Robert Wood Johnson Univ Hospital Nurses to Strike - page 8

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   AGM105
    I understand the importance of unity of nurses and I am very proud of the nurses at RWJ for sticking together during this strike. I have many friends that work at the hospital that are sticking to their word of not crossing the picket line and very adamant about their beliefs in fair healthcare. I also have a few friends that have gotten hired in August right before the strike so I was wondering-- are new nurses at RWJ that were on orientation in August or will be starting this week for the September orientation considered to have "crossed the picket line?"
  2. by   pickledpepperRN
    Does the hospital also administer and/or own the health insurance plan for their employees?

    Did they hire "Union avoidance" consultants?
  3. by   PANurseRN1
    It's easy to sit back and criticize when you're all fat and happy in your current position.

    I'm behind the nurses. You should at least have a choice; perhaps the premium for a plan that offers non-RWJH facilities, maybe a little bit more in deductible, but at least some coverage.

    I would share your concerns re: privacy. And if many of the docs at your hospital don't participate in your plan, what on earth are you supposed to do?
  4. by   mekrn
    Quote from AGM105
    I understand the importance of unity of nurses and I am very proud of the nurses at RWJ for sticking together during this strike. I have many friends that work at the hospital that are sticking to their word of not crossing the picket line and very adamant about their beliefs in fair healthcare. I also have a few friends that have gotten hired in August right before the strike so I was wondering-- are new nurses at RWJ that were on orientation in August or will be starting this week for the September orientation considered to have "crossed the picket line?"
    Absolutely. Not only that, if you mean "new nurses" as in "new grads", If I wanted to protect my shiny new license, I would not set foot in there to be oriented by scabs!
  5. by   mekrn
    Quote from spacenurse
    Does the hospital also administer and/or own the health insurance plan for their employees?

    Did they hire "Union avoidance" consultants?
    Yes. The plan is a co-op of self-insured hospitals. While I don't know if they hired union avoidance consultants, I would imagine they did. The hospital's number one goal all along has been to break the union rather than negotiate fairly.
  6. by   fedupnurse
    Here is the deal with PPO insurance coverage. Hospitals "own" them. We have a PPO and many of our docs hate it because the hospital (yes, it is the hospital that cuts the check to the docs) takes 9 to 12 months to pay the docs for services rendered. I don't know about you, but I certainly wouldn't wait for a year to be paid what I am owed. In the meantime, the hospital gets to invest not only the docs money that they are holding onto but also the stiff penalties (a grand is nothing to sneeze at for going out of network) and they invest that money to their benefit. I have heard from the sister of a RWJ nurse that many of their docs have opted out of being a PPO providers so then you have even less of a choice. If we had a non profit driven healthcare system in this country it would be a mute point. We would still have the old indemnity type insurance where I pay 20% and the insurer pays 80% regardless of what doc I choose to go to. If I lived 30 or more minutes away from my employer, I would have no choice but to choose a doc closer to my home. I would certainly not take 30 or more minutes in an emergency situation to get to a hospital!!
    Like CLCTRN said, it is not just about insurance. That is what the execs are saying to divert attention from the real issue. God forbid nurses have a say in patient care issues and this is why they are ignoring the unions requests to come back to the table.
    We all have a choice. If we don't believe in striking we have no business working in a unionized facility. We also have no right to reap the benefits unionized facilities garner for the "rest of us". If anything happened to the union where I work it would negatively affect salaries, benefits and working conditions for every hospital employee in this area. They have to offer what we have gained through our union in order to attract and retain staff.
    Last edit by fedupnurse on Sep 10, '06
  7. by   mrsmitty
    There is another plan for people who don't want Qualcare. What is wrong with the Aetna plan?
  8. by   mrsmitty
    Quote from solidaritynurse
    Yes. The plan is a co-op of self-insured hospitals. While I don't know if they hired union avoidance consultants, I would imagine they did. The hospital's number one goal all along has been to break the union rather than negotiate fairly.
    Why do you say the hospital's goal is to break the union? Does negotiate fairly mean give you what you want?

    They made a significant change to the health plan after you voted to strike by lowering the copays 30% and adding doctors to the inner circle. They also agreed not to increase the premiums for the term of the contract. They also agreed to cover emergency care at any hospital. The union voted that down and decided to strike. Who is not negotiating in good faith?

    You scorn the replacement nurses. Yet without those nurses, the other employees in the hospital would be out of work also. They are your co-workers. What about the people in the community that depend on the hospital?

    This was a very bad decision, and the result of poor leadership in the union. In the end you will all lose out.

    There are good nurses who will leave. I know one of them who voted for the contract and has picketed with you anyway. She will leave a job she loved because she won't cross the picket line, but she wants to work and is disgusted with the union.
  9. by   mekrn
    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.
    Mrs. Mitty - Please read my prior post for my positition on the union breaking attempts of the hospital.

    As for the covered emergency care at other facilities, that is life-threatening only. Would you like to drive a 10 year old with a broken arm an hour to Robert Wood with no pain meds,not to mention delaying medical care. That is not considered an emergency by the hospital. Even if they were so kind as to lower the penalty to $700, there is NO CAP on inpatient treatment. A very substandard hospital in our area that has QualCare has a cap on treatment in another facility. My family member who works at the substandard hospital was admitted to a DIFFERENT facility of HIS choosing because of the superior care they offer for his condition. He will pay no penalty (they don't have any) and will pay 70% up to a CAP of $4,000 and will be 100% covered after that. Trust me, if that other hospital can afford to offer that kind of coverage with their QualCare, so can RWJ. Negotiating fairly is NOT giving me what I want, it is doing what is fair, and huge penalties and no caps are NOT fair.

