would you cross a picket line???? - page 6

Yesterday one of my nursing coworkers told me about some strike in OHIO and that she was going to take a travel assignment to that area..... I am totally happy where I am, but I was kinda wondering... Read More

  1. by   PapaPete
    So many selfish nurses. I would HAVE to cross the picket line, because the patients need someone to take care of them. Unlike most of you, I entered Nursing to HELP people, not whine about the poor pay, conditions or workload. Doesn't anyone care about the patients anymore? If you all really hate your job, then get another profession.
  2. by   Dr. Kate
    Never say never or always, because it just isn't always that clear and easy.
    One of the facilities where I work is unionized. The last strike was just before I started there. I asked a friend who was there during the strike what he thought and was told "it was all about money." But the strike was couched in patient care issues--and not even very good ones at that. When implemented, the same staff that insisted they had been on strike to get those things refused to use or implement the patient safety things they said they had gone on strike for. Makes it hard to believe the strike wasn't just about money. What was hard for me to stomach was the nurses who went on strike trashed the open heart ICU and hid life-saving equipment (and we all know nurses know where to hide things so they're never found.)
    It's one thing to strike for better working conditions, patient safety, and even reasonable wages, it's another to make it virtually impossible for the patients who are in the hospital during the strike to receive the care they deserve. The patients had nothing to do with the strike and no recourse to the conditions and situation they are thrust into because of the strike.
  3. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Quote from Kate

    When implemented, the same staff that insisted they had been on strike to get those things refused to use or implement the patient safety things they said they had gone on strike for.
    Were the "safety things" the same ones the nurses proposed, or did they get "compromised" in a deal because admin wouldn't be flexible?

    That's the usual
  4. by   -jt
    <it's another to make it virtually impossible for the patients who are in the hospital during the strike to receive the care they deserve.>

    When one realizes that a strike need not happen at all & its the hospital that is choosing to undergo an RN strike by its refusal to negotiate come hell or high water, its hard to see how they have any concern for the pts. Yet the hospital many times insist on doing just that. Strikes occur after many months of attempts by the RNs to reach fair solutions, but when the hospital plays hardball & has them against the wall, a strike is the last resort - still it doesnt happen unless the hospital wants it to. The ball is in the hospitals court to easily avert a strike, yet they choose an RN strike over compromises with the RNs on the issues .

    It behooves the hospital to get its act together & start making a real effort at good faith negotiating so it can avoid a strike altogether. If they refuse to, then its their responsibility to make sure they move pts to other facilities to get them the care they deserve as they insist on forcing their own RNs out the door. If thats unfair & inconvenient to the pts, a logistical nightmare for the hosptial, & they dont want to do it, then the hospital could always reconsider its refusal to negotiate, come back to the table with fair offers, & the RNs will call off their strike before it even starts.

    So its the hospitals choice if the strike is going to happen or not.

    Sometimes the threat of a strike is enough to make them see the light & come back to the table. Unfortunately, sometimes, the hospital does not have the pts as their first concern - they would just rather pay millions for strikebreakers to keep itself in business instead of addressing the RNs issues (usually working conditions & pt safety) & refusing to make compromises on them and avoid a strike. It really makes one wonder.
    Last edit by -jt on Jul 25, '02
  5. by   -jt
    quote from Papapete
    <<<I entered Nursing to HELP people, not whine about the poor pay, conditions or workload. Doesn't anyone care about the patients anymore?>>>

    In answer to that, I have to say:
    My RN license does not stipulate that I lie down like a doormat to be walked all over. Nor does it state that to be an RN, I am to give up all expectations of a fair wage and benefits. Nor is my RN license an agreement to relinquish my family life, my health, or my US labor rights. Nor does it say anywhere on my license that I must constantly put that license on the line whenever anyone else orders me to - just so they can save a buck. And when I insist on things like safe staffing and a safe number of working hours, and a manageable pt ratio to safely provide the care those pts need, Id say that I most certainly do care about the pt. In fact, I care so much about them that I am willing to take it to the streets if thats what it takes to get the hospital administrators to provide the pt safety that we & they deserve.
    Last edit by -jt on Jul 25, '02
  6. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Gee which argument makes more sense if you're a nurse and not an.....uhhhmmm.administrator .

    HA!:chuckle You suits are so cute when you're spreading propaganda.

    Oh, wait......so you can pick it out of a thread as you wisk by looking for someone that agrees with you.........PROPAGANDA
  7. by   Gomer
    Hey, Peeps...

    Is that your standard reply...you accused me of being an "administrator" too. Just because someone is not pro-union doesn't make them management...makes them smart, but not management.
  8. by   -jt
    <Just because someone is not pro-union>

    See the thing is - the "union" is the nurses who work there. They are forced into a strike situation by their employer & they take a vote amongst themselves to go the distance. The RNs tell their union office they have to strike - not the other way around. They are fighting for their pts with the only thing left after all other efforts have failed. If it was only about them, they would just quit, find a better job someplace else, & not bother dealing with all the aggravation. Instead theyre out there trying to make their facility a better place for their pts & themselves. Its about being pro-NURSE. And being pro-PATIENT. And being pro-ACTIVE to improve the conditions both pt & RN are in. What can any nurse possibly have against that?

