Just a question for any nurse who's going through a strike or has ever been through one....The hospital I currently work at as a unit clerk and a patient care technician voted in a union back in Feb. of this year. As I'm sure you know, negotiations have gone nowhere. So, as of November 3rd, nurses will be on strike. My question about this is will the non-RN staff be hassled in any way by the picketers? We're being told to park far away from the hospital and to where street clothes when crossing the line so as to avoid hassle. What is going to happen during this strike? I've never worked anywhere that's been on strike. And, being a future RN myself, I fully support what the nurses are doing, but I don't want to get involved in the crossfire. Any suggestions?
Oct 17, '02
In my union, we cannot have sympathy strikes. It is illegal for us to refuse to work when we have a contract in effect. Our RNs are in the state assoc RN union & everyone else is in 1199. When they strike, they know we have to cross the line but we support them by walking with them before or after our shift & not doing their work when we go in. Phones ring off the hook, linen hampers & meal trays pile up, trash overflows, etc. We stay at our pts bedsides taking care of the pt.
And dont anybody tell me its terrible of me not to empty the linen & trash in my unit or run to the pharmacy or lab prn. When it gets to be too messy, & quality of care is going to be affected, the hospital will settle with the strikers & bring them back to work. If I just keep emptying it, running for it, & taking care of everything, I will be no better than a scab because I will be helping to take the pressure off the hospital & keep those workers out.
On the reverse, when the RNs were going on strike & the 1199 people HAD to cross the line because they cant sympathy strike either, they walked with the RNs before & after their shift, came out on lunch breaks, helped take care of the pts but didnt go over their job description, gave the RNs inside-info that contradicted the hospitals PR that all was just rosey. They were a big help & a great source of info being on the inside. The nurses will know you have to do what you have to do but can still support them from there. Dont be afraid of them. Talk to them, walk with them when you can, encourage them & cheer them up.
Last edit by -jt on Oct 17, '02