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Mandatory Break Bill

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by LizSRN LizSRN (New Member) New Member Nurse

122 Visitors; 1 Post

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In Washington State a bill was put forth to mandate that nurses get their breaks and not be required to do overtime. A state senator in the last minute threw in that nurses can not work more than 8 hours in a 24 hour period in what appears to be an obvious attempt to bust the union and pander to the hospital association as she subsequently voted nay on the bill. What's worse is that on the senate floor she stated that in a critical access hospital nurses "probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day". As we nurses know, no nurse in any setting has that luxury. If a State Senator saying this about our profession makes you as angry as I am please call and let her know. Senator Maureen Walsh 360-786-7630 (attaching video of her stating it on Senate floor) #idontplaycardsisavelives

https://www.tvw.org/watch/?clientID=9375922947&eventID=2019041186&startStreamAt=546&stopStreamAt=616&autoStartStream=true&fbclid=IwAR2_gbHcoE1j1rFGdIqQ8o8EQRIArgylBAHA3DCizU4urOVuRf_ZRFa_SyA

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RainMom has 7 years experience.

23,471 Visitors; 1,083 Posts

I hope one of her RN constituents invites her to shadow for a few shifts & see how much card playing happens.  🤬

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angiebelle440 has 7 years experience and works as a RN.

541 Visitors; 12 Posts

And she is just so disdainful saying it too!! 

What got me more was the part she said about how we want our 12-hour shifts, then we turn around and talk about how tired we are (I'm paraphrasing here of course).  Why don't we just switch to a "normal" work week like the rest of society, she says (again, paraphrasing).  

Yes, why don't we?  And then, maybe we can close hospitals for holidays too.  Why oh why can't we nurses be normal?!?

 

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hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and works as a RN - Adolescent Psych.

4 Followers; 31,641 Visitors; 2,666 Posts

Well the bill passed along with a mandate for shift lasting no longer than 8 hours which if the bill hold up means 12 hour shifts in Washington state will be a thing of the past and nurses there will now be putting in 8 hour/day 6 day work weeks. I have had this type of schedule for years and love it - n=but many nurses really like those 3/12's a week. 

Hppy

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TriciaJ has 37 years experience as a RN and works as a Retired.

10 Followers; 32,676 Visitors; 3,116 Posts

17 hours ago, hppygr8ful said:

Well the bill passed along with a mandate for shift lasting no longer than 8 hours which if the bill hold up means 12 hour shifts in Washington state will be a thing of the past and nurses there will now be putting in 8 hour/day 6 day work weeks. I have had this type of schedule for years and love it - n=but many nurses really like those 3/12's a week. 

Hppy

I don't think it will hold up.  If union contracts state otherwise it's no go.  A union contract is protected under contract law and can't be capriciously undermined.

Many years ago in Oregon, the voters passed a measure to do away with the state employee retirement system.  The system has changed and is not such a good deal for newer employees, but they weren't able to get rid of it for senior employees who had already paid into it.  This is because this was negotiated with state employees way back when in lieu of raises.  The court struck down the ballot measure because a contract can't be changed retroactively just because one side no longer likes the terms.

I believe this will be the same situation for the Washington nurses' unions.  That still leaves breaks up in the air, even though I'm sure these are protected by labour laws.

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2,927 Visitors; 111 Posts

The comments of this Senator are inexcusable. Then to apologize with the comment her mother was a nurse...I just shake my head. Each and every single one of us need to use the phone number the original poster provided. And Washington nurses need to campaign to remove this woman from office. She's ignorant.

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2,927 Visitors; 111 Posts

Well, I just called. "Due to the high volume of calls..."

So maybe the lines are being flooded. I hope so. I'll try again tomorrow.

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2,927 Visitors; 111 Posts

OK...I don't typically get this riled up but the comments of this Washington Senator have done just that.  Riled me up.  There is a petition circulating asking that this woman shadow a nurse for a 12 hour shift.  If you haven't, please sign it.  In the meantime, I just read this comment from Senator Walsh:

“I was tired, and in the heat of argument on the Senate floor, I said some things about nurses that were taken out of context — but still they crossed the line,” Walsh said in a statement Monday.

Holy Baloney!! She was tired and is supposedd to get a pass on her comment?  And the nurse - working an 8 or 12 hour shift - no break, nothing to eat, no time to even go to the bathroom???  Maybe some forced OT the night before when staffing was short?  Any even minor mistake is written up, the nurse is chastised...we all know the drill.  But tired, low blood sugar, bladder about to burst and she/he can make a life-threatening mistake.  That nurse can't claim "Golly, gee.  I was tired" and the overdose of morphine I gave was taken out of context and get a pass on that one.  I hope the citizens (and especially nurses and nurses-to-be) of Washington State unite and run her out of office.

Edit to add a comment:  She claims her comments were taken out of context?  How?  Seems clear to me in the recordings.

Edited by DallasRN
to add a snide comment

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Glycerine82 has 3 years experience as a LPN and works as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

1 Article; 25,465 Visitors; 1,973 Posts

12 hour shifts are one of the reasons I love my job, I get to follow through more so than with 8's and I couldn't work 5 days a week in this field and stay sane. 

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