Union, yes or no? - page 8

I am a new nurse and have recently heard that the nurses at my hospital are considering going union. It seems (at least on my unit) that the biggest issue is pay. Are any of you guys union and if... Read More

  1. by   pickledpepperRN

    Three days of dramatic testimony
    CNA RNs spell it out clearly for Department of
    Health Services

    On November 15, 2002 in Los Angeles, November 19 in San
    Francisco and December 16 in Fresno, the California
    Department of Health Services conducted public hearings
    on the state's new nurse-to-patient staffing ratios set forth in
    January by the DHS and the office of Governor Gray Davis.
    The following are selections from the testimony presented
    by members of the California Nurses Association.

    Deborah Burger, RN
    Good morning, my name is Deborah Burger, vice president
    of the California Nurses Association, a professional and
    labor organization representing more than 45,000 registered
    nurses. We sponsored State Assembly Bill 394 (Kuehl) a
    law designed to address unsafe staffing in acute care

    A recently published study in the Journal of the American
    Medical Association entitled "Hospital Nursing Staffing and
    Patient Mortality, Nurse Burnout, and Job Dissatisfaction,"
    by Linda Aiken supports our position that patients in acute
    care settings demand the license of a registered nurse.

    The study shows sizable and significant effects of the RN
    staffing ratios on preventable deaths.

    In addition, RN rich staffing ratios contribute to the rescue of
    patients with life threatening conditions due to increased
    surveillance, early detection, and timely interventions that
    save lives.

    The effectiveness of the RN surveillance is influenced by the
    number of RNs available to assess patients on an on-going

    The study finds that for each additional patient assigned to
    an RN, there is a 7 percent increase to the likelihood of
    death within 30 days from a complication not present upon
    admission to the hospital.

    Finally, with respect to the patient mortality rate, the study
    finds that an increase of 4 patients per RN would increase
    the patient mortality rate by 31 percent in California.
    The hospital industry and some groups you will hear speak
    would seek up to 50 percent Licensed Vocational Nurses
    (LVNs) in the ratio.

    If granted, the staffing ratio formula proposal
    would double
    the patient load of the RN because of the severely restricted
    scope of practice of LVNs when applying the nursing

    Using the findings of the Aiken study and applying the 50
    percent LVN ratio proposed by the hospital industry and
    their supporters, would translate into 4,100 additional deaths
    in California.

    Why? Because the direct care RN, for instance on a
    medical/surgical unit will in effect have 12 patients when
    LVNs are allowed to have a primary patient care

    While CNA research called for a ratio of 1:3 RNs on the
    medical/surgical floor, we believe the proposed regulations
    are a good start. We will be sponsoring legislation to monitor
    and enforce the ratios including the collection of data to
    determine the efficacy of these ratios and whether or not
    they need to be lowered.

    Malinda Markowitz, RN
    Good morning, my name is Malinda Markowitz. I am a
    registered nurse and member of the CNA Board of Directors.
    I work as a direct care RN on a surgical, orthopedic,
    neurological unit of a major healthcare system in the San
    Jose area. I have been an RN for 22 and a half years.

    ... Caring for the patient with complex diagnosis requires the
    clinical judgment of the registered nurse. Registered nurses
    utilize knowledge derived from social, biological and physical
    sciences as she /he assesses, develops their nursing
    diagnosis and implements the plan of care and evaluates the
    care for each patient. It was for all these reasons that
    several years ago it was decided that the use of LVNs on
    our surgical unit was not beneficial due to the severity and
    complexity of our patients.

    Studies indicate that around the clock surveillance of
    patients by registered nurses account for early detection and
    prompt intervention when a patient's condition deteriorates.
    The effectiveness of nurse surveillance is influenced by the
    number of RNs available to assess patients on an ongoing

    Nurses are required by law to be patient advocates. I feel
    that to seemingly allow the hospitals to include LVNs in the
    count up to 50 percent would not be in the best interest of
    our patients. My job is to improve the healthcare provided to
    my patients. This would be against the interests of our
  2. by   Gomer

    Popular thought around my hospital was that those pro-union with very loud mouths were organizers or plants as most were recent hires with less than 1-year employment. The are gone now and, hopefully, everything has quieted down. Management is good and really listens to us.
  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by Gomer

    Management is good and really listens to us. [/B]
    Glad to hear it.
    Hope it lasts. I only say that because a hospital where I worked was bought by Tenet. The first week the best managers quit and people were floated to areas where they did not know how to care for the patient. Imagine a geriatric ICU nurse in L&D!

    Hope all stays well at your hospital.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on May 28, '03
  4. by   Gomer
    Spacenurse....I'm guessing but do you work at DF? I know Tenet bought them some months ago and there has been trouble ever since. Sorry if you do.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    Not any more. Went back to my previous hospital.
  6. by   Gomer
    Don't blame you Spacenurse. Tenet is famous for buying and closing hospitals. I just heard their CEO resigned today.
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by Gomer
    Don't blame you Spacenurse. Tenet is famous for buying and closing hospitals. I just heard their CEO resigned today.
    Yep, someone said they traded one balding middle aged crook for another balding middle aged crook.
  8. by   charissa
    What a great thread!
  9. by   pickledpepperRN
    California Nurses Want Federally Supervised Union Elections at Tenet Hospitals

