Robert Wood Johnson Univ Hospital Nurses to Strike - page 10

Registered nurses start strike August 24, 2006 at 7am at Robert Wood Johnson Univeristy Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ Nurses reject contract proposal Home News Tribune Online 08/17/06 By DAVID... Read More

  1. by   pickledpepperRN
    This hospital is famous for its high quality of care because of the work of the physicians, nurses, and other caregivers.

    The purpose of a hospital is to provide NURSING care.
    BUT if they cannot be diagnosed and treated by the same doctors they cannot get the same quality care.
    I am not the “voice” of anything. Just one nurse who care and believes her fellow nurses.


    Not all RWJ-UMG physicians participate in every health plan. - http://umg.umdnj.edu/Public/MAIN/insurance.asp
    http://www.nj.com/printer/printer.ss...820.xml&coll=1

    http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/middle...l=1&thispage=2

    http://www.thnt.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...608240495/1001

    https://www.qualcareinc.com/Qualcare...alCareInc.aspx

    The Voice of Reason?
    http://www.opseu.org/bps/health/ment...0healthcare%22
  2. by   Slave_to_Cats
    Quote from VOICE OF REASON
    :uhoh21:
    The truth is, not even the union's leaders can say what this stike is about.
    Ask five nurses and get five different answers.
    It doesn't surprise me that you could get five different answers.

    When a union member (particularly a member of a Nursing union) votes for a strike, there are usually multiple reasons why s/he does so. Any one of those reasons would have caused them to vote to strike, but when you ask a union member why they are striking, they will most likely tell you the most personal reason as to why they voted to strike, or why they are walking (or refuse to cross) the picket line. And that most personal reason may (or may not) be different from the reason(s) why the union leadership called for a strike vote in the first place.

    Now, I don't live there, and I'm not a member of the union, so the only things I know about this strike is what I have read here and elsewhere. The main call-for-a-strike-vote issues appear to be:
    • Health Insurance
    • Unfair Labor Practices on the part of Hospital Management
    • Refusal by Hospital Management to Negotiate in Good Faith

    Each individual union member will have their own set of priorities. What is important to Nurse A, may not matter at all at a personal level to Nurse B.

    Many nurses may see the health insurance problem as the main issue, and that's why they're striking. Others may have better insurance via their spouse's employment, or another job, and therefore don't need the hospital's insurance. But, for them, even though they don't use it, they can still see the inadequacy of the plan, and are striking to help the membership as a whole -- just as they would advocate for their patients. Or, perhaps they feel that threats, harrassment and intimidation are things that are just not acceptable under any curcumstances! And that's why they're striking.

    Another thing to be considered is, what is contained in the current contract?

    Depending upon how the contract is worded, the current contract may expire on a certain date, and if there is no language to maintain benefits, or a new contract to take it's place, then any benefits contained in the current contract could just disappear overnight.

    For instance, (I have no idea if any of these things exist.) let's assume that:
    1. The hospital has a very reasonably priced, on-site, child daycare care center for employees, which is a benefit directly from the contract. If the hospital doesn't negotiate in good faith, and the current contract lapses, that center could close it's doors, and that could be very important to a mother (or father) with young children.
    2. Perhaps the contract prohibits Mandatory Overtime. An older nurse who knows that her/his body just couldn't function well in a forced overtime situation -- and could end up injuring or killing a patient, would want that provision to stay in place.
    3. Or, a nurse approaching retirement in a year or two, knows that there is language in the current contract that impacts their pension. They are afraid that if the contract expires, their pension benefits could be greatly affected.
    In all of these cases, the general issue is that the hospital is allegedly refusing to negotiate in good faith. But, as you can see, that refusal impacts different people in different ways, and those more personal and specific issues are the ones that they will most likely mention when asked.

    Quote from VOICE OF REASON
    I was referring a letter to the editor in the Home News Tribune Saturday by a nurse union leader who says the "real" reason for the strike is some contract language on patient advocacy.

