Robert Wood Johnson Univ Hospital Nurses to Strike - page 7

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   ZASHAGALKA
    Imagine if the UAW were bargaining with Ford or GM that they MUST buy all the employees Toyotas. . .

    My guess: management wouldn't even come to the bargaining table.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 9, '06
  2. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from clcrtrn
    Again, there is more to the issue than the choice of hospital. An increasing number of doctors at RWJ are dropping their acceptance of the current plans due to difficulties in receiving or decreases in reimbursements. Nurses have been denied coverage for proceedures because there are no doctors within the RWJ inner circle to perform them. The union has presented an alternative package that would save the hospital $1.5 million over the life of the contract.
    You mention valid points. But, MY POINT is that you block moving forward on those points WITH the issue of choice of hospital.

    Even my healthplan has it such that if my hospital doesn't perform the procedure, then it isn't 'out of network' to go to the nearest place that does. THAT is not the same as demanding to go elsewhere for everything.

    And, I don't buy the argument that management would save money by adopting the union contract. That's obviously an opinion, and one about which management decidedly doesn't agree. I just find it difficult to believe that management could save money, but is just 'sticking it to the nurses' for the thrill of it. Most strikes are ABOUT money, or what those resources buy. This, I'm sure, is no exception.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 9, '06
  3. by   lee1
    Quote from clcrtrn
    Again, there is more to the issue than the choice of hospital. An increasing number of doctors at RWJ are dropping their acceptance of the current plans due to difficulties in receiving or decreases in reimbursements. Nurses have been denied coverage for proceedures because there are no doctors within the RWJ inner circle to perform them. The union has presented an alternative package that would save the hospital $1.5 million over the life of the contract.
    So, you are trying to get better out of network for nonemergency care?
    I agree with Zashagalka that will cost them much money. How about just one point??
  4. by   mekrn
    Zashagalka

    Perhaps you are not educated as to the reason of our strike. Our strike is first and foremost a strike for Unfair Labor Practice. Instead of negotiating in good faith from the beginning, our administration chose to roll the dice on unionbusting and lost. We received a series of harassing letters on a almost a daily basis during the negotiations trying to encourage us to resign from the union, even having the audacity to provide a form letter for us to fill out and send back to the union. Additionally, they negotiated directly with the members by mail by promising enhancements that were NEVER presented to the negotiating committee. This was another tactic of their's to try to make us distrust the union. It is also illegal. In fact, we received a letter from the hospital admitting to inappropriate nature of that coorespondence. Oops! Nurses were intimidated by management prior to the strike, illegally threatening job loss, etc. The hospital estimated that they had intimidated 500 nurses enough to cross the picket line. Well, how very wrong they were. 30 nurses out of 1300 crossed. Not even close to what they need to run a huge university hospital with an open heart unit, transplant unit, cancer hospital, perinatal center including hight risk antenatal, NICU, PICU and many other specialties, not to mention a level 1 trauma center. Oh yeah, and lets not forget MAGNET hospital. Not only that, but our nurses are more united than ever. We are tired of the manipulation and games of this administration, and they have severely underestimated us.

    As to the insurance. Using our hospital is only part of the problem. The reimbursement is so inadequate from the plan that very few physicans, especially surgeons and specialists, particiate in it. Therefore, your hospitalization is covered but you are stuck with a a physician bill of 10's of thousands NOT COVERED! That doesn't sound like coverage to me! A coworker of mine had surgery at OUR facility by a surgeon not in the plan because there is no other at our facility AT ALL who does that type of surgery. She had an $11,000 physician bill, that she paid completely out of pocket. However, she did not even MEET HER DEDUCTIBLE because the self-insured plan said that the surgery was only worth $2,000. They only applied $760 of the $11,000 she paid to her deductible and when she went for follow ups, SHE STILL HAD TO PAY MORE EVEN AFTER PAYING $11,000!!! And that was for surgery in our hospital! We had another nurse with a $38,000 out of pocket with the same situation, DONE IN OUR FACILITY.

    Our union is very strong and we are all working hard to better salary, benefits and standards and most of all RESPECT for nurses EVERYWHERE, so sheesh, please don't refer to our strike as silly.

