Do you think nursing pay would decrease if a recession occurs?

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by Googlenurse Googlenurse, ASN, BSN, RN Member

Specializes in Home Health,Peds. Has 18 years experience.

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I’m not sure if we are headed toward a recession or not. 

I was reading a news article on how to prepare for a recession. One of the ways to prepare was to realize your salary or hourly pay might  be reduced. 

I remember last the  recession of 2008, and how hard it was to find a job. I also do remember my hourly pay decreasing. Many employers got rid of healthcare insurance and tuition reimbursement. 

This recession is different. There are still staff shortages. There is the pandemic that is still around. I’m also not sure those nurses that retired are willing to  come back to work. I remember they sure come back to work  in 2008. 

Personally, I can’t afford a pay cut with the inflation prices. 

Nurse Pompom

95 Posts

No. I'm not worried about it because we are unionized. I'm sure they'd still try to eat at our benefits though. 

People will still get sick, drink, or do drugs. No matter the reason, we'll have a job. I'd be more worried about people without an education (thats who I was in 2008). What a struggle it would be. 

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 17 years experience. 5 Articles; 11,128 Posts

I would hope that health care facilities realize they will be shooting themselves in the foot if they were to reduce salaries, but that doesn't mean they won't get away with freezing salaries should a true recession happen. As mentioned above, people don't stop getting sick or having health care needs, although they may not seek treatment until things have gotten really bad, but again, there are plenty who do that already.

DavidFR, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health. Has 36 years experience. 515 Posts

Threads like this make me so grateful I work in a soicalised health system with strong unions.

Even in the recession years 2008, 2009, 2010 we got an annual rise of 0.5%. Not much but we never had a pay freeze and a pay cut would be unthinkable here in France.

We're in short supply at the moment so I'm not worried about our salaries. Cost of living is another matter. Yes inflation's bad, about 6%, but we don't have the 11% of the UK for example. France produces a lot of its own food, and due to an extensive nuclear power program, doesn't import a great deal of energy like say Germany who were over reliant on Russian gas - big mistake. 

World events are affecting us all and I guess we'll all have to tighten our belts a little, but a pay cut? No, not where I'm sitting.  

My message to everyone is UNIONISE! I realise that's not always possible in the US system where your facilities largely function for profit, but if you have the opportunity to work in a unionised facility - do so, and take nothing lying down.

Googlenurse

Googlenurse, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Home Health,Peds. Has 18 years experience. 59 Posts

7 hours ago, DavidFR said:

Threads like this make me so grateful I work in a soicalised health system with strong unions.

Even in the recession years 2008, 2009, 2010 we got an annual rise of 0.5%. Not much but we never had a pay freeze and a pay cut would be unthinkable here in France.

We're in short supply at the moment so I'm not worried about our salaries. Cost of living is another matter. Yes inflation's bad, about 6%, but we don't have the 11% of the UK for example. France produces a lot of its own food, and due to an extensive nuclear power program, doesn't import a great deal of energy like say Germany who were over reliant on Russian gas - big mistake. 

World events are affecting us all and I guess we'll all have to tighten our belts a little, but a pay cut? No, not where I'm sitting.  

My message to everyone is UNIONISE! I realise that's not always possible in the US system where your facilities largely function for profit, but if you have the opportunity to work in a unionised facility - do so, and take nothing lying down.

If only that were possible.

My last job,the nurses voted the union out!

Edited by Googlenurse

Googlenurse

Googlenurse, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Home Health,Peds. Has 18 years experience. 59 Posts

I also forgot, the ACA was not around back then. So that is another difference between the two recessions. 

Employers are now cutting health insurance by having these plans with high  deductibles. My sister's employer is only offering health care insurance with a  $5000 deductible.

And yes,I took an actual pay cut in 2008. The reasoning given was that Medicaid reimbursement was cut,so they had to cut out pay too. I believe it was a $2 pay cut. The company never gave raises. They still don't even during this time of inflation.

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 30 years experience. 31,844 Posts

I can only speak from my experience.

I have never worked for a union.  I've been a nurse over 30 years through a few recessions and not once have I ever seen RN salaries decrease.

