Robert Wood Johnson Univ Hospital Nurses to Strike - page 14

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   mekrn
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    I read your current plan summary. Sounds like some much needed improvement.

    I'd be interested to know what the RWJ nurses that have posted here think about it or what the general consensus is for voting for it.

    Of course, I don't want anyone to taint potential outcomes with their input. It'd wait till after the vote if you think that's appropriate.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Well, I need to find out more about this at the meeting. Obviously there are some improvements, but there is still the choice issue, since coverage at other hospitals is for services not provided at RWJ. There are basically no services that are not provided at RWJ, therefore, it was pretty easy for them to add that. If I CHOOSE to go somewhere else, I am still hit with that $700 and the coverage after that WILL NOT be 100% and there is no cap. That could be a huge out-of-pocket bill. I'm also concerned about the "50 physicians" whose arms were twisted into accepting Qualcare. I want names! We are still stuck in the same situation if we use one of our own RWJ docs who does not take Qualcare but have services performed at RWJ. Note it says the they will treat it as inner circle if the HOSPITAL does not perform the service, but it does not say they will if there are NO DOCS WHO TAKE QUALCARE that perform the service. I'd like to see that addressed, as that is where some of our nurses got hit with ridiculous bills from services performed at RWJ.

    I also haven't seen or heard what the rest of the offer is besides the healthcare, so I don't have the full picture yet. These are my initial thoughts. I haven't spoken to anyone so I don't know what the concensus is, nor do I know if this contract is endorsed by the union. I definitely need more facts.


  2. by   lee1
    Quote from solidaritynurse
    Well, I need to find out more about this at the meeting. Obviously there are some improvements, but there is still the choice issue, since coverage at other hospitals is for services not provided at RWJ. There are basically no services that are not provided at RWJ, therefore, it was pretty easy for them to add that. If I CHOOSE to go somewhere else, I am still hit with that $700 and the coverage after that WILL NOT be 100% and there is no cap. That could be a huge out-of-pocket bill. I'm also concerned about the "50 physicians" whose arms were twisted into accepting Qualcare. I want names! We are still stuck in the same situation if we use one of our own RWJ docs who does not take Qualcare but have services performed at RWJ. Note it says the they will treat it as inner circle if the HOSPITAL does not perform the service, but it does not say they will if there are NO DOCS WHO TAKE QUALCARE that perform the service. I'd like to see that addressed, as that is where some of our nurses got hit with ridiculous bills from services performed at RWJ.

    I also haven't seen or heard what the rest of the offer is besides the healthcare, so I don't have the full picture yet. These are my initial thoughts. I haven't spoken to anyone so I don't know what the concensus is, nor do I know if this contract is endorsed by the union. I definitely need more facts.


