Survey: Would you cross a picket line when RNs were striking? - page 3

This months survey question: Would you cross a picket line when RNs were striking (at your own hospital or another)? Yes or No? FYI: Here are the results from this survey: Q: Would you... Read More

  1. by   shodobe
    No problem. Someone has to take care of the patients left behind. Does the striking nurses think the patient's family will come in and care for them?I think not.Now if this was a bunch of striking truckers and there was a chance I might get my butt kicked, I might think twice. There has not been a nurse yet that scared me. I can take care of myself and the patients they leave behind.
  2. by   pickledpepperRN
    To those nurses who would cross the picket line:
    Many nurses must strive for the working conditions and safe care they require in order to continue working. MANY licensed nurses are NOT working in hospitals because of the deplorable conditions.
    Will you continue working for low pay, no benefits, short staffed, with mandatory overtime, while you're sick, rotating shifts, floating without competency, no breaks, etc.?
    If so do you think that helps patients? If not you are not crossing the line for the patients!
    We MUST insist on fair treatment for patients and nurses! A strike is a last resort for nurses working where it would be better to close than continue the decline in respect for human life some of the management proves at facilities that disrespect nurses.
    Does anyone think we went to nursing school to deny care? When we are short staffed, too tired to care, and floated without training we are giving substandard care. That encourages greedy administrators to want more. Please read the Tribune article where they replaced RNs with aides and now are firing the aids leaving the patients with NO CARE.
    That is NOT a strike. That is MANAGEMENT. Would you cross the line to do primary nursing for 40 sick M/S patients? Is being a party to suffering and dying worth it to you?
    PLEASE! Truly think about it.(A former DC nurse says "There is a 'George' or 'Washington' on every corner.") Won't the patients be better off somewhere else so the nurses can win a fair contract WITHOUT mandatory overtime? Do you want a nurse in the 16th hour whose children are home alone caring for you in your time of need? The only alternative is one more casualty of the conditions that caused the shortage.

  3. by   Jay-Jay
    Would I cross a picket line? No way! A scab is a scab whether it's a hospital picket line, or a factory picket line.

    Some of you talk about wanting the best for your patients. Well we cannot achieve that unless nurses as a profession get more respect. I deeply resent the fact that, with 4 years of university education, I make about the same wage as I did doing manual labour as a gardener while putting myself through college. Nursing will never attract competent, dedicated people if wages remain so low. Yes, I do the job because I love it, and I care for my patients, but I also desperately want to see things change! If that's going to happen, we have to FIGHT.

    I saw this attitude in nursing college - make nice, don't rock the boat, just be a good little girl, and follow the party line... I have a serious hearing impairment, and if I hadn't stood up for myself, I never would have finished the course. One of the instructors was ambsolutely positive I couldn't do the job due to my hearing loss. Never mind, that I spent $300 on an amplified stethescope, plus countless hours testing out new hearing aids, until I found a pair that was suitable. Some of my peers had problems with this teacher, too, and I organized a delegation to go and talk to the co-ordinator. WHEN MONDAY MORNING ROLLED AROUND, THE OTHER STUDENTS BACKED DOWN AND REFUSED TO GO!! THIS IS THE SAME SORT OF BEHAVIOUR I AM SEEING IN HOSPITALS DURING STRIKES! WHERE'S OUR BACKBONE?

