.

    Co-workers readily agree w/ what I have to say- until it comes time to speak up. Then, I'm the sole "trouble maker."

    I conduct myself professionally, but that has not lead to me being treated as a professional.

    The same is true of millions of nurses.



    True professions control and decide their own course and destiny.

    True professions have real power, clout and influence in all arenas of society. True professions possess self determination. THEY decide their working conditions, situations and what fees they will charge.


    Nurses deserve, want and need these things, but we do not have them.


    "UNITY" and "DEFIANCE" are philosophies that brought several little colonies together and created the United States.

    Unity and defiance among nations defeated Hitler's Germany.


    I beleive that national unity and defiance among nurses, in the form of the largest "professional" (not labor) union in the United States could be the catalyst that provides us with the POWER and the SELF-DETERMINATION to truly become a profession.
  13. by   roxannekkb
    As a lone RN, I have worked hard, and stuck my neck out in bringing dangerous and unfair working conditions to the attention of mgmt.
    Yes, that was me also. I was labeled as "negative" by a few of my coworkerss because I refused to float, and also confronted the hospital with an illegal activity that it was doing in regards to overtime pay. I called the Labor Board on it, and they quickly changed it. However, all nurses had to go back and resubmit time cards in order to get the overtime owed. And would you believe, not one nurse (other than myself and a fellow troublemaker) did so. Not a one! All the complaining and whining among themselves, and yet when the time came to stand up for their rights, they wimped out.

    It is unfortunate that this is often the story of nursing, where pro-active nurses often face the most obstacles from their coworkers.

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