Anyone Staffed Strikes? - page 5

Have any travellers staffed strikes? As a former traveller, I am looking into this...I still need some excitement/change. What was it like? What companies? Any info would be helpful. Thanks. ... Read More

  1. by   fergus51
    Oh ORnurse, I feel for you. I don't think there is an easy answer. Here we have to maintain essential services levels of staffing so the old folks wouldn't just be booted out onto the streets. I think the problem with geriatrics is that they are sometimes the worst off regarding staffing ratios and such. I don't think one RN should be responsible for giving meds and doing tx on 30 patients. Let's face it the LPNs and CNAs are the ones doing most of the patient care in a lot of these places anyways.

    I think the point is nurses aren't striking for the fun of it. They are striking because they're at the end of their ropes and nothing else has worked. If hospitals were about providing quality care rather than making a buck they wouldn't be such awful places.
  2. by   ornurse2001
    Thanks for your reply fergus51-guess it's a question nobody can really answer.
  3. by   ruthiebaby88
    I'm with nurseyperson, although I haven't worked a strike - it doesn't sound like much fun - I'm sure the hospitals must be pretty disorganized! I do agree that SOMEONE has got to take care of the patients. I mean how awful would it be to be in hospitalized at the time of a nursing strike! The first thing I would try to do as a patient is ask to go to a different hospital! But not all patients would have the ability to make that decision.

    When stubborn hospitals force nurses to strike they have to pay a mint to get the strike nurses to come in - so the strikes still hurt the hospital in the pocketbook, where they will feel it. I don't think it's necessary to hurt the patients as well. The hospitals also damage their image in the eyes of the community. They also may cancel scheduled surgeries, transfer patients to other facilities, and may refuse nonurgent admissions during this time. They lose a lot of money.

    Seems like the California nurse's union has made a great impact on nursing in that state - even though their strikes are staffed by 'scabs' as you would call them.

    I don't think you can compare a nursing strike to a strike of say... coal miner's - they are just two different industries - and with nurses I really don't think the term 'scab' applies. Any nurse who would treat a strike worker with anything other than professional coutesy needs to examine their behavior. Are they just doing it in response to something they learned about 'scabs' in their history book or have they really thought it out? Would they do the same thing if their mother was a patient in that hospital?
  4. by   ZASHAGALKA
    This is a 5-6 yr old thread. Many of the voices from this thread might not still be around or their interests might not gravitate to this thread, today.

    But nursing IS different. At other jobs, there are tons of non-union workers willing and able to 'steal' a union worker's job for less money. Scabs undermine a strike by allowing management to continue without a hitch or cost.

    There are no scabs in nursing. Crossing the line costs hospitals far more than any other thing a union could hope to happen.

    The more nurses they can recruit in this fashion, the closer they can come to operating 'normal'. The needs of the community would normally demand that they spend with reckless abandon to do just that.

    Spending with reckless abandon on temp workers has a way of encouraging appreciation for your own staff.

    Like most strikes: money is the bottom line. Even safety issues come down to what they cost. Unions should be thrilled about the concept of hospitals bleeding money in this fashion.

    Think about it this way: if I could fine you 100/day AND dis your reputation in order to get you to pony up 1000, how many days could you hold out? Unions should be ENCOURAGING this forced 'fine'. THAT will bring them to the table far faster than a few media stories. . .

    Personally, I think making a fortune to cross a picket line IS keeping solidarity with those 'on the line'. Nothing will bring about the solution you desire as a union member FASTER than management having to spend MORE money than it would take to just settle the dispute.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Aug 7, '06
  5. by   ruthiebaby88
    holy cow i didn't realize this thread was so old! how in the heck did i manage to dig it up!?

    anyway - people kept asking who takes care of patients during a strike?

    i had a friend who worked a strike where the doctors involved with providing direct patient care- she said it was really scary because they didn't really know how to do things by policy like hanging blood transfusions etc, i can see that it would be a problem having heard a doctor trying to convince a nurse to give a direct iv bolus of potassium - nurses aren't doctors and doctors aren't nurses and in our system patients need both!
  6. by   nightingale
    Often the posts will have similiar posts as an option. I remember seeing these on the bottom of the pages. I do not see them right now. An old post can still be "timely" with questions asked and answered so, as Moderator, I do allow them to stay when they crop up.