    Which is it?
    Well, it could be all of them!

    In that letter, he may have been talking about his most personal reason for voting to strike. It may also be the most personal reason for many others as well.

    [MOUSE]For those who are wondering about that letter, you can find it here:
    http://www.thnt.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...609090359/1080[/MOUSE]

    We all have to determine what is the most important to us, based upon how we want to practice our profession, and how much we value our family and community. All of these things intertwine to make us the People -- and Nurses -- that we are.

    Individual nurses giving different reasons for striking actually appears to be a positive indicator that these nurses voted to strike because they believed a strike was needed -- and not that they're following blindly along just because some union rep told them to strike, and are parroting the "union line."

    This individuality doesn't mean that the union's stated reasons are not valid, or that the membership at large doesn't agree with them, or won't stand behind them.

    In my view, it shows their actions and words are a product of conscious thought and deliberation, based upon their own personal and professional needs and values.

    As it should be.

    Thanks for pointing out to all of us this very positive, very encouraging, and very validating sign.

    ==========

    Slave to Cats

    ==========
    ==========
  3. by   clcrtrn
    Quote from VOICE OF REASON
    Maybe the reporter got it wrong, but about half of RWJ nurses don't contribute anything towards their healthcare. Those hired in the last few years pay the most - about $120/month for a family plan. No one pays anywhere near $200/month.
    Ignorance is the disease....The Voice of Reason is the cure.
    No has asked for or would ever expect free healthcare. Our biggest complaint is the penalties for out-of-network and the increasing difficulty to find in-network doctors within a reasonable timeframe.

    Ignorance is the disease....researching all of the info is the cure.
    Last edit by clcrtrn on Sep 11, '06
  4. by   trishwille
    Good Points Slave To Cats.... It Seems Like The Union And It's Members Need To Meet And Go Over Every Line In Their Old Contract And Establish What Are Now Important For The Staff Now. I.e. Health Insurance Paid By The Hospital And Name The Plan That They Want. Each Nurse Must Think Like A Single Person. Not A Married Person. These Benefits Should Fit All Who Are Employed At Rwj. Whether An Employee Avails Themselves Of A Particular Benefit Is Up To Them.
    Trishwille
  5. by   trishwille
    Hi, Again Nurses Do Not Realize That They Have Been Programed By Hosp Admin. Health Benefits Were Fully Paid For By Hospitals For Nurses Up To About 10-15yrs Ago. We Never Had To Pay Any Additionals..... This Has Been Nothing But A Cost Cutting Technique For Hospital Administrations.... Just Remeber They Have All The Money They Need To Break A Union And Don't Forget The Salaries Paid By Hospital For Nurses They Bring In From The Outside. How Are They Able To Afford That.... Guess What They Are Just Trying To Program Nurses To Accept A Few Crumbs..... Stand Up And Continue To Focus On The Ball And Work With Your Union And Establish Your Demands Before You Go Into Negotiations With Management.......
    Trishwille
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    Thank you Slave to Cats for the link!

    To the writer, a critical care nurse, the right to advocate for his patients is the major issue.
    ...The hospital refused to include five lines on patient advocacy in the latest contract. Why? This patient-advocacy language is something all RNs should read every day before the start of their shift and is something all our nurse managers should have read before the strike began...
    http://www.thnt.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...609090359/1080

    The American Nurses Association's
    Bill of Rights for Registered Nurses

    "Nurses have the right to freely and openly advocate for themselves and their patients, without fear of retribution."
    http://www.nursingworld.org/ajn/2001/nov/issues.htm
  7. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from VOICE OF REASON
    Just a shame.
    Yep, it surely is a shame that hospital admin. chooses to be penny wise and pound foolish.
  8. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I hope y'all find a satisfactory conclusion to your strike.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  9. by   mekrn
    Quote from Slave_to_Cats
    It doesn't surprise me that you could get five different answers.