    Arrg! See y'all on May the 5th...or couldn't you get the day off?
  4. by   longforseaair
    No way would I cross a picket line! And I'm a new nurse! I'm seeing the disillusionment of nursing that could not be imagined until I crested the hill of actually working as an RN. I couldn't see the other side until I got to the top, no matter how many stories I heard.
    An ad was circulated at our hospital in the Mid-South wanting nurses with 1 year experience to replace striking nurses in California. It offered an average of $80 an hour, plus air fare, plus housing, plus per diem. There must be big money in health care, when admin is willing to lay out that kind of money for scabs to prevent unions success.
    Remember your history?! Remember the RR trusts, sugar trusts, steel trusts?
    Sometimes, I work so hard that after a shift I ache all over for two days. Then I can't sleep wondering about the things I didn't do as well or timely, and the result to the patient, or future lawsuit.
    No one should have to work in these conditions, esp. in a superpower nation. These are 3rd world country working conditions, that sap the marrow from your bones.
    Not to mention the patient safety. I love my patients, and practically bleed for them everynight. Are they appreciative, a FEW are. The remainder are selfish and demanding, wondering why I can't wait on them hand and foot as though they are at a luxery resort. They don't even care if you have other patients and will tell you as much. And their family members will hunt you down and drag you back for more, to check on every little groan or ache. Well, they are sick after all, some are very sick, and they are paying luxery resort prices.
    Wow, how can I sound so, the person who has always been a pleaser and willing to break her own back if you needed her?
    When hospital care has gotten this bad, to disillusion a new nurse to this degree, it's bad!
    I still like the baseball analogy. Baseball players are highly trained, highly skilled professionals who are booed for making errors, none the less they make a few errors, and they make millions of dollars. They have great bargaining power, even though the competition for their jobs is fierce and the fans pay nominal ticket prices.
    Contrast this with nurses, who are highly trained, highly skilled professionals, never allowed to make the slightest error, sued for errors any time, any day, and make less an hour than the price of a major league game ticket. They have very little bargaining power, even though they are in high demand, and the ticket prices are exorbitant.
    Priority check?????
    It might be a nice break waiting tables. The hours are probably better, and they have bus boys. Hah! At least I wouldn't be risking my life every time I walked up to a table.
  5. by   Christina Terranova RN
    Originally posted by hollykate:
    First of all, I have never been involved in a strike. Initially I felt a little leary about the notion of striking, then I read a post on another BB that explained things pretty well. This nurses stated that when she was involved in a strike, they let the administration know 10 days in advance, giving administration time to cancel all non emergent procedures/surgeries. and also time to discharge lots of pts and transfer those that could go elsewhere
    Yes, that is correct. The law generally requires that at least a 10 day strike notice be given in writing to the administration. [and the NLRB in NY and likley other states] Nurses do not just walk off the floor for a strike on a whim. Gives them enoughtime to mvoe critically ill patients, and call the scabs R Us replacement. They give 10 + days so the employer knows you are serious, and can try to negotiate to avoid a strike.

    Strikes occur after all the hard work of both the committee of nurses working at the facility and their union representation in negotiating contract language with management breaks down. It is about coming to a place in negotiations of a contract where the employer won't budge on issues that the majority of nurses are willing to stand up for.
    Generally, a open memeberhip vote is taken before action is filed for and implemented.

    I have rarely seen nurses strike for financial reasons soley. I doubt any of us would insist we entered our profession for the bucks, the glory or the fame! LOL

    Nursing is hard, hard work. It has always been physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually challenging for the sake of our patients entrusted to our profesional care.

    But it has come time for all nurses to look beyond our workplace conditions and what they subject us to, and look towards our Nurse Practice Acts and understand what our states expect of us by law no matter what conditions the institution provides for.

    Within professional nurses unions is the awareness that it has also become legally challenging to practice without not only putting patients in terrible harms way knowingly, but risking our own civil liberties through civil or criminal liability for conditions we should have control over but historically do not.

    This is the battle cry of the "union RN mentality" as I have seen it referred to.

    To create a safe professional envionment to provide safe quality nursing care to our patients- and get it in legal writing[ contract] that we can challenge when they break it [protests of assignments, greivances and arbitration] and utilize the agencies [dept of health, OIG, etc] to force wayward administrations to do the right thing and take care of the patients without worrying we will get fired for speaking out or making a stand.

    Today's professional Nurses union protects the nurse via practice guidelines and focuses on protecting our precious licenses in hostile workplaces where you are still legally held to the standard of "reasonable and prudent'.

