Should nurses strike? - page 13

Should nurses strike? Would you cross the picket line?:confused:... Read More

  1. by   -jt
    hows this for audacity......

    At one of our rural hospitals, the administration refused to even BEGIN negotiations unless the nurses took a strike vote. They wanted to see just how strongly united the nurses were on the issues & how far they could be pushed to give in. So it told the nurses you want negotiations - take a strike vote first. They forced the nurses to take a strike vote right from the very beginning! Before negotiations even started!!! So the nurses did & voted to strike.

    It was supposed to begin July 1st. All of the sudden, the administration was ready to negotiate. Surprise surprise. And not only that, but after demanding the RNs take a strike vote before it would sit down with them at all, the administration didnt even bother to drag out negotiations for months. They agreed to an acceptable contract at 4:30AM today - after an all night marathon session.

    If they could agree to the nurses contract at 4:30 AM after forcing a strike to be scheduled, they could have sat down with the nurses collegiately & hammered out that agreement from the beginning without the pain & aggravation. There was no need to be so adversarial towards their nurses, refuse to even begin talking about the issues, & force them to take a strike vote just to sit at the table.

    It was completely unnecessary & disresepctful for the administration to take that kind of attitude. All it does is lower morale & cause the nurses to be more distrustful of & angry towards the employer. What was the purpose of administrations actions? Thats easy. If the nurses had shown any division among their ranks by balking at taking a strike vote, were unwilling to strike, or began fighting amongst each other over whether to do it or not, the adminsitration would have seen an opportunity to divide and conquer & would have dug its heels in & not given an inch on the nurses issues of safe staffing & mandatory ot.

    Just the sheer audacity of that administration in pulling this stunt harms morale. Youd think that in this time of bedside nurse shortages theyd be kissing our feet - instead they are still treating us like we're nothing.

    Anyway, no matter. The nurses surprised them by sticking together strongly. Administration saw it could not intimidate them & so came to the table & the nurses got their contract because they were willing to take a stand for it. If they hadnt been, there would still be no negotiations happening. Instead, they already have a contract that addresses their issues.

    And another nurses strike was called off before it even began.

    But we should not have to go to these lengths just to be able to do our jobs right.
  2. by   teeituptom
    Strike away Strike away
    let me get that strike busting pay

    eeehhawwwwwww
  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by -jt
    hows this for audacity......

    At one of our rural hospitals, the administration refused to even BEGIN negotiations unless the nurses took a strike vote. They wanted to see just how strongly united the nurses were on the issues & how far they could be pushed to give in. So it told the nurses you want negotiations - take a strike vote first. They forced the nurses to take a strike vote right from the very beginning! Before negotiations even started!!! So the nurses did & voted to strike.

    It was supposed to begin July 1st. All of the sudden, the administration was ready to negotiate. Surprise surprise. And not only that, but after demanding the RNs take a strike vote before it would sit down with them at all, the administration didnt even bother to drag out negotiations for months. They agreed to an acceptable contract at 4:30AM today - after an all night marathon session.

    If they could agree to the nurses contract at 4:30 AM after forcing a strike to be scheduled, they could have sat down with the nurses collegiately & hammered out that agreement from the beginning without the pain & aggravation. There was no need to be so adversarial towards their nurses, refuse to even begin talking about the issues, & force them to take a strike vote just to sit at the table.

    It was completely unnecessary & disresepctful for the administration to take that kind of attitude. All it does is lower morale & cause the nurses to be more distrustful of & angry towards the employer. What was the purpose of administrations actions? Thats easy. If the nurses had shown any division among their ranks by balking at taking a strike vote, were unwilling to strike, or began fighting amongst each other over whether to do it or not, the adminsitration would have seen an opportunity to divide and conquer & would have dug its heels in & not given an inch on the nurses issues of safe staffing & mandatory ot.

    Just the sheer audacity of that administration in pulling this stunt harms morale. Youd think that in this time of bedside nurse shortages theyd be kissing our feet - instead they are still treating us like we're nothing.