    As for where you say I scorn replacement nurses, I assume you mean my post wherein I advised that a new graduate nurse should not want to cross a picket line and be precepted by a "replacement nurse" who has been in the facility for 2-3 weeks, I stand by that. That is a scary way to start your career.

    As for your opinion of union leadership, you do not say whether you are member of the union so I do not know what you base that statement on. Well over 1000 nurses feel differently.

    As for the other employees, I feel sorry for them and miss many of them. However, they will benefit from this,too. As for the patients, I hear RWJ is "business as usual" so I guess they are not affected. By the way, I hear St. Peter's is busting at the seams!

    As for your friend, the hospital has been unionized for many, many years and I'm sure she knew that when she took the position. I'm sure she probably came to RWJ for its excellent reputation and salary above others in the area. We can thank our union for that!

    Lots of nurses are working elsewhere right now. I have heard of several who have been at RWJ for years, SUPPORTED the strike, but found the grass much greener at their agency positions and will take permanent positions at these facilities, not returning to RWJ. Many are receiving their wake up call that the sun does not rise and set on RWJ. I'm sure your friend is a great nurse, I respect her for honoring the picket line, and I'm sure she will be missed.
  10. by   kaydee rn
    Hi
    I am a nurse educator in PA. We strongly support you. Hang in there. It is time for nursing to be noticed for their valuable contributions to the health care arena.

    You've got friends in Pennsylvania
  11. by   mekrn
    THANK YOU!!!!!:1luvu: :1luvu:
  12. by   ironica01
    Quote from mrsmitty
    There is another plan for people who don't want Qualcare. What is wrong with the Aetna plan?
    I have Aetna and it's the same as Qualcare. If I go to a doctor who carries Aetna but does not have a privilege to go to RWJ, I still have to pay the penalties of $700-$1000. The same with going to a hospital close to my house which is 10 minutes away as supposed to 25 minutes going to RWJ. Aetna will not cover anything. For example, I went for my diagnostic ptrocedure at the hospital close to my house and where my primary physician has the privilege. I have to pay $1,870 for the procedure because I didn't use RWJ. So now, when I called the insurancve company to give me names of OB-gyn where I could go without paying any penalties they dont really have enough who are in the RWJ "in-network". The one they gave me could not even give me any appointment to see an Ob-gyn. The earliest appointment they could give me was September which is supposed to be my first visit with him/her. By then, I will be 26 weeks in my pregnancy.
    I raised this issue to Mr. Gantner, one of the hospital's bigwigs. and he apologized to me thaqt they don't really have enough ob/gyn and pediatrician in the network. They said they will add 50 more doctors in the "inner circle" but there was no assurance what kind of doctors they are adding and when it will take effect.
    Gantner told me that even if this happens, I won't benefit from it cuz by the time it takes effect I might have alre4ady given birth.
    While we work hard to give proper care to our patients, we the NURSES suffer for not getting quality healthcare. And by the way, if we are out of town vacationing and happens to go to ER in that town, our insurance will only cover the visit, once we start getting treatments we'tre on our own. We will have to beg to get transferred to RWJ so as not to pay any penalties and get 100% coverage. How silly is that?
    That's why we are on STRIKE!!!
    Last edit by ironica01 on Sep 10, '06
  13. by   tridil2000
    Quote from solidaritynurse
    Mrs. Mitty - Please read my prior post for my positition on the union breaking attempts of the hospital.

    As for the covered emergency care at other facilities, that is life-threatening only. Would you like to drive a 10 year old with a broken arm an hour to Robert Wood with no pain meds,not to mention delaying medical care. That is not considered an emergency by the hospital. Even if they were so kind as to lower the penalty to $700, there is NO CAP on inpatient treatment. A very substandard hospital in our area that has QualCare has a cap on treatment in another facility. My family member who works at the substandard hospital was admitted to a DIFFERENT facility of HIS choosing because of the superior care they offer for his condition. He will pay no penalty (they don't have any) and will pay 70% up to a CAP of $4,000 and will be 100% covered after that. Trust me, if that other hospital can afford to offer that kind of coverage with their QualCare, so can RWJ. Negotiating fairly is NOT giving me what I want, it is doing what is fair, and huge penalties and no caps are NOT fair.

    As for where you say I scorn replacement nurses, I assume you mean my post wherein I advised that a new graduate nurse should not want to cross a picket line and be precepted by a "replacement nurse" who has been in the facility for 2-3 weeks, I stand by that. That is a scary way to start your career.

    As for your opinion of union leadership, you do not say whether you are member of the union so I do not know what you base that statement on. Well over 1000 nurses feel differently.

    As for the other employees, I feel sorry for them and miss many of them. However, they will benefit from this,too. As for the patients, I hear RWJ is "business as usual" so I guess they are not affected. By the way, I hear St. Peter's is busting at the seams!

    As for your friend, the hospital has been unionized for many, many years and I'm sure she knew that when she took the position. I'm sure she probably came to RWJ for its excellent reputation and salary above others in the area. We can thank our union for that!

    Lots of nurses are working elsewhere right now. I have heard of several who have been at RWJ for years, SUPPORTED the strike, but found the grass much greener at their agency positions and will take permanent positions at these facilities, not returning to RWJ. Many are receiving their wake up call that the sun does not rise and set on RWJ. I'm sure your friend is a great nurse, I respect her for honoring the picket line, and I'm sure she will be missed.
    this was well thought out and a very mature reply to msmitty.

    btw, are you all eligible for unemployment and have you all applied for it?

    stand strong!

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