    Now, ask yourself"- would a reasonable and prudent nurse know taking care of 28 patients alone with a few UAP's was unsafe? Ask yourself that question more and more as you are forced to shortcut your care- and it becomes scarier to practice.

    Hence we are back to the origional issue at hand.....

    Would you walk past your colleages who were putting their ~own~ well being- not their patients remember notice is given- at risk for their own integrity and home lives and that of their patients, past present and future?

    I think NOT

    Would I grab a sign and join in ?
    You Bet.
  6. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by spacenurse:
    [B]Dear SoCalRN,
    If you ever have to wrap a young man in a body bag after he bled to death after elective surgery because the RNs were replaced by untrained people you will know that carrying a sign may be a more professional alternative........

    and where is the public outcry against this situation being created in the first place? Why isnt the public screaming about their safety being compromised in the hospitals while management practices designed to maintain the profit margin push the profession of nursing into extinction? why is it that the RNs are blamed by the hospital & media & OTHER RNs for that pts death, but no one seems to hold the hospital responsible for putting their profits before their pts?
  7. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by CVSDnurse:
    [B]Because I am the only income for the family now, I would have to keep working.>

    of course you would..but you could do that somewhere else... theres a nursing shortage..any other place would be happy to have you. There is absolutely no reason at all to cross an RN strike line. (how many RNs on that line do you think are in the very same position you are at home? Think about it)
  8. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by hollykate:
    [B]But knowing that something like this is usually done, made me feel pretty strongly about not crossing someone elses pickett line. I am curious- for those who have been involved in a strike, did you do the above? Or was I just fed a piece of baloney?.....

    Thats exactly how it works. And the dept of Health is there everyday, as well as a team of striking Rns from the hospital that act as pt care monitors. patients are not abandoned. All other pt care workers are working & nurse managers, clinical specialists, nurse educators, clinical co-ordinators, midwives, LPNs, interns & PAs are doing pt care with the assistance of CNAs. Census is downsized & elective procedures & admissions are stopped. A responsible hospital that cared about its pts would never walk away from negotiations & force its Rns into this situation in the first place. Once a hospital gets that 10 day notice, one that had any interest in its pts at all would say "ok wait a second...lets talk & try to work out this problem." And go back to the table.... Like they used to do before the proliferation of mercenary scabs. But now all they care about is the money, not the pts. RNs strikes are not about money. Thats why when you see a strike settled, you notice they didnt get much of a raise & you wonder "they went on strike for THAT????". No they didnt. They went on strike for pt safety issues & working conditions that compromise those issues. Now with so many scabs looking for a quick buck, rather than fixing their own hospital problems, the irresponsible hospital will just ignore the 10 day notice, hire a bunch of scabs, pay thru the nose for it but keep its pts (and their insurance), keep services up & running, & try to break the striking RNs strength of conviction. Invariably that fails & even worse damage is done. It would have been so much easier & less expensive (not to mention no damage to the hospitals reputation within the community) if they had just said "wait a second....lets talk about this". I cannot understand RNs blaming RNs for the situation. The hospital causes it, provokes it & inflames it. They striking Rns know it, their community & elected officials know it & stand behind them. but OTHER RNs rip striking RNS to shreds because they wont see the truth. Why is that?
    Anyway, thank you for not crossing an RN strike line. Mine may be coming up next. It looks like this Human resources Director wants to be known as the man who caused the first RN strike in this hospitals 150 yr history. We've been unionized for almost 20 years, negotiate contracts every 3 years & and have never had a strike yet. This guy refuses to discuss staffing. If he walks away from the table, There is no way we can allow the staffing situation to be the way he propses in his offer. If we dont strike over this, his propsal BECOMES our contract. It is unacceptable. If he walks away, he has our backs to the wall & we have no choice...accept an unacceptale contract that we didnt agree to or strike. We'll vote to strike to force him to get back to the table for a compromise. I hope he sees the light.
  9. by   -jt
    .......There is no way we can allow the staffing situation to be the way he propses in his offer. If we dont strike over this, his propsal BECOMES our contract. It is unacceptable. If he walks away, he has our backs to the wall & we have no choice...accept an unacceptable contract that we didnt agree to or strike. We'll vote to strike to force him to get back to the table for a compromise. I hope he sees the light.......


