WAGE FIXING: Mass. Gov. creating law to limit RN/LPN/CNA Temp nurses wages!!

  1. ORIGINAL TITLE:Help Stop Wage Fixing in MA!

    OK, guys and gals- I'm getting on my soap box. Prepare to listen or get out your cotton balls. <g>


    I received a letter from an agency that I work for from time to time in MA saying that there is a public hearing on 9/18 for the public to comment on the state's new plan to legislate agency nurse wages in the state of MA. They used a formula based on an average of staff nurse wages plus some percentage to cover lack of benefits. The public hearing notice lists several percentages that will be added to this and that, but never lists a base or end figure- no dollar amounts are mentioned. The letter from the agency states that agency rates could drop as much as $10 per hour and that nurses who work full time might not be eligible for health benefits from the agency any more.

    The state of MA tried to pass this as a law (VERY quietly- I heard nothing about it!) and it was shot down as being unconstitutional. Then, to get around that, the state put it in as a budget amendment. They made this change effective 8/13- and notified the agency in a letter dated 8/14. It is being appealed by at least this one agency. I don't like that agency, but hey- they cared enough to send letters out to all of their nurses with copies of the regulation to get us to act.

    I plan on being at that hearing. And I plan on writing letters to the governor of MA and MA Executive Office of Health and Human Services. I urge any one who has a MA license to join me. Heck- EVERYONE should join in. A similar thing was done in MN and it will only spread.

    The regulation is: 114.2 CMR 45.00 Temporary Nursing Services
    The website is: www.mass.gov/dhcfp
    The Acting Governor of MA is Jane Swift
    The Secretary of the DHCFP (Dept of Health Care Finance and Policy) is Robert P. Gittens
    The Chief Administration Officer of DHCFP is Michael F. Berolini

    Anyone fought this successfully in your home state? Any ideas?


    Edited title to attract ALL NURSES/CNA's attention...could be coming to YOUR state next.
    Karen
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Sep 1, '02
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    Goverment sees it as a way to get nurses to return to hospitals and decrease Medicaid costs spent for nursing staffing in LTC facilities.

    NOT the first state to try this.
  4. by   -jt
    You can thank the big bucks hospitals spend on their lobbyists for this one. The large hospital corporations started this one, in Cleveland, I think. Its no surprise its spreading. Its probably going to be the new administrative strategy all across the country. They view it as a cheap way to draw RNs back to staff positions - they dont have to spend a dime to make their staff positions attractive to RNs, all they have to do is force agency work to be less attractive. Kill the competition. Problem solved. They seem to think that if the RN doesnt have any other choice, they will flock back to hospital jobs. They figure if the RN cant get benefits by working agency, & the salary isnt that much different than staff jobs, the RNs will be forced to come back to the hospital on staff if only for "benefits" as they are. And the hospital doesnt have to lift a finger or spend a cent to make any improvements to attract them. Dirty underhanded BS is what it is. Screw the competition. Take away the RNs options. All thats going to do is drive more RNs out of nursing & into things like real estate.
  5. by   oramar
    Every profession gets to charge whatever market will hold, except for the one female dominated profession. There is an excess of lawyers, why don't they freeze their wages. Instead of letting them run the health system into dumper. Anything to avoid making nursing profession attractive.
  6. by   Sleepyeyes
    That's disgusting.
  7. by   Roland
    on this issue? Price controls are bad public policy that do nothing but exasperate current shortages. Local MA organizations should point out that this regulation by making current shortages even worse could COST LIVES. Nurses adversely affected by this regulation will simply leave the state for greener pastures. This wouldn't be tolerated with Milk, gasoline, or any other service so why is it with regard to this issue?
  8. by   sjoe
    oramar--you forgot public school teaching and childcare.

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