I didn't know the shortage was THIS bad - page 6

Just visited a unit today in preparation for my students taking clinicals there. On this particular unit, ONE HALF of the nurses are travelers. The unit only houses 6 pods (4-pt module) and one pod... Read More

  1. by   RyanRN
    Below read just one example of the so called fair treatment of employees for those who think we need to solve this dilemma by working it out and cooperating with people who have NO INTENTION of working on anything but lip service. BTW, this is not 1949 and coal-miners, it's now. One must just read a daily newspaper to see how fairly management will treat any worker without some kind of unity or power. I am appalled that anyone would infer that we ALL don't work and earn money the old fashioned way by earning it.

    Mr. Huffman, we already know and agree with your marketing angle, it's exactly what we strive for. How about making your money supplying needed staffing and stay away from picket lines. Everybody wins, we establish better salaries and working conditions and patient outcome and the regular staff and SCABS( who won't have to put themselves out for a minute), get all the benefits. Win Win.

    Meantime, with the attitude shown on this thread and the disgraceful 'getting into bed' thus DIRECTLY AIDING these folks (word it anyway you choose), I wouldn't want to be anywhere near your watch!

    What About Corporate Terrorism?
    By David Moberg
    David Moberg is a senior editor at the newsmagazine In These Times.

    August 23, 2002

    Until 1998 Sherri Bufkin happily worked as a manager for Smithfield Foods in Tar Heel, N.C. But in 1997, when workers in the giant meatpacking plant there began to organize a union, her superiors - she has testified - forced her to join their campaign to "do whatever was necessary to keep [the union] out."

    Bufkin also said she had to tell workers that they would suffer violence and lose jobs if they formed a union, and that she had to discriminate in assignments against pro-union workers. Worse yet, her bosses insisted that she fire some workers simply because they openly supported a union. Then they demanded that she sign false affidavits about management's tactics - many of which clearly violated laws protecting workers' right to organize.

    Shortly after she refused to lie for the company at a National Labor Relations Board hearing, Smithfield fired her, plunging her into prolonged unemployment and bankruptcy. "I don't regret standing up for the truth," she told a June 20 Senate committee hearing on obstacles to forming unions, "because now I can look my daughter square in the eye."

    Senators also heard from workers - like nurse Nancy Schweikhard, ship captain Eric J. Vizier and hotel worker Mario Vidales - who told of being the direct victims of management harassment, threats to close their workplaces, a beating by anti-union thugs, and arrests or surveillance by police cooperating with anti-union employers.

    But few other Americans heard these stories, because the hearing went nearly unreported. That's a shame. At a time when the country is preoccupied with terrorism from abroad and Enron-style corporate abuses at home, it is important to remember that millions of American workers who would like to have a voice on the job have been denied their internationally recognized human rights by corporations who "in too many cases act like real domestic terrorists," in the words of AFL-CIO organizer Stewart Acuff.

    According to Senate testimony from Kenneth Roth, whose Human Rights Watch group two years ago documented "widespread labor rights violations" in the United States, in the 1950s a few hundred workers a year were fired - illegally - for trying to organize unions. But in 1998 - despite a much lower level of union organizing activity - 24,000 workers lost their jobs just because they were trying to exercise their internationally guaranteed freedom to associate with other workers on the job.

    Now, less than 14 percent of the U.S. workforce belong to unions, but surveys suggest that 44 percent wish they did. Employer threats, firings and systematic intimidation stifle many bids to unionize. In 92 percent of all organizing efforts, employers force workers to attend anti-union meetings. In half of all campaigns - and more than 70 percent of organizing at manufacturing businesses - employers threaten to close the business and, often, to move overseas, if workers unionize.

    This month, workers at Quadrtech, a small manufacturing plant in Southern California, reached a financial settlement with management that also marked the end of their attempt to unionize. Nearly two years ago, a federal court issued an injunction to stop the owner from moving to Mexico in order to avoid unionization. But the company reportedly kept trying to move.

    Even when workers overcome employer obstacles and vote - or otherwise show support - for a union, managers often refuse to negotiate a contract. For example, much-abused farm workers have voted in 428 elections for the United Farm Workers since 1975, but growers have only signed 185 contracts (although a bill awaiting California Gov. Gray Davis's signature would require binding arbitration in deadlocked negotiations). Employers suffer minuscule penalties that don't deter lawbreaking.

    Early this month, the AFL-CIO launched a new campaign to protect worker rights at work, especially the right to join unions without interference from employers. A stronger worker voice would increase economic security and equality, restrain abuse of corporate power, and enhance democracy.

    As Kenneth Roth told the senators, "if the rights of workers are not respected and protected, then the strength of American democracy and freedom is diminished."

    Democracy and freedom need protection from physical threats of terrorists - and from overzealous antiterrorists, like the Bush administration, which wants to deny workers in a new Department of Homeland Security both civil service protections and the right to organize into unions.

    But democracy and freedom also must be safeguarded against the corporate economic terrorism that hurts us all, not just working people directly denied their rights to join together in a union.
    Copyright 2002, Newsday, Inc.
    Last edit by RyanRN on Aug 23, '02
  2. by   Dplear
    As for me making 100k+ a year, I am a staff nurse. I negotiated my hourly rate and work hours. I work 3 days a week (fri-sun) every weekend and get 20% more for it. I also am a charge nurse and make the diff for that. The 100k figure does not take into account any side work i may do on my days off. I might do 1-2 days a month agency...or more of I feel like it or want to do some more home remodeliong. I have had to switch employers in that past to get what I wanted and work in areas that alot of people do not want to work in, but I felt the end result worth the hassle. I provide a comfortable living for my family and I am able to be home with my kids mon-thursday. I get them off to school and get them home from school. I am able to help with homework, and I cook dinner 4 nights of the week. (and am a pretty damn good cook...just made pork tenderloin with a bourbon sauce and pineapple jam) as nurses we can make what we demand. we just have to fight for it. As for unions negoitating for you....who controls your unions...nurses I hope and you can demand of them the same things I demand and am able to get. You need to control your own destiny and not let someonme else decide for you.