    When a union member (particularly a member of a Nursing union) votes for a strike, there are usually multiple reasons why s/he does so. Any one of those reasons would have caused them to vote to strike, but when you ask a union member why they are striking, they will most likely tell you the most personal reason as to why they voted to strike, or why they are walking (or refuse to cross) the picket line. And that most personal reason may (or may not) be different from the reason(s) why the union leadership called for a strike vote in the first place.

    Now, I don't live there, and I'm not a member of the union, so the only things I know about this strike is what I have read here and elsewhere. The main call-for-a-strike-vote issues appear to be:
    • Health Insurance
    • Unfair Labor Practices on the part of Hospital Management
    • Refusal by Hospital Management to Negotiate in Good Faith
    Each individual union member will have their own set of priorities. What is important to Nurse A, may not matter at all at a personal level to Nurse B.

    Many nurses may see the health insurance problem as the main issue, and that's why they're striking. Others may have better insurance via their spouse's employment, or another job, and therefore don't need the hospital's insurance. But, for them, even though they don't use it, they can still see the inadequacy of the plan, and are striking to help the membership as a whole -- just as they would advocate for their patients. Or, perhaps they feel that threats, harrassment and intimidation are things that are just not acceptable under any curcumstances! And that's why they're striking.

    Another thing to be considered is, what is contained in the current contract?

    Depending upon how the contract is worded, the current contract may expire on a certain date, and if there is no language to maintain benefits, or a new contract to take it's place, then any benefits contained in the current contract could just disappear overnight.

    For instance, (I have no idea if any of these things exist.) let's assume that:
    1. The hospital has a very reasonably priced, on-site, child daycare care center for employees, which is a benefit directly from the contract. If the hospital doesn't negotiate in good faith, and the current contract lapses, that center could close it's doors, and that could be very important to a mother (or father) with young children.
    2. Perhaps the contract prohibits Mandatory Overtime. An older nurse who knows that her/his body just couldn't function well in a forced overtime situation -- and could end up injuring or killing a patient, would want that provision to stay in place.
    3. Or, a nurse approaching retirement in a year or two, knows that there is language in the current contract that impacts their pension. They are afraid that if the contract expires, their pension benefits could be greatly affected.
    In all of these cases, the general issue is that the hospital is allegedly refusing to negotiate in good faith. But, as you can see, that refusal impacts different people in different ways, and those more personal and specific issues are the ones that they will most likely mention when asked.

    Well, it could be all of them!

    In that letter, he may have been talking about his most personal reason for voting to strike. It may also be the most personal reason for many others as well.

    [mouse]For those who are wondering about that letter, you can find it here:
    http://www.thnt.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...609090359/1080[/mouse]

    We all have to determine what is the most important to us, based upon how we want to practice our profession, and how much we value our family and community. All of these things intertwine to make us the People -- and Nurses -- that we are.

    Individual nurses giving different reasons for striking actually appears to be a positive indicator that these nurses voted to strike because they believed a strike was needed -- and not that they're following blindly along just because some union rep told them to strike, and are parroting the "union line."

    This individuality doesn't mean that the union's stated reasons are not valid, or that the membership at large doesn't agree with them, or won't stand behind them.

    In my view, it shows their actions and words are a product of conscious thought and deliberation, based upon their own personal and professional needs and values.

    As it should be.

    Thanks for pointing out to all of us this very positive, very encouraging, and very validating sign.

    ==========

    Slave to Cats

    ==========
    ==========
    Slave To Cats - Thank you for your support and for putting this so eloquently. I couldn't have responded to that better myself.
  10. by   twotrees2
    Quote from clcrtrn
    Quick update:

