Anyone Staffed Strikes? - page 4

Have any travellers staffed strikes? As a former traveller, I am looking into this...I still need some excitement/change. What was it like? What companies? Any info would be helpful. Thanks. ... Read More

  1. by   pickledpepperRN
    Well have we exausted this one?
  2. by   nurseyperson
    Sorry, this one will probably never be exhausted. Unfortunately, there will probably always be stikes, be it because of poor working conditions, low wages, etc. All the
    negative responses from the strike supporters has a definate truth. I never said I didn't think people should strike. Unfortunately, spacenurse, you pick out what you want out of the postings and ignore the things I have said that support you and those that have gone on strike. I have simply said that I would work as a strike breaker to help the patients in the hospital. At the beginning of the discussion, someone got very angry and called me a "selfish greedy SCAB". That is where the greedy part came from. I believe some hospitals have substandard working conditions, etc. I am sorry for the nurses who have to work in those conditions, be if for them or the patients, or both. I have never, however, heard of a strike exclusively for working conditions and patient welfare. There is always that increased pay thing involved. That is OK. If you are not being paid enough, do something about it. But don't call me greedy because
    I will take care of your patients for you at a great salary. You have the right to strike, and I have the right to work. Of course we have all been angry at the world of nursing,
    it takes your life and soul at times, everyone can tell you how to do things, what to do, when., where, with no thought of what is right for the patient. We are always treated like the bottom of the barrel. So I support your right to strike. And I support my right to take care of the patients. And yes, I was a travelling nurse for a few years. Loved it. Don't want to do it with a first grader. So you can continue to post, and so will I, this discussion will never be closed. Because there are two sides, and lots of patients that need us.

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    I've only known one strikebreaker. This nurse worked registry when I was charge. Acceptable but flat affect with patients. Walked out of the room after the patient on a ventilator wrote, "I am so scared!" with the comment,"Don't worry, we'll take care of you." this nurse than sat down with a cup of coffee. This nurse also paid cash to buy a frightened elderly couples home for 10% its value when they wanted out after the 1992 riots. Now of course the value is 10X or more what was paid. How did that couple do. I bet they could not afford a new home. That is not the attitude I want my loved ones nurse to have.
    You seem to me like someone who truly cares for patients. The problem is that the same management that makes profit more important than people will refuse to staff safely yet will lock out RNs for five days who gave a ten day notice for a one day strike. This management could have prevented the strike by agreeing to negotiate for safe staffing.

    US nursing and other companies are not in business to care for patients, they are in it for profit only. Legal just like taking those old folks home for less than an average nurse earns in a year. About seven weeks of crossing the picket line pays what that nurse paid for the house.
    Sorry if I sound angry. We are working against the kind of greed that places profit over all else. I think that is wrong. Please dont use this to say I don't want nurses to be paid well, for our children to starve, or go without shoes. I am a parent too.

  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Your posts sound angry too. I don't think that means you can't take good care of me. We learned to put our concerns aside and do what is best for the patient.

  5. by   tponthroad
    I don't see why stiking nurses are offended by temporary staff. The fact remains that the patients are still there & needing care. The temp staff is not there to take your job but to care for the patients and make the hospital pay out he nose for it. you could say the temps are supporting your cause.
  6. by   fergus51
    I don't think temporary staff is even needed when enough notice is given. When doctors up here withdrew their services (apparently 250,000$ a year isn't a liveable wage anymore) they moved their patients to other towns. I really don't think that hospitals ALWAYS need replacement workers. They wind up spending more money on the replacement workers than they would have if they met the nurses' demands.
  7. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS

    Well, you certainly have opened up Pandora's Box here. So, I might as well add my penny's worth of commentary.

    There are obviously strong emotions posted here on the board. There are some good insights too. I want to add a few insights.

    Unlike some of the posts, I believe that nurses are economic beings just as any other worker in any other field and are owed compensation commensurate with our skills and abilities. Health care is business now and market forces are at play to decide who participates in the system and who does not. Nurses are part of the system, yet we are not routinely part of the overall discussions except as a line item on a hospital budget. We are considered LABOR by hospitals, insurance companies and the public at large. We are paid an hourly wage for services and are at the mercy of our employers, so the reality of nurses as labor continues. And we perpetuate the labor mentality by allowing non-nursing unions to represent groups of nurses at the bargaining table. I am not a fan of unionization to begin with, but the most egregious form of usurpation of individual and collective automony stems from non-nursing labor bargaining for nurses. So, my first thought for you is: "why do you need to be employed by anyone?" Nurses do not have to be employed by hospitals or agencies or strike agencies to earn income. I have spent my whole nursing career moving toward the day when I could practice independently and have done so. You can too. I have done this by embracing the system (rather than railing against it) and capitalizing on the market forces at play in our economy today. I have a service to render and I render it to those who meet MY fair market price.

    My second insight for you is about the nature of agencies that handle strikes. There is a market for nurses to cross picket lines. Our market economy allows for anyone to fill a niche and make a profit. Strike agencies do that quite well...make a profit. They may pay well, but your hourly rate is the tip of the iceberg. The hospitals are more than willing to tap into their contingency funds/emergency funds (any hospital that is unionized has these funds available) to pay for nurses to come in and keep the doors open. As long as the doors are open, surgery continues uninterrupted and patients are taken care of, the public really turns a blind eye to HOW it gets done. The hospital continues to bill and receive reimbursement for services rendered and it is business almost as usual. Strike agencies are aware of this phenomenon and indeed, capitalize on it. Recruiters in strike agencies may be paid "a share of the profits" after a strike is settled, so there is economic incentive for them to get as many nurses out there as possible to increase billing for the agency, regardless of the calibre of nurse recruited. Be careful of recruiters and careful of strike agencies that promise you the moon. There is a hidden agenda usually.