    May 30, 2003 03:24 AM
    May 30--The California Nurses Association filed on Thursday with the National Labor Relations Board for
    federally supervised union elections at Western Medical Center-Santa Ana and four other California hospitals
    owned by Tenet Healthcare Corp.
    CNA had petitioned the NLRB earlier this month for union elections at eight other Tenet hospitals, including Los
    Alamitos Medical Center and Coastal Communities Hospital.
    The move intensifies a battle between CNA and two other labor groups--Service Employees International Union
    and United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals--which recently signed an
    agreement with Tenet calling for raises of as much as 29percent over four years. Under the agreement, Tenet
    would facilitate union elections by SEIU or UNAC at its 40 hospitals in California.
    The CNA, which organizes only registered nurses, has asked the NLRB to nullify Tenet's pact with SEIU and
    UNAC, saying it is illegal and amounts to the company "hand-picking" its unions.
    Sonia Moseley, executive vice president at UNAC, said that even if the NLRB mandates federally supervised
    elections, her union would contest CNA at all Tenet hospitals in Orange and San Diego counties. "We welcome
    a fair contest with an even playing field," Chuck Idelson, CNA's spokesman said.
    Tenet spokesman Steve Campanini said that at hospitals where SEIU or UNAC win, whether in private elections
    or federally administered ones, the terms of the deal would apply. "Either there's a vote for CNA, which would
    likely result in a protracted strike as they haggle over a contract. Or there's a vote for SEIU/UNAC, which
    would result in an immediate 8 percent raise," he said. "Or the employees could vote no union representation
    at all."
    To see more of The Orange County Register, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to www.ocregister.com
  10. by   Gomer
    Spacenurse, I've said it before....CNA and SEIU are in a war and it is the bedside nurse who has become the victim of their battles. Why any nurse would want to belong to such groups is beyond me.
  11. by   pickledpepperRN

    Palomar Pomerado contract includes 22% raise in 1st

    By John Berhman

    May 21, 2003

    ESCONDIDO - Nurses in the Palomar Pomerado Health district will vote today and
    tomorrow on a contract that would make them among the highest-paid nurses in
    the county, district and union officials say.

    The contract would give district nurses a 30 percent increase in salary over the
    next three years, including an average 22 percent increase the first year.

    Experienced clinical nurses would earn $37.91 an hour, or about $73,000 a year, in
    the first year of the contract. Jan France, a nurse and member of the bargaining
    team, said veteran nurses make slightly more than $32 an hour now.

    Beginning nurses would make $25 an hour, or about $48,000 a year, in the first year.
    France said they are paid about $21 an hour now.

    The contract, which includes other provisions favorable to nurses, is the first
    negotiated since Palomar Pomerado nurses voted last year to join the California
    Nurses Association.

    CNA spokesman Charles Idelson said the contract will make nurses at the district's
    two hospitals the highest paid in the county. Michael H. Covert, Palomar
    Pomerado's chief executive officer, said beginning nurses would be the county's
    highest paid, and more experienced nurses among the highest paid.

    Members of the union bargaining team said yesterday that they are pleased with
    the proposed contract and are confident the district's 725 nurses will vote
    overwhelmingly to approve it. "I think we have done very well for our first-time
    contract," France said.

    Palomar Pomerado, a public district with an elected board, operates Palomar
    Medical Center in Escondido, Pomerado Hospital in Poway and smaller facilities in
    inland North County. The seven-member hospital board is scheduled to consider
    the contract at its next meeting June 2 and is expected to approve it.

    "We believe that this agreement with CNA is not only fair and generous for our
    nursing staff, but is one that will protect the financial and operational strength of
    PPH in the future," Covert said. "I am confident that the result will be a recognized
    win-win agreement of which we can all be proud."

    Nurses gained CNA union recognition from the district last July. Negotiations
    began the following month, said France, a critical-care nurse at Palomar Medical
    Center, and the tentative agreement was reached late Friday.

    "I think the majority of the nurses will be very pleased with an average increase of
    22 percent in their wage this year, no increase in their health care premium for 2004
    and an enhanced pension plan," said Donna Johnson, an emergency room
    registered nurse at Palomar and also a member of the bargaining team.

    The contract was negotiated by a team of nurses and CNA representatives and
    district managers. District administrators estimate the contract would cost the
    district between $20 million to $22 million over its three-year duration.

    The contract's guaranteed raises will replace a merit-pay system, the CNA's Idelson
    said. "This is one of the items we are most proud of because the merit system is so
    subjective and open to cronyism," he said. "Years of experience will now be

    Other benefits include a ban on mandatory overtime, a commitment to guarantee
    pension benefits through the California Public Employees system, a restriction on
    "unsafe floating," referring to nurses working in areas where they do not have the
    proper expertise, and input on staffing issues with arbitration for resolution of
    disputes required.

    Much of the country is dealing with a severe nursing shortage, and Palomar
    Pomerado and many hospitals had been losing nurses because of pay and job

    Covert and Lori Shoemaker, Palomar Pomerado's chief nursing officer, said they
    believe the higher salaries will encourage more nurses to stay with the district.

    "In taking this step, Palomar Pomerado is recognizing the invaluable contribution
    of registered nurses to the quality of care, as well as responding to the realities of
    the current market," Shoemaker said.

    John Berhman: (760) 737-7577; john.berhman@uniontrib.com
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    Top 5 Reasons RNs Vote for a NURSES union, California 2003

    1. Salaries and Benefits That Recruit and Retain RNs

    2. New Standards for RNs And Patient Protection

    3. Dramatic Gains in Retirement

    4.Voice and Respect

    5. A Legally Binding Contract
  13. by   healingtouchRN
    that makes me really sad I read it because my base is not that of even the new grads & I've been outta school since the '80's....& have certification in my specialty....(heavy sigh). I tried to get union at my hospital but it just got me alot of people who were scared to talk to me.