    Day 1 of the strike we had 1100 nurses on the picket line!! Management was expecting The Childrens Hospital nurses to cross...not a single one did. In their arrogance and misjudging our solidarity they did not transfer the PICU patients out two weeks ago as was arranged. Thursday morning saw a parade of ambulances scrambling out kids that should have been taken care of properly in advance. Nursing management is working 5 days a week 12 hour shifts...no over time. The hospital is paying the SCAB nurses 3 times the hourly salary we get to provide sub par coverage. We lost our Magnet staus, Level 1 Trauma status and our Homeland Security reginal hospital designation. Family members have been complaining that care is below what they have been getting. We have made numerous requests to get back to the table. We have even made offers to send in a team to help in the stabilization of critical patients should the need arise; all have been denied. We want nothing more than to end this and get back to our patients and give them the proper care they deserve, yet management refuses to come to the table.

    http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art...608260340/1007

    http://www.thnt.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...608260358/1001

    unless there is a no strike clause - which i have been told there is in some areas - which makes no sense but whatever - i for one would have been the first "scab" across that line and they wouldn't even have had to pay me three times as much. i have turned down any place ( that is since i have been in the medical field ) that requires unions and will cont to do so as i do not believe that the medical field is where it belongs -it has its place and it can be good but if nurses strike how can we with a clear conscience do so - its not like its a assembly line where parts are awaiting our return. people can and will die because of it - in my opinion i do not believe it belongs here ( ducking at the flaming coming on this opinion - but i really hope there are more who feel the same way - must be if they had it staffed ( even at 3 times the pay) the same day.
  11. by   twotrees2
    Quote from clcrtrn
    Quick update:

    Sunday- still no talks scheduled in spite of our numerous requests to get back to the table. We don't need to be out on the line; as reports come in it's evident the hosptal is ill prepared for the situation regarding care of the patients. LET US GET BACK TO THE BEDSIDE!

    One of our nurses, a union steward, was interviewed Saturday live on the radio, 1010WINS; one of the interviewers was trying to steer from the healthcare issue, the reason we are on strike. He kept referring to the erroneous and inflated salary numbers reported by the hospital. Our guy stood his ground and made it clear that this was not about salary but inadequate healthcare and unfair labor practices. We are trying to set up a news conference this week with some of the local media; we will have nurses there with their personal horror stories dealing with medical bills and penalty charges under our plan.

    Thanks to all for the support and positive feedback as we continue the fight to get back where we belong-at the bedside taking care of our patients as the highly trained, dedicated,caring professionals we are!
    by the way - i dont disagree that the hospital is being an ass and need to adress the medical bennies sufficienty - like alowingout of area without penelties esp ads one stated there was none available there - but isnt there some other way then making the patients suffer too??? i am sorry you all had to make that decision - praying for all involved
  12. by   twotrees2
    Quote from spacenurse
    I think you should go with COBRA then if at all possible.
    How DARE they!

    You and your fellow nurses are in my prayers.
    the only problem with cobra is it costs an arm leg and about 3 of your first born! been there - just could not afford the costof the ins. maybe a city wie collection to get citizens involved to help you all use cobra- maybe enough residnets of the city would cough up enough to at least allow you to not have to pay quite so much? tough call to be without any ins even if its bad ins. things can happen so qickly - my mother in law found out the hard way - 75 thousand in bills for 2 surgeries she will be paying off the rest of her life good luck and again my prayers are with all involved
  13. by   twotrees2
    Quote from KyRNBSN
    Wow, Isnt it illegal for someone to tell you WHERE to go for healthcare.. I mean somewhere it states "you have the right to fair treatment regardless of race, age, sexuality," et. al. Its like they are dictating where these people can go and to me thats a form of communism. This is America, we have the right to choose WHERE we go and shouldnt be forced by limitation set by our providor nor should we be penalized for those decisions. Tell them to go to communist China if they want to be dictators.. This is America, Where freedom is a Right granted by the constitution. Good Luck to you all.

    kyrnbsn
    any ins co i have had has always had the rules you go whwre they tell you - IF they do not have what you need in thier services you can get a referall and get a waiver then you have to pay an even bigger deductible - which these days deductibles are outrageous just using what is in thier plan. 25 for a doctor in plan when it used to be 10 - etc and more. sad how everyones health care has becom.

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