    Just out of curiosity, what do non-union staff RNs who care about their pts do when they continue to bring to their employers attention, month after month on end, their concerns about serious pt safety, staffing, & retention problems that need to be resolved - and then get ignored? Nurses can sit on committees & talk till theyre blue in the face about what they & the pts need but what can the non-union RN do to get those things if the employer flat-out refuses?

    What course can the non-union RNs take to force the employers to pay attention to their issues & take action, IF THE EMPLOYERS DONT WANT TO?
    Last edit by -jt on Jul 25, '02
  9. by   fedupnurse
    Papapete, if you think for a single second that the hospital doesn't have ample warning to scale back before a strike occurs you are wrong. If you think for a second that sliding around on a picket line was fun you are again wrong. Had we not struck during that horrible winter, we would now be treated the way others in my area are treated by hospital administrators, and that is like dirt. I love what I do and I can't see myself doing anything else, but you clearly either are not a bedside nurse or are lucky enough to work in a facility that has adequate staffing and/or low acuity. You also have clearly never been a patient that had to wait for extended periods of time for medications because there was one RN for the entire 20 something patients on the ortho floor. I am happy for you that apparently you have found nursing nirvana. Maybe you could share with us where it is that you work so we can come join you in such a hospitable environment!
    and nur.bmb, best of luck in your negotiations. Ours are thi fall too. Our suits lie about our vacancy rate and are still convinced that there is no shortage of nurses in our hospital. Guess the administrators at Papapetes hospital are open minded and not delusional!
  10. by   -jt
    Irregardless of union vs non-union,

    Any nurse who does nothing about the unsafe conditions at his/her own hospital, and just allows it to persist - puts up with short staffing, forced overtime, and all the other daily abuses, knowing that the pts safety can be at risk from all of it, or just chooses to jump ship & not deal with it anymore, really has no right to pass judgements on the RNs who are trying to abolish these kinds of unsafe conditions where they work - whatever it takes. Nurses who know the management staffing practices of their facility leave pts at risk, yet do nothing to prevent or change those practices, have no right to accuse other nurses of not caring about their pts when those nurses take an action to make things better.

    Next time one of them puts us down for striking, they should first answer the question "and what did YOU do to improve staffing, retention incentives, pt safety and other working conditions at YOUR hospital?"
    Last edit by -jt on Jul 25, '02
  11. by   -jt
    Some anti-union nurses - (there is a distinction intended here between anti-union & non-union RNs) - have said they 'protest with their feet' by leaving for another job they hope will treat them better, or becoming a traveling strikebreaker, but Id like to know how is that helping the pts they walked out on for good & left in that unsafe environment? And how is walking away like this going to help improve the situation for the colleagues who remain?

    This kind of 'protesting with their feet' changes nothing. In many cases, its just an excuse for the non-union hospital to bring in more UAPs. The RNs permanently leaving doesnt improve pt care or pt safety for the pts they left or change anything at that facility. Yet some of these RNs are quick to denounce union RNs for taking a stand to make those improvements themselves.

    I find that to be the ultimate in hypocracy: Dont deal with the problem, dont help fix it, just put up with it, allow it to perpetuate while knowing it is wrong & dangerous, or just run away from it, and at the same time while doing nothing about it, accuse, ridicule, and denounce those who are trying to do something.

    Hmmm.... well, union RNs are doing lots of somethings & sometimes also 'protest with their feet' - temporarily - & go only as far as the sidewalk in front of the hospital - on a strike line - standing together for improved working conditions and patient safety at their facility. They stay where they are & fight to make it better for themselves & the pts there - whatever it takes.
    Union RNs are not the ones abandoning their pts.
    Last edit by -jt on Jul 25, '02
  12. by   fedupnurse
    As usual -jt, you are so on the money! I am one of those who has been on various committees that have neer made progress because the suits didn't want progress! We have protested unsafe staffing for years and it has fallen on deaf ears. And I still have it better at my facility than any other facility in my area because I have a contract to protect me. AT the other facilities if you don't like something and complain they fire you. You see, administrators still have their heads in the sand as to the fact that they have created this monster called a nursing shortage by making working conditions so unreasonable that nurses are leaving the bedside in droves.
    Anyone who allows conditions like this to persists, like Papapete, and doesn't try to effect positive change, is the one who is not looking out for his patients. AT least we are trying rather than bending over and taking it once again. It is attitudes like Papapete's taht keeps us in the dark ages as far as wages and working conditions go.
    If I didn't give a rat's @$$ about my patients I wouldn't have gotten frostbite over it 8 years ago.
  13. by   -jt
    <administrators still have their heads in the sand as to the fact that they have created this monster called a nursing shortage by making working conditions so unreasonable that nurses are leaving the bedside in droves.>

    They know what they did, they even admit it, they just dont want to do what is necessary to fix it because that will cost them. Instead of doing what they know they have to do, theyre trying to come up with every other less expensive plan they can think of - like expanding UAP responisbilities to delegate more & have less RNs instead of investing in improving the work environment to attract RNs. At this point its become a battle of wills between employers and RNs. We arent coming back until they give us what we need to do the job right & they are inching along throwing a little bait here & there trying to get us to bite for the least little bit.

    Their strategy aint working. Theyre just gonna have to bite the bullet. Thats what they have their heads in the sand about. lol
    Last edit by -jt on Jul 25, '02