    Thank you.
  5. by   clcrtrn
    quote:
    originally posted by clcrtrn
    again, there is more to the issue than the choice of hospital. an increasing number of doctors at rwj are dropping their acceptance of the current plans due to difficulties in receiving or decreases in reimbursements. nurses have been denied coverage for proceedures because there are no doctors within the rwj inner circle to perform them. the union has presented an alternative package that would save the hospital $1.5 million over the life of the contract.


    from lee1: so, you are trying to get better out of network for nonemergency care?
    i agree with zashagalka that will cost them much money. how about just one point??


    as i stated, we presented a plan to save the hospital 1.5 million...more if they included all the rwj network hospitals.
  6. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from solidaritynurse
    Zashagalka

    Perhaps you are not educated as to the reason of our strike. Our strike is first and foremost a strike for Unfair Labor Practice. Instead of negotiating in good faith from the beginning, our administration chose to roll the dice on unionbusting and lost. We received a series of harassing letters on a almost a daily basis during the negotiations trying to encourage us to resign from the union, even having the audacity to provide a form letter for us to fill out and send back to the union. Additionally, they negotiated directly with the members by mail by promising enhancements that were NEVER presented to the negotiating committee. This was another tactic of their's to try to make us distrust the union. It is also illegal. In fact, we received a letter from the hospital admitting to inappropriate nature of that coorespondence. Oops! Nurses were intimidated by management prior to the strike, illegally threatening job loss, etc. The hospital estimated that they had intimidated 500 nurses enough to cross the picket line. Well, how very wrong they were. 30 nurses out of 1300 crossed. Not even close to what they need to run a huge university hospital with an open heart unit, transplant unit, cancer hospital, perinatal center including hight risk antenatal, NICU, PICU and many other specialties, not to mention a level 1 trauma center. Oh yeah, and lets not forget MAGNET hospital. Not only that, but our nurses are more united than ever. We are tired of the manipulation and games of this administration, and they have severely underestimated us.

    As to the insurance. Using our hospital is only part of the problem. The reimbursement is so inadequate from the plan that very few physicans, especially surgeons and specialists, particiate in it. Therefore, your hospitalization is covered but you are stuck with a a physician bill of 10's of thousands NOT COVERED! That doesn't sound like coverage to me! A coworker of mine had surgery at OUR facility by a surgeon not in the plan because there is no other at our facility AT ALL who does that type of surgery. She had an $11,000 physician bill, that she paid completely out of pocket. However, she did not even MEET HER DEDUCTIBLE because the self-insured plan said that the surgery was only worth $2,000. They only applied $760 of the $11,000 she paid to her deductible and when she went for follow ups, SHE STILL HAD TO PAY MORE EVEN AFTER PAYING $11,000!!! And that was for surgery in our hospital! We had another nurse with a $38,000 out of pocket with the same situation, DONE IN OUR FACILITY.

    Our union is very strong and we are all working hard to better salary, benefits and standards and most of all RESPECT for nurses EVERYWHERE, so sheesh, please don't refer to our strike as silly.

    Thank you.
    I think that one point is silly. I wouldn't be sacrificing MY mortgage and back to school budget for something no reasonable employer is going to give you.

    You sound like you have lots of problems with your health plan. BUT, it sounds like this one sticking point is keeping all other remedies off the table, as well.

    As far as the 'unfair labor practices', so, you admit that a good part of this strike has only to do with pride. Because, isn't that exactly what complaining about tactics that ultimately didn't work is? Well. So much for blaming management for the same failings.

    Oh yeah, I can see not paying my bills on time in order to pay that dastardly hospital back for sending me a letter and calling my phone. . . But, just a point of order: isn't that what the NLRB if for, and not a strike?

    It is certainly hyperbolic rhetoric to suggest that you represent all RNs everywhere, but I just don't see how these issues extend beyond your facility. They certainly do not extend to MY health care plan. Thank Goodness! My non-union plan sounds much better.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 9, '06
  7. by   ZASHAGALKA
    You're correct that I might not know all the reasons for the strike. But this is a salient point: I only know the UNION's POV, as expressed in these threads.

    And even then, I think demanding that the hospital spend millions because it is simply inconvenient for employees to seek healthcare where they work is excessively unreasonable.

    If it's not too far to drive to work, then how is it too far to seek non-emergent care?