    So, you are not sure how you would vote if there is not much more to the package offered. You want to continue to be on strike indefinitely? To resolve this it may take many more votes? Or, take what has now been offered and hope that continuing improvement may still be made over the course of the contract. Remember that in union contracts they cannot take AWAY, they can still add if the managment needs to, to help recruit/retain their nurses.
  3. by   mekrn
    Quote from lee1
    So, you are not sure how you would vote if there is not much more to the package offered. You want to continue to be on strike indefinitely? To resolve this it may take many more votes? Or, take what has now been offered and hope that continuing improvement may still be made over the course of the contract. Remember that in union contracts they cannot take AWAY, they can still add if the managment needs to, to help recruit/retain their nurses.
    Yes, I need ALL the facts before I decide how I will vote. Of course! Do I want to be on strike indefinitely? Of course NOT! Trust me, if we accept the contract there will not be any "continuing improvements". Whatever it is is what it will be. :wink2:
  4. by   RNinNJ
    This contract looks a lot like the one that was rejected by the union, which led up to the strike. I will see what the union has to say at the meeting on sunday. I think people may vote it in because they are tired of not working and want to get back to their patients. I can understand that, but on the other hand, I would hate for all this to be for nothing.
  5. by   mekrn
    Quote from RNinNJ
    This contract looks a lot like the one that was rejected by the union, which led up to the strike. I will see what the union has to say at the meeting on sunday. I think people may vote it in because they are tired of not working and want to get back to their patients. I can understand that, but on the other hand, I would hate for all this to be for nothing.
    :yeahthat:
  6. by   nyforlove
    The Union chart states that two new RWJ facilities were added to the no-charge Inner Circle...if these 2 facilities offer many services that the main hospital does, then could that alleviate some of the privacy concerns???--Not as bad as being rolled into surgery right past your daily co-workers, bosses, CNAs??--at least you're at a separate facility??? I hope this is the case...I REALLY ADMIRE what you RNs are doing...I am about to take the NCLEX and your struggle has CONVINCED me to only work for a Union place---not saying it's perfect (see some of my previous posts), but the courage and solidarity you have displayed have been outstanding. I'll keep supporting!
  7. by   ironica01
    Quote from RNinNJ
    This contract looks a lot like the one that was rejected by the union, which led up to the strike. I will see what the union has to say at the meeting on sunday. I think people may vote it in because they are tired of not working and want to get back to their patients. I can understand that, but on the other hand, I would hate for all this to be for nothing.
    there is nothing much to it. it is the same as the one we rejected. they just added the clause, if the precedures and surgeries not offered at RWJ we can go to other hospital but what could that procedure the RWj DOES NOT DO? we even do heart transplant? that means whatever it is, I still have to drive 30 miles to RWJ in new Brunswick, 45 miles to RWJ in Rahway and 55 miles to Hamilton (2 other hospitals they added in the inner circle).
    I would like to see the clause added in the proposal that those nurses who took contract/assignment with agencies will be given enough time to complete their contract and not be forced to go back to work which was brought up before this negotiation.
  8. by   proud2banurse
    To: ironica01

    The new hospital offer clarifies that if you are admitted to another hospital for an emergency procedure, your ED visit, your physician, tests, labwork and hospitalization at another facility are covered as "inner circle".

    The hospital will NEVER add a clause for the nurses who took contract work with agencies "to come back whenever their contract is over". Why should they????????? Everyone knows that to get out of a contract all you need to say is that you have a "family emergency" and you need out.
    LET'S GET REAL!!!!

    I am also a RWJ nurse on the picket line. When the strike is over, we go back. It's as simple as that. However, no one is forcing you to go back. If you wish to stay with an agency, go ahead. If you chose to take a contract assignment, that is your problem, not Robert Wood Johnson's. I'll bet you want those scab nurses gone immediately, don't you? Or, do you feel that they should be able to work out their contracts?
  9. by   mekrn
    Quote from proud2banurse
    To: ironica01

    The new hospital offer clarifies that if you are admitted to another hospital for an emergency procedure, your ED visit, your physician, tests, labwork and hospitalization at another facility are covered as "inner circle".

    The hospital will NEVER add a clause for the nurses who took contract work with agencies "to come back whenever their contract is over". Why should they????????? Everyone knows that to get out of a contract all you need to say is that you have a "family emergency" and you need out.
    LET'S GET REAL!!!!

    I am also a RWJ nurse on the picket line. When the strike is over, we go back. It's as simple as that. However, no one is forcing you to go back. If you wish to stay with an agency, go ahead. If you chose to take a contract assignment, that is your problem, not Robert Wood Johnson's. I'll bet you want those scab nurses gone immediately, don't you? Or, do you feel that they should be able to work out their contracts?
    I have to agree with you about the agency contract thing. Why would they do that?

    My biggest concern with the new contract is still if you have a procedure at RWJ, but no RWJ docs that do that procedure take Qualcare, you could still be out 10's of thousands of dollars. They say if the service is not provided at RWJ, you can be 100% covered elsewhere. But what about the doc! If there is no doc that takes Qualcare, they should cover, also.
  10. by   clcrtrn
    We'll have to wait until Sunday at the info sessions to get all the information, however, I don't think there is anything else they can tell us. It looks like this is, again, the final offer. Are the changes significant? The only thing new from the previous final offering is that emergent care out-of-network will be covered as if in-network. We're still steered to go to RWJ for all other proceedures to forego any penalties.

