Minnesota Nurses Voted! - page 2

It is 1:15 AM and I just got off the MNA hotline that our bargaining unit has rejected the contract the hospital put forward and we will be going out on strike June 1st unless the negotiations start... Read More

  1. by   -jt
    - "yeah! how come THEY can address the staffing problems & try to fix them & the rest of you hospitals wont? Are your pts any less deserving of safe care than theirs are??"

    oh I like that! (if I do say so myself!)
    Give me the link to your newspaper.....
    I want to ask the editor.
  2. by   kjmta57
    I wish you all the best and stand strong!!!
  3. by   willie2001
    Nurses need to support one another whether they belong to a union or not. The community where I live and work is very anti-union but I support the Minnesota nurse's right to strike. We all want better and safer patient care, better benefits and wages and better working conditions overall. When we start sticking up for ourselves maybe we will start to get the respect we deserve. We received a notice where I work advertising for nurses to come and work(scabs) in Minnesota during the strike. It was offering $40,$60 and $80 per hour depending on the length of shift. Personally, I think that any nurse who would take advantage of this offer is not very loyal to the profession. I wish you well, Minnesota nusres!!!!
  4. by   Brian
    Here are two recent articles on the Strike Situation:

    Minneota Nurse - Strike vote adds dose of doubts (20-May-2001) - Star Tribune https://allnurses.com/news/jump.cgi?ID=552

    Twin Cities nurses reject contract (18-May-2001) - KSTP https://allnurses.com/news/jump.cgi?ID=553
  5. by   nurse57
    Yes, Texas is a right to work state, right to work my behind off! I am not afraid of hard work, but what I am afraid of is that something might happen because of shortstaffing. The corporation that owns the nursing home I work in has a different view of adequate staffing than I do. A few of the residents and their families seek me out whether I am their nurse or not. It is hard to explain why things do not get done in a timely manner. Maybe the union is not the answer, but we sure do need something!
  6. by   Jenny P
    Sorry, people, I left town for the weekend after that last post and just got back. I guess I neglected to say that each hospital was negotiating on their own separate issues and the the HOSPITAL negotiating teams asked MNA if they would negotiate on the economic and general welfare issues (salaries and working conditions and health benefits) together for the last week of negotiations. That was why the one hospital ratified it's contract-- they agreed to same salary as the other hospitals agreed on (at the final negotiations in these next 2 weeks); but they were agreeing to address patient safety issues (nurse/patient ratios, patient flow, setting aside critical care beds for emergencies, and such) and to address the health benefit problems.
    To Stargazer, Jamistlc, Nurse57, Jt, Kjmta57, Willie2001 and Brian Short: thanks to all of you for your words of encouragement. We will need them. Kttaraverty, when we went on strike back in 1984, we were the largest group of nurses to ever strike before; and there were 6000 nurses at 17 (I think) hospitals at the time. Jamistlc, we also are very concerned about the cost of the premiums.
    Dplear, I know you have worked as a stikebreaker in the past and you don't like unions; but wouldn't it be great if EVERY nurse at YOUR hospital made the kind of salary that you talked about on another topic? I was polite enough not to ask if some of that $92K you said you earned last year was due to being a scab on that thread. Just think, we are a whole body of nurses trying to raise the salary of nurses to the point that EVERY bedside RN may sometime in the near future be making a DECENT salary; not just one or 2 or a dozen at a specific hospital. I don't see a problem with that, do you?
    Brian, keep posting those news articals; and thanks for the website!
  7. by   egmillard
    I voted to Strike, but I am not sure how I am going to pay the bills. I hope this is settled before June 1st.
  8. by   Dplear
    First off do not call me a scab nurse! I have worked srtike work in the past. I have a family to support and I have no shame in giving them the lifestyle that I want to give them. I work as a nurse...that is not my identity, my family is my identity.