    A university hospital is at even more at risk from taking all sundry of non-insured care. With >1100 employees, your union represents one of their biggest insured contracts. It's not only a loss of that revenue, it's SPENDING it elsewhere. And, it affects the insured/non-insured mix that allows the hospital to competitively negotiate for other contracts, not to mention secure gov't funding. You are talking about MILLIONS of dollars, even BEFORE you talk about the real issues at stake and their costs.

    So, you are demanding that your employer spend millions to combat minor inconveniences to seek care. I'm not talking about real deficiencies in your plan: I'm talking solely about the choice of hospital demand.

    No wonder they won't come to the table. . . it's simply worth a long strike to defeat such financial insanity. But, I think this one demand calls into question which party isn't 'bargaining in good faith'.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 9, '06
  8. by   mekrn
    Quote from nyforlove
    It's nice to know the hospital is lacking nurses and therefore must turn business away to other facilities....This means that despite the $60/hr plus bonuses, hotel, travel (+ food?), not many nurses are willing to undermine their own profession....The Company providing the replacement nurses is still advertising for replacements and recent posters here have reported the hospital calling them to come back to work......Check with the Union---it may be illegal for the hospital to contact strikers individually while the dispute is in progress---this, I believe, is partly an ethical issue so that the hospital lawyers don't intimidate individuals....if the hospital and/or its lawyers are encouraging/permitting these contacts to be made by managers, that could be an issue of bad-faith negotiation.....Hang in there!--Thanks for all you are doing to benefit nurses not just locally, but nationwide!


    Zashagalka - Please note through other postings that there are other nurses out there that DO feel we are fighting their fight, too. We are hard-working, educated PROFESSIONALS and we are not "lucky" to get whatever multimillionaire administrators want to give us, we are entitled to and deserve excellent compensation and benefits.

    Secondly, harassment and intimidation is a little more that "a letter and a phone" call. Furthermore, I'm note sure where "I admitted" that this strike was about pride because it is not. It is about violation of Federal Labor Laws, for which a complaint has been filed with the NLRB already. We are also entitled to strike under that same premise. Why are you opposed to nurses banding together and standing up for what is right? I am happy for you that you work in a facility that is shangri-la, however, most nurses that I know don't. Most nurses I know are verbally, physically, and emotionally abused on a regular basis. It is time for administrators to stop treating nurses like glorified chambermaids and treat them like the educated, highly-trained professionals that they are! I'm glad for you that you have that, too many don't.
  9. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from solidaritynurse
    Zashagalka - Please note through other postings that there are other nurses out there that DO feel we are fighting their fight, too. We are hard-working, educated PROFESSIONALS and we are not "lucky" to get whatever multimillionaire administrators want to give us, we are entitled to and deserve excellent compensation and benefits.

    Secondly, harassment and intimidation is a little more that "a letter and a phone" call. Furthermore, I'm note sure where "I admitted" that this strike was about pride because it is not. It is about violation of Federal Labor Laws, for which a complaint has been filed with the NLRB already. We are also entitled to strike under that same premise. Why are you opposed to nurses banding together and standing up for what is right? I am happy for you that you work in a facility that is shangri-la, however, most nurses that I know don't. Most nurses I know are verbally, physically, and emotionally abused on a regular basis. It is time for administrators to stop treating nurses like glorified chambermaids and treat them like the educated, highly-trained professionals that they are! I'm glad for you that you have that, too many don't.
    I'm not opposed to nurses banding together for what is right. I've mentioned that you quite possibly have several issues that you SHOULD rightly fight to gain.

    I'm opposed to nurses banding together and making unreasonable demands.

    I'm suggesting that demanding choice of hospital is akin to demanding that Ford buy its employees a Toyota. It's a non-starter. And I'm suggested that it is the one UNREASONABLE demand that is keeping all other valid demands off the table.

    And all the other issues not related to real benefits: they're picking on me, they have it coming: that IS pride. I don't see how it benefits your members to keep them out of work over matters of pride. You want the hospital to come to the table? Try dropping the one unreasonable demand and focus on ones that are actually possible and reasonable to negotiate.

    To the extent you are being quite unreasonable, you don't 'fight the good fight', you set it back.

    How far do you set back the real working relationship of the RNs with management in your facility, for years? For what? The right to take your business to its competitors - on their dime? And how does THIS message fly: we demand that the hospital acknowledge that WE are the nuts and bolts of its business, but yet, WE want the right to choose another business for ourselves. What a meta-message.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 10, '06
  10. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I had a conversation w/ my brother about this tonight, and he's a union steward.