  3. by   RyanRN
    Oh so true Dplear and I see you have attained what you need by stepping on noones back. I am all for hard work - a honest days pay for an honest days work. Bravo. And I personally would be happy to do all this without having a union involved. But alas, we see the treatment we get when we must depend on others with power to play fair. It's the REASON unions came into being.
  4. by   sjoe
    Mr. Huffman. Excellent comments and right on the money.

    Dplear. Thanks for being a successful role model for assertiveness, self-confidence, and demanding what your work is worth.

    Market value is determined by the market and by the negotiating skills of those directly involved. If I am willing to sell my services for a particular financial (and workplace-condition, staffing level, working hours, etc.) package, and the contents of that package is defined completely by the buyer, then I have made a sale on the buyer's terms. I have nothing to complain about.

    If I find myself later dissatisfied with these terms, I would be wise to keep these dissatisfactions in mind for the next time I make this kind of agreement, so I'll know more about what I want (and what additionally I might have to contribute in terms of skills, flexibility, etc. for the buyer to go for the deal).

    If I don't want to make a sale on the buyer's terms, I need to negotiate my own terms and convince the buyer that they have made a good bargain.

    It has nothing to do with indignation, righteousness, or what other people are getting paid. Nothing to do with how large a family or how expensive a habit I may have to support. It's simply the marketplace.

    Last edit by sjoe on Aug 23, '02
  5. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heat of texas

    RyanRn, thank you for the prounion attitudes. I dont agree but thank you anyway.

    Dplear right on, and whats the recipe for you pork tenderloin with bourbon sauce and pineapple jam. Im an excellent cook also but havent done much with pork. Could use that bourbon sauce with some nice vennison or rabbit I bet.

    sjoe. its always just been about the marketplace, as you put it. Nothing else is important. But above all, you have to be true to yourself. The main downfall with unions, is it takes away your ability to sell yourself on your own merit, and lumps you in a grouping with other nurses of similar backgrounds who may not be willing or assertive enough to sell their services for what they are worth. Unions take away the right of the individual and act as a group. Some of the services I have provided at times in representing myself would never be allowed to happen in a union setting. This takes away from the market value I used in the past.

    doo wah ditty
  6. by   sjoe
    teeituptom: Exactly right about unions--the dictatorship of the mediocre and unimaginative.

    In a union situation, if I don't have the (whatever) to represent myself, instead of negotiating my own terms, I accept the terms of the buyer--as mediated by the union (which, in more cases than not has ITS OWN agenda, and certainly not MY individual agenda).

    The same story in public education and everywhere else that workers prefer to think of themselves as somehow "above" the concept of the market, or "too professional," usually due to some notion of moral superiority. Because of this, of course, they usually get substantially less than what they want. They are expecting buyers "somehow" to immediately recognize their superiority, surmise what it is they want, and provide it. All of which is exactly what the instutions like, so these institutions push the "above it all" and "we're professional" way of thinking and hope the workers believe it.

    There seem to be only individual solutions to this kind of thing, rather than a collective one, particularly since these same people who are not getting what they want do not seem to have the ability to work together cooperatively. IMHO.
    Last edit by sjoe on Aug 25, '02
  7. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heat of texas

    Nicely put and phrase sjoe

    doo wah ditty
  8. by   RyanRN
    You've misread my point perhaps by my examples. Tis not exactly "pro-union attitudes" of which I speak. It's more the justification for the lack of basic human decency. Some might wonder how fast one might cross a Teamster picket line instead of a little old nurses one.
  9. by   sjoe
    RyanRN: The perfect reason why nurses who want to be part of a union should try to get the Teamsters to organize the locals rather than the wimps we usually get to do so. THAT would get administration attention, for sure.
    Last edit by sjoe on Aug 25, '02
  10. by   teeituptom
    howdy yall
    from deep in the heat of texas

    Im not that impressed with unions, teamsters or not. They may have made Jimmy Hoffa disappear, But that was long ago. I would cross their line just as well as anyone elses

    doo wah ditty
  11. by   RyanRN
    You make me laugh teeitup, if we continue your line of reasoning, Jimmy Hoffa shouldn't matter to you, it wouldn't affect you or your family.

    Raising doubts here as to the reality of you crossing that teamster line. You may have to show up armed and dangerous. Not nearly as cavalier as scabbing against nurses who want the same as you and have just decided to go about it a different , more alltruistic manner. At any rate it's a much easier, comfortable line to cross.

    BTW, I am NOT pushing pro union here - something more profound. Do not now nor have I ever been a union member. I just respect their rights by not acting as if mine were more important. And yes, as you said, I still made pretty darned good money the hard way, by working for it.There is no need to SCAB, as you stated, the work and money is out there already. I would never go for a temporary quick fix by harming anothers effort. Nor would I support the stifling of your effort to do it your way. That is unless and until you tread on me. That gets my back up. Like taking candy from a baby, sure it's legal, but right? I don't think so.
  12. by   monkijr
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by teeituptom
    [B]Howdy yall
    Yes if you want you can make that kind of money. I gross alittle over 6 figures a yr with some overtime. And I pick up more on special contracts that I take time off for. So I have no complaints with nursing atall

    THAT'S GREAT!!!!!
  13. by   illya
    to teeituptom ditty dum ditty do!