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Mass resignation

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by Mito Mito (Member)

2,802 Profile Views; 124 Posts

Hello All,

After reading the success that N.S. nurses using this strategy I am thinking this would be our last hope at my hospital to finally get management to take the nurse's issues seriously?

The chronic lack of staff, the determination of management to pretend that everything is ok and that every pt can be properly looked after is getting out of hand.

What do you guys think

Mito (Ontario)

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

2 Followers; 6,608 Posts; 48,722 Profile Views

Absolutely- but you need a group ready to follow through.

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epg_pei has 3 years experience.

277 Posts; 5,049 Profile Views

I hadn't heard of any mass resignations happening anywhere, do you have a news link or similar?

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NotReady4PrimeTime has 25 years experience as a RN and specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology.

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This idea gets kicked around on a regular basis. But it has never come to pass in the nursing profession in Canada that I know of. It sounds good in principle, but the problem is the same as with every other type of collective activity... getting enough people to go along with it. The fear factor is just too high to really allow people to follow through. People are too afraid of the unknown consequences; collective job action is a very bold and difficult move with sometimes dire results. The big fear with this is that the employer will refuse to be called out and the people will then be unemployed without a safety net. Too many people are drawn to the line of least resistance. One only has to look at the situation in Alberta right now to see that.

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pebbles has 17 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Trauma acute surgery, surgical ICU, PACU.

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I've never heard of it in Manitoba either. Mass firings once upon a time, to break the union and seniority, etc.

I have seen units where the staff were so unhappy and disheartened that they all started quitting. One unit went from a full complement of 30-35 nurses to THREE. While it wasn't job action, that is truly when upper management started to pay attention and intervene. So maybe the idea comes from that. But these units where it happened were broken, malfunctioning, sick workplaces. It took a LONG time to build them back up. To leave your job is a big decision.

Quitting your job as a form of job action is also a pretty big decision. It entails a lot of risk. When the job feeds your family and puts a roof over your head, it's hard to take those kinds of risks. I don't think Mass Resignation would be under the types of action that are protected by the labour laws....

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NotReady4PrimeTime has 25 years experience as a RN and specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology.

16 Articles; 7,356 Posts; 71,466 Profile Views

Pebbles, it WAS talked about (but of course not acted upon!) in Manitoba back in late 2001 and 2002, the last time the MNU took a strike vote. I still have the paperwork from our unit about essential service staffing, including the unit schedule which bore no relation to the normal one. I kept it to remind me how far from reality the administration is. Under the Essential Services Act our PICU would have been better staffed than it ever was under normal circumstances. We were almost interested in striking just for the decreased workload!

Some employers do recognize patterns of seemingly unrelated resignations and take action to figure out what's going on. The roots are exposed and the administration takes the necessary action, like escorting the manager out of the building. My current unit has been hemorrhaging staff for the last 15 months; the resignations have encompassed every experience level from brand new grad to people with 30 years of seniority. Lately it has been mainly the middle group and the workhorses who have been leaving. In May 10 people left. Our management (top-heavy let me tell you!) insists that people aren't leaving because they're dissatisfied with their working conditions but for "new opportunities". Some of the people leaving have insisted on an exit interview (our patient care manager told one nurse that it wasn't necessary or appropriate for her to have one, so she went to HR and got one... You can imagine what she had to say...) so it isn't as if human resources isn't aware of the issues. So far nothing has come of it and I doubt there will be anything done for the foreseeable future because our PCM just was presented with a leadership award from our regional health authority! How would that look? That's all that matters. Meanwhile a good number of us are biding our time, looking for "other opportunities". One day recently when I had three different assignments in three hours, I told the manager on duty very clearly that the next time I had three assignments in the same shift I would be leaving and not returning. Her face went white and she took a step back, then said she didn't want me to resign. She knows I'm the main breadwinner in my family and she knew very well that for me to threaten something like that was no joke. So far I haven't had any more stupid assignment changes, but there are others who are still being jerked around. Time for someone to sit up and take notice, I think!

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