    Here's what he said: sometimes, when you want a week's vacation you start out by asking for a trip to disneyland in order to negotiate down to just the time off.

    Agreed.

    But, in this case, it seems BOTH sides are fixated over the trip and the time off isn't even under discussion.

    The trick to negotiating from strength is that your initial position must at least be in the same universe, or why bother even talking? And, as if to prove the point, that is EXACTLY the response that's been engendered.

    How long do regular joe union members have to go without a paycheck before the discussion actually moves away from the unrealistic rhetoric and to the real issues?

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  11. by   ZASHAGALKA
    .
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 10, '06
  12. by   nyforlove
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    I had a conversation w/ my brother about this tonight, and he's a union steward.

    Here's what he said: sometimes, when you want a week's vacation you start out by asking for a trip to disneyland in order to negotiate down to just the time off.

    Agreed.

    But, in this case, it seems BOTH sides are fixated over the trip and the time off isn't even under discussion.

    The trick to negotiating from strength is that your initial position must at least be in the same universe, or why bother even talking? And, as if to prove the point, that is EXACTLY the response that's been engendered.

    How long do regular joe union members have to go without a paycheck before the discussion actually moves away from the unrealistic rhetoric and to the real issues?

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    You're not addressing a major issue involved, which is raised in the following thread: the serious privacy concerns that arise when effectively forced to get your health care from your employer (far different than buying your employer's car---with which, frankly, most employees probably wouldn't have a problem because you'd get a discount)...But, even besides the privacy issue (which you haven't addressed), it sounds like this health plan is lacking in availability of providers and percent-of-coverage---some nurses say they went through the plan on this thread for NONelective surgery and had out-of-pocket of about $10K that didn't even get applied to the deductible because it was considered too high a charge---and that was the charge of a provider in the plan! I strongly feel these RWJ nurses are fighting the fight for RNs nationwide....it's good for you that your non-union health plan is adequate, but don't forget that Union struggles keep your Non-Unionized employer on their toes....I also want to suggest that you try to address the issues comprehensively and not with pithy quotes and comments---you are sitting from a position of being employed, relaxing on a weekend drinking coffee and these RWJ nurses are already 3 weeks without pay...You don't have to agree, but please don't be cavalier, as in "Sheesh, this is so easy to resolve...."
    http://allnurses.com/forums/f8/repla...ss-178050.html
    Last edit by nyforlove on Sep 10, '06
  13. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from nyforlove
    You're not addressing a major issue involved, which is raised in the following thread: the serious privacy concerns that arise when effectively forced to get your health care from your employer (far different than buying your employer's car---with which, frankly, most employees probably wouldn't have a problem because you'd get a discount)...But, even besides the privacy issue (which you haven't addressed), it sounds like this health plan is lacking in availability of providers and percent-of-coverage---some nurses say they went through the plan on this thread for NONelective surgery and had out-of-pocket of about $10K that didn't even get applied to the deductible because it was considered too high a charge---and that was the charge of a provider in the plan! I strongly feel these RWJ nurses are fighting the fight for RNs nationwide....it's good for you that your non-union health plan is adequate, but don't forget that Union struggles keep your Non-Unionized employer on their toes....I also want to suggest that you try to address the issues comprehensively and not with pithy quotes and comments---you are sitting from a position of being employed, relaxing on a weekend drinking coffee and these RWJ nurses are already 3 weeks without pay...You don't have to agree, but please don't be cavalier, as in "Sheesh, this is so easy to resolve...."
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    Perhaps the issues aren't 'easy to resolve', I haven't really addressed that. What I have said is that they are nigh impossible to resolve when the sticking point is an untenable demand.

    From my understanding, based solely on reading the articles posted on THIS thread, management offered to lower co-pays and do what it takes to keep and add more docs to the system. And I can see demanding that a reasonable 'out of network' option exist for emergencies and being well outside the geographic area, whether on vacation or kids away at school. My healthcare plan has both stipulations and I think it's reasonable.

    But, demanding the right to go to the competitor across town on the hospital's dime? Completely unreasonable. If you wonder why the hospital won't come to the table, it's because this demand is such a non-starter as to not be worth discussing.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 10, '06

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