a worker who refuses to join a labor union or to participate in a union strike, who takes a striking worker's place on the job, or the like. --this was in the dictionary under the word "scab"
I really didn't think of it as being name-calling just that this was a term for someone who takes a job during a strike
I used to be against Unions too. I thought that Nursing didn't need them. However, due to our inability to be a cohesive force otherwise, I have changed my mind. And yes, also because of the success of teaching unions. I think that the failure of many public schools has more to do with the decline of the family than of the capability of the teachers. My children are in public school with a union, and they are getting excellent educations. My daughter is a Dean's list student at a very prestigious university, so they must be pretty good. But back to my point...at least with Union contracts nurses have some power. I recently hurt my back, at work, and let me tell you, NO ONE is protecting my rights! Another nurse that I know was fired, because she was unable to return to work after hurting her back! She is still fighting in court, because our hospital claims that it is work related. Can anyone explain to me how other professions have certain injuries that are pretty much guaranteed to be related to their work automatically, but we, as nurses, don't have the same? Yet disorders of the feet and back injuries of varying degrees are so prevalent in nurses but somehow not attributed to our time being spent constantly on our feet on concrete floors and lifting and turning heavy patients. This kind of thing could be different if we all stuck together. Yet, secretaries with Carpal Tunnel have no problem. All the bunion surgeries and orthopedic helps for our feet should have been totally covered as workplace related, I'm quite sure that my fellow workers were not out "wearing high heels" which is the biggest cause of bunions! It was the concrete floors under their feet! And all the back problems are from not having enough staff and mechanical assistance. In my state, the employer doesn't even have to give a reason for firing you. They can wait until you work for them for 19 yars and then just let you go. With a Union this wouldn't be possible.
I do agree that there can be problem, but it seems to be the best choice available. In a more perfect world, our nursing leaders-in management and education would be helping the profession instead of just enjoying the view.
I am quite sure that there are all kinds of reasons that nurses choose to cross picket lines. Some good and some not. My opinion is that we would be better off as a profession if they did not. Many in the public are not well informed about strike issues. Actually if you think about it , many of them don't even really know what nurses are doing for them in the first place. Many think any female in scrubs or in white is a nurse...When asked about how their nursing care was ...they will relate more to whether they were brought cold water or juice than actual medical issues. And they are more likely to compliment the nurse with the pleasant manner and smile, while not recognizing the nurse who recognized the ominous pattern of their fetal monitoring strip and rushed in to intervene. In short...they don't always know what's good for them. And before anyone says it...yes, it's always better to be both competent AND personable! Anyway, if we counted on public perceptions to change the way hospitals run things we'd be waiting a long time! If anything, I think that hospitals and physicians treatment of nurses as a profession is getting worse. The AMA is much more successful in protecting physicians practice than the ANA is for nursing. Recently I learned that nurse's aides in area doctors offices can not only draw blood,triage pts phone calls, and perform EKGS , they also administer both oral and intramuscular medications! They don't even have licensed nurses, not sure how they can be considered "nurse's aides" then? Even worse, the public in this office probably thinks that the person in the white uniform IS a nurse.
When I recently contacted my states board of nurses as well as the ANA trying to find information to help me when my hospital kept assigning me to areas where my limitations imposed by my back doctors..they were no help at all. I can't even get an answer as to where I will stand if I need to continue taking narcotics to control my pain...my state does not expressly prohibit the practice. Anyway, I have been forced to either work while in pain or stay home and take the medication. I feel that taking the medication affects me too adversely to work with...so I have to make a choice. I think that maybe if we had more political power we could change this type of thing. The hospitals really don't care and won't simply do what's right, unless they are forced into it. What is probably going to happen in my case, is that eventually the hospital will fire me, because there will be too much sick time in my record due to my pain issues. This isn't right, but like I said, No One is protecting us.
The California nurses have managed to have an impact on our states as well as their own. Although patient ratios and safe patient handling legislation has not yet been passed in my state, I hope that it will be in the future.
I know some wonderful nurses who I am positive would cross the picket line should our hospital ever become unionized and actually strke. These are women that at present dont take breaks or lunches and stay extra time , but never put it in the time books. I have known some of them to give their own money to patients and families for meals or transportation. I tell them that I think their altuism is great, but that they aren't really helping any of us by not charging for their time worked...for one thing it makes it look like the rest of us are simply
not trying hard enough, if they can always manage to avoid needing overtime, but mostly because they DESERVE to be paid for their skills and hard work.
Anyway, I don't think we should denigrate each other. I apologize if I offended anyone. I just think that we are unable to establish political power if we don't stick together..hosptals that are forced to close because of the lack of staff WILL negotiate and consider the issues before them. While to us as nurses, the patient may be most important, they are running a BUSINESS, that is why we need to be organised and realize the pitfalls of our only looking at things more emotionally.
The hosptals will continue to pay as little as possible for as few nurses as they can get away with employing. Dividing more and more of our work out to unlicensed staff only clouds the issue.
Anyway, I don't like some of the insults on here either. But please know that even "line crossers" who are doing it because they want to help the patients, are really only hurting EVERYONE in the long run.