    If a strike here happens, you wont read about us getting any money other than the usual once its over. We arent asking for any.
  10. by   ceworden
    I would like to correct a posting that I made under this topic on Oct 20, 2000. In that comment I said that I would cross a picket line.
    When I first found allnurses and posted the above response I did that because of what I was aware of at the time.
    After getting involved with the MNM I have done alot of research into what is going on and the reasons that Nurse's are striking. At first I believed it was just a money issue. After a lot of research and reading on this I discoverd that the reason Nurse's are striking is due to our working conditions and that is the main reason they are doing this. THEREFORE...NO I WOULD NOT CROSS A PICKET LINE...our profession needs lots of changes and up to this point I have discovered that this has been the only way to get the Big Shots at the hospitals to understand what is going on. That is another reason I am more involved with the MNM. So that in the future maybe we will not have to go to such extreme measures to get make others listen.
    TO ANYONE THAT I MAY HAVE OFFENDED BY MY FIRST POST, I APOLOGIZE...I am glad that this was brought to my attention so that I could come here and correct my view. Please understand that at the time I first posted here it was on information that I had at the time.
    To who brought this to my attention: THANK YOU VERY MUCH....

    CEWorden, LPN
    Proud to be a Nurse
  11. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by ceworden:
    [B]I would like to correct a posting that I made under this topic on Oct 20, 2000. In that comment I said that I would cross a picket line.
    At first I believed it was just a money issue. >>>>>>>

    Thank you for understanding. I would like to make one point:

    Whether its a money issue or not does not make a difference. Economics plays an important role in recruiting and retaining the best employees in any field. And in our field, recruitment and retention of professional staff plays a huge role in patient safety. If you cant get the staff because the financial package is so far below others offered in the area, you end up with unsafe patient situations due to consistent short staffing, excessive forced overtime, exhausted burnt-out nurses, etc. If Rns have to go on strike just to obtain fair wages & remain competetive with other facilities, so be it. If the nurses feel that they must strike to be paid fairly, because the hospital is refusing to listen and ultimately their salaries do affect patient care, then thats what they have to do. Any one not involved in their particualr situation cannot second-guess them. Hospital administrators are making millions while declaring their institutions practically bankrupt that they cant afford to pay the people, whose work they exist for in the first place, a decent salary. Priority needs to be placed where it belongs. If it takes an RN strike to make the hospital understand that, thats the call for the RNs at that facility to make. Indentured servitude does not exist in this state and I make no excuses or apologies for demanding to be paid what I am worth.

  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    Thank You both!
    Who could have hard feelings for a nurse who was willing to admit the opinion was wrong after taking the initiative to find the true reasons nurses go on strike.
    Good! You should be proud to be a nurse! Our work is why there are hospitals. Providing nursing care creates a useful life. In the end some have told me what they had done that made their life worthwhile. It was being a parent, helping others, NEVER making money!


    [This message has been edited by spacenurse (edited November 15, 2000).]
  13. by   nurse1975
    I am actually writing a paper on this for my graduate program. I thought I would always be againts striking period but the more I research the topic the more I'm not sure. I have always thought of striking as abandment. If we don't strike how do we get our point across for our patients? I am still in the middle on this one. I am also the type of person that would only strike if I personally agreed with the issues. I would cross the line if I felt it was necessary. For that fact I may not even need to cross I guess I would just need to be in the situation to make that decision. I have to say at this point the facility I work in really isn't that bad. I work in ER so I think I get a different view of this than the floor nurses. I have heard many complants from them. They have 8-10 patients a peice and we do not have LPN, usually there is only one to two PCA per floor. We are not a union hospital so I don't know how we can represent ourselves. I have a feeling that the nurses wouldn't just stand to together.

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