I've seen benefits cost more and lessen, for example high deductibles at a higher price but that seems to be an industry trend, not a trend for RNs specifically.   

I have seen them stagnate,  and once the hospital was so strapped it froze salaries and did not give a raise.  But decrease?  Never.

An upcoming recession isn't automatically going to make RN wages decrease because the issues we are having now with shortages and retention are going to remain for the foreseeable future.  In my opinion.  

 

Edited by Tweety

OUxPhys

OUxPhys, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 7 years experience. 1,198 Posts

I can see them freezing salaries or holding off on any pay raises while still paying agencies $150/hr for travel nurses all while claiming "there is no money", thus worsening the problem they helped create.

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 30 years experience. 31,844 Posts

11 hours ago, OUxPhys said:

I can see them freezing salaries or holding off on any pay raises while still paying agencies $150/hr for travel nurses all while claiming "there is no money", thus worsening the problem they helped create.

Depends on the area I suppose.  In my experience when it gets tough, contract nurses get canceled and the there's a hiring freeze for them.  

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/travel-nurses-raced-help-covid-now-facing-abrupt-cuts-rcna27716

OUxPhys

OUxPhys, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 7 years experience. 1,198 Posts

12 hours ago, Tweety said:

Depends on the area I suppose.  In my experience when it gets tough, contract nurses get canceled and the there's a hiring freeze for them.  

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/travel-nurses-raced-help-covid-now-facing-abrupt-cuts-rcna27716

True. My nursing school friend moved to Arizona last November and took a travel contract. They eventually started cutting travel pay so he took a travel contract back in Ohio because they still paid high contracts.

On 8/1/2022 at 1:34 AM, Googlenurse said:

I also forgot, the ACA was not around back then. So that is another difference between the two recessions. 

Employers are now cutting health insurance by having these plans with high  deductibles. My sister's employer is only offering health care insurance with a  $5000 deductible.

And yes,I took an actual pay cut in 2008. The reasoning given was that Medicaid reimbursement was cut,so they had to cut out pay too. I believe it was a $2 pay cut. The company never gave raises. They still don't even during this time of inflation.

Of course, the big guys' pay was likely not cut, only line staffs' pay.

GapRN

GapRN

39 Posts

We ARE in a recession. Any propaganda to the contrary is aimed at propping up the market long enough for the ruling class to discretely liquefy assets. And yet corporate profits continue. News said to plan on a pay decrease at a time of record corporate profits hmm? Would this "news" source happen to be funded by advertising and owned by a billionaire or large corp?  Inflation isn't complicated. Prices go up because the owning class think they can get away with it. Labor isn't complicated. The owning class needs YOU to make money and wants you to feel small and alone and in debt; there's a reason health insurance is tied to employment. They can afford to lose an uppity worker here and there. But they're leveraged to the hilt. They CANNOT weather mass organization for very long. If you feel any empathy for the increasing numbers of homeless, the increasing acuity of your patients and their increasingly precarious social situations then it's YOUR responsibility to maintain and improve solid middle class jobs like ours. If trickle down has ANY truth to it, it's from the pockets of you and I that the money rolls down hill to the coffee shop, toy store and farmer's market.

 

This is what that article should have said: During a recession management will try to force concessions based on your perception that the economy is bad regardless of actual profits. Start feeling our your peers on how they feel about working conditions, unions, and their ability to endure missed wages. Make a list of your friends on paper or air gapped computer - NEVER your phone. Go to the bar. Learn your rights and have a strong core of educated people with a list of co-workers they are responsible for educating. Discuss demands & hostile tactics like: go slow; strike; call out sick; apply as a group to another work place - there are currently lots of sign on bonuses! BE VERY QUIET until you are ready to start acting. Union busting is a booming industry and will come down on you hard the moment management get a whiff. OR - learn your union - do they work for you or your employer? How much does management make? Learn how you can act under a hostile union. Push them to demand INCREASES in pay/resources/staffing/etc - inflation is the perfect opportunity; the nursing shortage is a perfect opportunity. Starbucks. Amazon. John Deer. NOW is the perfect opportunity.