    Happy posting.
  7. by   ruthiebaby88
    fair enough! just not sure how I stumbled across it!
  8. by   bagladyrn
    This is a really old thread. I checked in to see why it had been resurrected, and after reading the current posts, just wanted to make a point for those who may not have been around long enough to have had this explained before:
    When hospitals hire strikebreakers to cross picket lines it does NOT hurt the hospital or corporation financially. Hospitals have insurance policies which kick in to pay for the strikebreakers. Therefore you are NOT in any way "helping" the striking nurses by taking these positions. If you decide to take one of these jobs you are doing it for your own profit only. Maybe thats enough, but at least be honest with yourself about it.
  9. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from bagladyrn
    This is a really old thread. I checked in to see why it had been resurrected, and after reading the current posts, just wanted to make a point for those who may not have been around long enough to have had this explained before:
    When hospitals hire strikebreakers to cross picket lines it does NOT hurt the hospital or corporation financially. Hospitals have insurance policies which kick in to pay for the strikebreakers. Therefore you are NOT in any way "helping" the striking nurses by taking these positions. If you decide to take one of these jobs you are doing it for your own profit only. Maybe thats enough, but at least be honest with yourself about it.
    You'll have to justify this assertion with some fact.

    See, insurance companies are very stingy w/ money. That's how they make a profit. They don't typically write a blank check to an insured party to 'party' with. Knowing how insurance companies work, I cannot envision that THEY would write such a blank and open-ended check.

    At best, the insurance company would be hot on the hospital to end the open-ended liability. At worst, the size of next year's premium, if such a thing exists for this purpose, and I doubt it, would be directly proportional to the current expenditures.

    So, at a minimum, the administration would be worried about the future cost of this insurance, if it exists. And, there would be just one added pressure for admin to settle.

    Or, think about it like this: what happens to YOUR premium when you are the cause of a multi-car pileup?

    I'll say this: the cost of replacement workers can run in the millions in just a few days. NOBODY writes a multi-million dollar check w/ a smile on their faces. Nor do they write such checks without the actuary in place to recoup the loss.

    So, it's just not true to say that a hospital can weather the costs of replacement workers for free. As another poster posted in another thread: TNSTAAFL - THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH.

    You better believe that IF such a policy exists, there are clauses that prompt a hospital, at every turn, to limit the liability by settling the strike. Again, a plus plus if YOU are the union striking.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Aug 9, '06
  10. by   youaintright
    MobileRN.com is all I can tell you. All info needed will be found there. Take it or leave it. The bottom line is that it boils down to: if a unit has to close because of a strike that wasn't manned by replacement nurses then many nurses that go on strikes would be left without a job and unions wouldn't have jobs either. It is one's choice to be a scab or not. You can choose to not have to work your holidays because you'll be covered with money made at a strike or have to forcefully work a holiday because you're broke from a strike that you didn't work. Research says that it takes about half a billion dollars to restart a unit that has been shut down. They never send incompetent nurses to strikes. Nobody will hire you if you're not proven with experience in the field and criminal background checks are completed before you go to your strike. They won't send you without one nor will the hospital be so incompetent in hiring you if they haven't checked your criminal history first. It just doesn't work that way. Can you name any hospital that would hire a nurse with a positive urine drug screen? Uhhhh the answer to that question is NO.
    So take your pick. The strike companies take more than care of you, they butter you and wrap you in silk before they send you home in appreciation of the sacrifice you put yourself through in working a strike. Its not dangerous either. I hope this information helped you a bit.
    By the way, the patients also thank you for being their nurse and caring for them when the "Union members" have abandoned their care in search of financial remuneration. Can you believe that the so called picketers attack the patients too? Research the strike that went on last year in September in NJ. I was the nurse for the baby of a Dentist that was attacked by a picketer. Good luck to you!

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