    Be careful too, of the type of strike you work, if you choose to do so. There are some very militant and hostile groups out there, especially if traditional blue collar strikers participate. There are some horror stories to be told of injuries, threats, overturned vehicles, etc. Carefully research your intended strike.

    Next, realize that you will be working side by side with nurses for whom you have no experience regarding skills and expertise. Just because you are a safe, expert practitioner does not mean that the nurse beside you is. Protect yourself and your license. Your ability to produce nursing work is contingent upon an unsullied license to practice as a Registered Nurse. Any negative consequence in one state ultimately affects you in others. There will be many unfamiliar names on patient records. If one of them makes a fatal mistake, your care will also be called into question if your name is on that record.

    Finally, be true to your own convictions. You must do what is right for you, practice wise and economically. You have the right to work whenever and where ever you choose. Exercise that right, but know the consequences. A well calculated and well thought out plan will serve you far better in the long run than a spur of the moment decision to earn an extra income.

    If you wish to talk about this indepth, email me directly.

    Best regards
  8. by   KyRNBSN
    For those of you interested,
    There is soon to be a strike in Connecticut.
    You will need to apply for a temp Connecticut license and have things like MMR titre's and PPD, physicians statement and more ready as well as fill out an application and get it all submitted very quickly. There is also rumor of another strike somewhere in California starting May 1

    Call FastStaff if you are interested or visit their website

  9. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by Charles S. Smith, RN, MS:

    . There will be many unfamiliar names on patient records. If one of them makes a fatal mistake, your care will also be called into question if your name is on that record.

    Finally, be true to your own convictions. You must do what is right for you, practice wise and economically. You have the right to work whenever and where ever you choose. Exercise that right, but know the consequences. A well calculated and well thought out plan will serve you far better in the long run than a spur of the moment decision to earn an extra income.

    If you wish to talk about this indepth, email me directly.

    Best regards
    Charles ...YOU're good! Excellent points made!

  10. by   KyRNBSN
    I'm not powerless, I work, regularly, Pay my bills, care for my family, and enjoy short term assignments and don't really give a rat's patoot about your opinion, as it is just that, an opinion. As for advertising.. I was not advertising for a specific company, not even trying to get a referral fee or I would have posted that information.. Just simply letting those who are interested know about the upcoming events.. If you want to continue to bash my posting, go right ahead.. I refuse to lock horns with those people who disagree with my choice of work. Lot's of people including myself, disagree with abortions or other types of medical realted fields that nurses can work in, yet I do not bash those who choose to work there.. To each their own.. So post away.. Won't stop me from working, won't change my mind.. and it won't ruffle my feathers..

    Have a Good day!

    Originally posted by Level2Trauma:
    As long as there are nurses like you, the profession will never progress to where we want it to be. We will not progress by cutting each others throats. No, I am not in a union but I certainly respect those that are and who have the guts to fight for better working conditions. 2.6 million nurses and we are still powerless. I WONDER WHY!!!

    P.S. bshort, I thought we weren't allowed to advertise. There appears to be a lot of advertising about a certain staffing company!!!
  11. by   jamistlc
    Greetings All Nurses,

    I see this as a very contoversal and situtional question for the board. I can see both POV and and see where given the need I could be on either side. No as a person seeking lucrative traveling assignments I see that working a strike can fit the bill. As a nurse who has worked in the field for 11 years I see the other side of the coin too. The pt to staff ratios are usually on of the key barriers to a resolution of a strike along with low pay/benefits. So my point here is it is an individuals opinion and right to be on either side at the right place and time. For now you are more likely to find me crossing the line!

    One of the rationales for this would be that the ANA or the state satellite of the ANA would be the representive for the Nurses, I as a LPN could care less about what they are doing given they exclude me and would prefer to abolish me and my kind of nurse from the profession. In other words they do not represent me so why should I support their actions?

  12. by   ornurse2001
    I am a non-union RN.I have not yet staffed a strike, and I am undecided on wether I would or wouldn't.There are no nursing unions that I am aware of anywhere near where I live.I do have a question.I understand from what I have read on BB posts that Nurses give hospitals a 10 day notice before striking, etc.However, I have recently become aware of several nursing homes that are striking.I must admit, that this is very disturbing to me.First of all, these patients shouldn't be moved even if they could be for the purpose of a strike.This is their home.Many of these elderly people are confused enough without disturbing their daily routine and uprooting them from their home and madating them against their will to live elsewhere because the Nursing staff is unhappy with work conditions.If the Nursing home situation is poor for the patients, and that is the motivating factor in the nurses move to strike, then state inspection agencies should instead be notified as they are held to different laws, standards, and inspection practices than most hospitals.There is an ethical obligation to these old people-and in this case, I would say that "scabs" ; if you want to call them that, are a necessary commodity.
  13. by   ornurse2001
    OK-Got carried away and didn't ask my question....When nursing home nursing staff decide to strike, what measures are taken to ensure that the residents are safe and cared for ???I have noted that the agencies that staff strikes are advertising for RN,LPN and CNA positions-so, guess laundry,housekeeping,kitchen staff and administration - whomever is left in the facility are going to assume the resident care duties???.....I really would like to know.I have taken care of my husband's 95 yr. old grandmother at home for 2 years and I am going to put her in a nursing home in July due to her deteriorating mental status.It is difficult enough worrying about wether or not the care your family member will recieve is adequate without the threat of all the nursing staff walking out.It is also extrememly difficult to navigate the medicaid/medicare system when you are forced to move an elderly person from state to state , especially if there is an asset(ie:a residence)involved.So, if there is a large number of nursing homes in one state that are going on strike,what are the resident's(or more often the families of the residents)to do?