    Anyway, no matter. The nurses surprised them by sticking together strongly. Administration saw it could not intimidate them & so came to the table & the nurses got their contract because they were willing to take a stand for it. If they hadnt been, there would still be no negotiations happening. Instead, they already have a contract that addresses their issues.

    And another nurses strike was called off before it even began.

    But we should not have to go to these lengths just to be able to do our jobs right.
    That management has proven they do NOT respect nurses!
    Good they have a contract!
    The community should thank and award those strong nurses!
  4. by   nowplayingEDRN
    jt...

    Are you refering to Catskill Regional Medical Center?? It is like that almost every time a contract needs to be renewed. Management at that facility has never respected the nursing staff and makes tons of promises but never follows through. I spent the first 6 years of my nursing career there. They taught me to think on my own 2 feet and fly by the seat of my pants. I learned very valuable lessons there and for that I must thank them but I do not miss that nightmare-ish place. No, not one little bit do I miss it. I have contact with some that still work there and they say that the situation there has not changed in over 8 years. Amazing if you ask me...and yet they get no thanks from the community....they just get brow beat for standing up for what is just, fair, right, safe and prudent........I guess the public does not comprehend that the working conditions directly affect the care recieved.
  5. by   Milehighnurse
    Originally posted by bender73
    No. I am tired of seeing nurses striking outside of hospitals. It can scare patients for one - I am sure the patient feels real safe seeing half the staff outside before being admitted. Do your job. If you don't like working hard...find another career.
    Scares the pt's? Oh please, spare me. Come out of the dark ages and look at reality. I am so sick and tired of hearing about what "the pt's might think." What about what pt's experience when you have a nurse who's ovewhelmed d/t piss-poor staffing, working 12-16 hours a day and gets so fatigued you can't think straight? Hmmm? Want that person taking care of you or your loved one? Reeks of typical managerial wisdom to me.
  6. by   -jt
    <What about what pt's experience when you have a nurse who's ovewhelmed d/t piss-poor staffing, working 12-16 hours a day and gets so fatigued you can't think straight? Hmmm? Want that person taking care of you or your loved one? Reeks of typical managerial wisdom to me.>

    At our contract negotiations, in response to our argument for banning mandatory ot, the HR VP actually said they need mandatory ot to continue because "A tired nurse is better than no nurse at all". But thats exactly where they are wrong. Its just the opposite.

    The staff RN who is co-chair of our negotiating committee responded with "a nurse who isnt being forced to work exhausted, & so isnt there, cant kill somebody". Youd think the meaning of that sentence is very clear but the HR VP actually had to ask her to explain what she meant. They just dont get it.
  7. by   Milehighnurse
    The staff RN who is co-chair of our negotiating committee responded with "a nurse who isnt being forced to work exhausted, & so isnt there, cant kill somebody". Youd think the meaning of that sentence is very clear but the HR VP actually had to ask her to explain what she meant. They just dont get it. [/B][/QUOTE]

    Don't even get me started on the HR queens...LOL. HR is a joke. They should call it "IR-Inhumane Resources." Like these people have ANY sort of clue about what we do, what we have to endure to get the job done. They could care less about what your staffing/acuity concerns are, they still will hold you to in-humane standards because you a nurse.
    Question-is "nurse" the new millennium term for patsy?

    Thank you for letting me vent
  8. by   ainz
    Should nurses strike? No. Why? It is not the mark of a professional. True professions do not strike. There is no need. They have autonomy, are self-regulating, and do not have a despised "administration/management" to strike against. Why do nurses strike in the first place? Perhaps we should identify what we really want. I want to work in an environment where nurses have the resources to give safe, effective care, where nurses are recognized and compensated according to their actual contribution to the patient's care and outcome. This would require that we bill the payor for our services and we are not paid as mere hourly employees with benefits. If we are unhappy with our current situation why not engage in activity that will bring about lasting and meaningful change. Perhaps we should spend our energy and resources in petitioning the governing board of the hospital to replace existing administrative personnel, such as the CEO, COO, etc., with qualified nurses rather than accountants or people with business degrees. Perhaps we should participate in the political process and get bills introduced that will create laws that place nurses in key positions of decision making power in healthcare organizations. Believe me, nurses have much more power than they realize. The last thing administration wants is a strike or union to come in. They will do most anything to keep this from happening. Use that leverage but use it wisely.
  9. by   Milehighnurse
    ainz,
    The problem with having nurses replace exisitng adminsitration is that they become adminsitration-so in effect, reinventing the wheel. Also, as they go up the managerial ladder they get farther and farther way from the issues and $$$ become their focal point. I have seen this happen first hand. Nice thought though.
  10. by   ainz
    PsykoRN,