    Also yes I make 92K a year, but none of that last year was from strike work, it is all from a staff position. I worked hard to get to the point where I could make that kind of money and I was not ashamed to ask for it when i negotiated my rate with the hospital. They wanted me and they have to pay to get me. I am anti union, I come from Detriot originally and I grew up there and worked there after high shcool. I saw the UAW and the AFL-CIO strike all the time. Where did that get people back in the 80"s?...they moved to places like Texas(where I live now), to find work because of the demands of unions put alot of places out of work. So yes I am anti-union, If you want to belong to a union so be it, but remeber name another professional that has blue collar type union?

    If you really want change in Nursing, I suggest that the change be made internally. You can effect more from the inside than rather from external forces like unions. Feel that staffing is unsafe? Then do something about other than whine and write it up. Go and find a job where you can control staffing. Get into nursing management, there are jobs out there begging to be filled, all you have to do is look for them. You feel that you are not getting enopugh respect?...remeber the only respexct you can get is earned. You have to show respect to get respect, so get rid of the us-vs-them attitude about administration. In all reality they do have the best interest of the pt at heart. After all without good care and CUSTOMER service, the pt's will go elsewhere for their healthcare needs. and when they do that the profits dry up. Yes I said the dirty word profits. You must finally realize that health care IS a business that must make a profit to suceed. without profit they cannot continue to grow and meet the demands of the public. Without profit, where do you think the money for those extra nurses that you cry that you need is going to come from?..the gocvernment? All hospitals need to make money, even the Charity hospitals...so do not throw the Catholic hospital system in my face, I used to work for one of the larges one's in the country, and they made alot of money. It went back into care but they MADE MONEY. And how did they do that? By controlling costs, and labor is a cost. so you want change, get in there and change things not just cry about it. lest you think I am mangaement, I am not. I am a simple staff charge nurse. Nursing is part of a business, and I am a businessman. I will get what I am worth, and nothing less. Heck I have family in Minneapolis ( I was born there) maybe I will take some of my vacation time and go work the strike there...If I do I will make sure to wave at you when I cross that picket line. I will think about you and say thanks quietly when I am cashing that strike breaking paycheck, and I can now afford to do something nice for my family. So thanks ahead of time.