    Just some observations, to put everything in perspective: Initially we we're going to have to pay more for our insurance; those of us who are with RWJ for a while are getting their insurance for free were going to have the most significant change in that they would now be paying. Under the new proposed contract those changes will not occur. We would now get emergent care at an out-of-network facility as if it were inner circle. The other changes as outlined are minor and don't affect everyone as do the healthcare issues.

    Is it enough? That's for each one of us to decide individually. Regardless of the outcome of the vote we all have a lot to be proud of. We still show an increadible amount of resolve and solidarity. The weather sucked for a good part of the strike but we've been out there every day. We have a HUGE amount of support from the community, other organizations, politicians and even a Hollywood celebrity! The candle light vigils were very inspiring and helped to cement our solidarity. We even made YouTube and Wikipedia!

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=C54drrpG-dk

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_...rsity_Hospital

    Could things have been done differently? Hind sight is 20/20. Chalk it up to a learning experience all around. We probably should have gone out when we first said we would before Corzine stepped in and asked us to hold off. There was no way the hospital was ready then; our leverage would have been much stronger.

    Saturday night picnic candle light vigil! :hatparty: :smiley_aa Everone show up; lets all show how united and strong we are before the vote!
    Last edit by clcrtrn on Sep 15, '06
  11. by   ironica01
    Quote from proud2banurse
    To: ironica01

    The new hospital offer clarifies that if you are admitted to another hospital for an emergency procedure, your ED visit, your physician, tests, labwork and hospitalization at another facility are covered as "inner circle".

    The hospital will NEVER add a clause for the nurses who took contract work with agencies "to come back whenever their contract is over". Why should they????????? Everyone knows that to get out of a contract all you need to say is that you have a "family emergency" and you need out.
    LET'S GET REAL!!!!

    I am also a RWJ nurse on the picket line. When the strike is over, we go back. It's as simple as that. However, no one is forcing you to go back. If you wish to stay with an agency, go ahead. If you chose to take a contract assignment, that is your problem, not Robert Wood Johnson's. I'll bet you want those scab nurses gone immediately, don't you? Or, do you feel that they should be able to work out their contracts?
    what does "emergency procedure" mean? they have to clarify that because if this procedure is being done at RWJ, then you will still pay the penalty of $700 as supposed to $1,000. hence:
    "7. any covered inpatient or outaptient services (including all tests, procedures, and physician's fees) not offered at RWJ and rendered at other In Network hospitals (hamilton, surgicenter and Rahway) shall be treaqted as Inner circle and shall be at no cost to the employee and covered by the insurance carrier).
    This phrase was included in the origianl proposal the hospital offered, so what else is new? nothing really... I just hope that the nurses think about this before they vote on Sunday. about the contract thing with age4ncy, that was brought up by Jerry the Union president...
  12. by   proud2banurse
    This strike can go on if we vote this contract down. However, consider how much money we have lost already in wages. Some of us are not working at all. Also consider that if the strike continues, the hospital will also continue to lose money. It is conceivable that this offer can be taken off the table at any time and we could end up with nothing. There are also other things that can be taken away. The hospital could decide that they can no longer affords to fund the pension plan because of all of the money that they are losing/lost in the strike.

    I would say that this contract should be voted in. Perhaps we can learn something from all of this. One of the things is to get a better negotiating team next time around.

    Also, perhaps USW is not the best union for us. There is a stronger healthcare union I believe based in California.

    Nurses are proven to be not the best negotiators. Not that the hospital is either. But there are people who are and whose expertise can be had for a price.
  13. by   proud2banurse
    Another issue is that most nurses will have to taken long term contracts or new employment if the strike is to continue.

    I will leave RWJ if this contract is not voted in, or at least change my full-time status to per diem. There are other places to work that will be very glad to have experienced RWJ nurses.

    I feel that the longer this strike goes on, the less that we will get in the long run. The acuity and stress of working at RWJ will not be worth the salary or benefits we will be getting.

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