    Stereotyping is not exactly an open-minded approach. I am a RN who has become "administration" and I have to disagree. True though, I have seen this happen to people as well, the focus on how much money they can make. When you look at the big picture of who makes up "administration" in the healthcare system, most are business degrees, accountants, etc., and they think a little differently than RNs. As RNs begin to replace these people there will be a shift in the general thinking that is much more patient focused. A word about $$$, unfortunately it is the slime that greases the wheel that keeps it turning. That is reality and one that nurses need to learn about and understand so that we can more intelligently make our view known and our place in the system more fully understood, appreciated, recognized, and compensated for. We have to start somewhere and having nurses move into these positions is much more effective in bringing about change than sitting here typing about our complaints to ourselves on a nursing bulletin board.
  11. by   RNPD
    originally posted by ainz
    True though, I have seen this happen to people as well, the focus on how much money they can make....... nurses move into these positions is much more effective in bringing about change than sitting here typing about our complaints to ourselves on a nursing bulletin board.
    Chatting on this and other boards is also an effective means for change. By doing so, you reach a wide variety of people from all over the US and internationally as well. These boards serve to educate and to inform. They also serve to excite people to attempt to effect change; to encourage nurses to use their resources to advocate for change in our profession.

    Yes, having nurses in key positions will help to effect change-so long as they remember where they came from and can refrain from "focus(ing) on how much money they can make". But every little bit helps, and if I can help by posting here to raise the awareness of others both in and out of the profession so that they begin to advocate for the profession, it is a step in the right direction!
    Last edit by RNPD on Jul 7, '03
  12. by   Milehighnurse
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by RNPD
    [B]originally posted by ainz

    Chatting on this and other boards is also an effective means for change. By doing so, you reach a wide variety of people from all over the US and internationally as well. These boards serve to educate and to inform. They also serve to excite people to attempt to effect change; to encourage nurses to use their resources to advocate for change in our profession.

    Yes, having nurses in key positions will help to effect change-so long as they remember where they came from and can refrain from "focus(ing) on how much money they can make"....

    Agreed, 100%
  13. by   Milehighnurse
    Originally posted by ainz
    PsykoRN,

    Stereotyping is not exactly an open-minded approach. I am a RN who has become "administration" and I have to disagree. True though, I have seen this happen to people as well, the focus on how much money they can make. When you look at the big picture of who makes up "administration" in the healthcare system, most are business degrees, accountants, etc., and they think a little differently than RNs. As RNs begin to replace these people there will be a shift in the general thinking that is much more patient focused. A word about $$$, unfortunately it is the slime that greases the wheel that keeps it turning. That is reality and one that nurses need to learn about and understand so that we can more intelligently make our view known and our place in the system more fully understood, appreciated, recognized, and compensated for. We have to start somewhere and having nurses move into these positions is much more effective in bringing about change than sitting here typing about our complaints to ourselves on a nursing bulletin board.
    Ainz,
    Sorry you felt that I was stereotyping;I was speaking of a facility that I used to work at where the nurses are in "administration"/ management from the CEO/Pres on down to lower levels of managment. What I experienced was that $$$ take precendent over________. I believe that nurses do understand that money is the "slime that greases the wheel," but nurses give greater creedence to what they see versus what they are being told. Kinda hard to understand things like "we can't afford to hire more staff, increase the budget, buy capital equipment...etc" but you walk past a new wing being built on the way to work. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to how to understand the administration mind-set. Thanks in advance.

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