    Don't like my opinion and ideas, well to bad, i may not like yours either do feel free to email me and tell me so. After all it is a Free country
  9. by   Jenny P
    Dplear, I did not "call" you a scab nurse, those are your words (however, re-reading my post, I guess I did imply it). I am doing something about changing my work situation; I am trying to change the whole financial outlook for nurses. You didn't answer my question: wouldn't it be nice if every bedside RN could earn your salary? Do you think there would be a shortage if our salaries were all that nice?
    Here in Minnesota, there has been quite a flap in the media about some of our HMO's and their use of money for their administrative costs. Salespersons get special "perks" such as solid gold golf tees, special golf trips to exclusive resorts for sales incentives, Waterford crystal, etc. There have also been $10,000 laser light shows for some staff picnics, and our State Attorney General is investigating one of the larger health corporations which owns several hospitals for these types of administrative costs. And what are the sales people selling? Why, they are selling the hospitals' services and reputation-- built on the good nursing care patients receive at thes hospitals.
    As you said yourself, health care is a business; in my mind, if you take care of the employees that are doing the work that builds your reputation, your business will continue to thrive. Short staffing and overloading a nurses workload will harm the hospitals' reputation. Treating a senior nurse as an indentured slave will cause the nurse to give poor care and/ or leave, thereby increasing the short staffing situation and increasing the cost of replacement; recruiting and orienting another nurse to replace the first nurse doesn't make sound economic sense.
    I've been an RN for 32 years, and under this contract (off and on) for about 26 years. We never used to have to request vacation 6 months in advance; we were treated respectfully and we did respect administration. Somewhere in the past 3-5 years, nursing and management styles changed. Consultants were hired here to tell the CEOs where to cut costs- nurses and other employees were not "consulted"; big money (>$850,000 in 8 months last year for 1 consultant here alone!) was spent on people who told the powers that be to use less nurses. No one looked at how sick the patients were/are getting, nor their ages (increasingly older and older), nor how "fragile" these patients and their support systems are. No one other than the nurses talk of the high acuity of the average patient; what happens to teaching when the patient stays in the hospital for shorter and shorter periods of time; don't you wonder how some of your patients and their families cope when that patient is discharged?
    Dplear, we are on the same side. We are nurses because we care; we are supposed to be patient advocates; and we are supposed to be supporting our families on our incomes. If you don't like unions, don't post on the thread. It is a free country, and you can do what you want; but expect some hostility if you "diss" someone else.
    You want other professions that have unions? How about teachers (they have at least 2). I could probably think of several more if I hadn't spent 7 hours driving in the pouring rain today to get back home. I will add some more here as I think of them.
    I refuse to call my patients "clients" or "customers;" look up the three terms in any good dictionary and I believe that PATIENT is the title that best describes the person I care for. And as that persons' nurse, I advocate for them, educate them, empower them, and care for them.
  10. by   imaRN
    Jenny P. This is for you!! "Way to go MN.Nurses,Best of Luck,Your success will only help other Nurses to make the field better for all!" We are currently at the bargaining tables too, and we "Hope for the Best and prepare for the Worst" My personal opinion about Scab Nurses are- "they do not help the Profession, only weaken it!" Thanks for keeping us informed Jenny P.
  11. by   timonrn
    I work at the one hospital that broke the ranks and voted to ratify. My sister also works here and we went into the meeting knowing we would vote to strike. However, after listening to the settlement that this hospital offered and that they added language to address staffing and retainment of nurses (you know the type--train 'em in and 6 weeks later they are off to the clinics or plastic surgeons office to work for MORE money and better benies) no one in their right minds would turn this down. It only shows us that this hospital made a SMART buisiness move to avert a strike by offering us 1.1% more than the rest--19.1% over three years--still a slap in the face, but it DOES NOT MEAN that we NURSES broke rank from the other 12 hospitals, and I very much resent the comment that we left the other nurses holding the bag!! My own mother works at one of the other hospitals that voted to strike who offered their nurses even LESS than the 18% that was quoted--17%!!! You can bet that my sister and I will be walking the picket line with her every day!! And, yes, this could be a good thing--all of the other MNA negotiating teams applauded this hospital and encouraged our own MNA team to advise ratifying. I might add that there are plenty of angry nurses in our own ranks who are picketing the hospital already--kind of makes me think it was only about money (?) for them....Anyways, more power to my sister and brother nurses out there--we here at North are all behind you and will be seeing you on the picket lines--
  12. by   2ndCareerRN
    If so does anyone know how many scab nurses are available to come and save the hospitals?
    Maybe I am off base here, but then again maybe not. If it weren't for the scab nurses coming in to take care of the patients who really need to be in the hospital, who would. It allows you, the striking nurse, the ability to make your position known and allows the needed hospital care to be accomplished. Everyone knows that the local nurses are there for the long haul and the nurses that come in to work while a labor dispute is going on will be gone soon.

    I see nurses who come from other areas during a labor dispute to actually be a benefit to the group on strike.
    It is time to get over the scab attitude, allow the nurses hired from other areas to come in and provide the needed patient care while you are out making your position and demands known through your unions.

    Now, if a nurse from your union decides to cross the picket line, and then still reap the benefits of the strike settlement, that is a whole new ballgame. I would imagine that nurse would find a very cold working environment upon the return of the nurses who walked the lines.

    [ May 21, 2001: Message edited by: haji ]

    [ May 21, 2001: Message edited by: haji ]
  13. by   fiestynurse
    Webster's definition of SCAB:
    "A worker who accepts employment or replaces a union worker during a strike"

    [ May 21, 2001: Message edited by: feistynurse ]

    [ May 22, 2001: Message edited by: feistynurse ]