Unions/Attitudes

Nurses Activism

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Specializes in Mobile Critical Care Nurse/AGACNP-BC.

I can tell you one thing...I work in a union hospital...there is absolutely no way I would earn the money I earn now if it wasn't for the union. Our facility has over 450 RNs and we are a closed shop...and very strong. Within the next two years, I wil be making 40.00/hr with time and a half after 8 hours...we work 12 hour shifts. Our contract guarantees this pay scale. Name one nonunion hospital that guarantees there nurses this type of money. Another thing, I work ICU and the idea of three patients to one RN in the ICU in the state of California is against the law...but don't think that hospital management won't try...except where I work...the dept. of Health gets notified. Management will try to persuade you otherwise because they are afraid...they lose their power of control and of discipline when you become union. Plus the unions have great contacts such as the National Labor Relations Board, The Dept. of Health, the Joint commission...now can you see why hospitals don't want nurses to unionize...NURSES BECOME FEARLESS AND INDEPENDENT AND START MAKING THE RULES THAT MAKE PATIENT SAFETY A PRIORITY.:chuckle

-jt

2,709 Posts

Closed shop is the ONLY way to be very strong.

(and the rest of your excellent post hit the nail right on the head.)

-jt

2,709 Posts

We just had a day at our state Capitol to educate the legislators on what is happening to nurses & in nursing & what we need them to do to fix it. Below is part of the text of one of the presentations we made to the senators, assemblymen & media. So what does one Republican federal Congressman's health aide back home have to say about nursings situation? "Why should the government pass laws that have to do with the staffing levels and the hours you work. Its a labor issue. Isnt that what unions and contracts are for?"

hmmmm... yes it is & lots of us are so fortunate as to have that, but its also a public health and safety issue & what about the many nurses who dont have union contracts? And what about the right-to-work states that have laws which make it so difficult for those nurses to?

How interesting that even the lawmakers in government are telling us we should be taking control of the situation ourselves, & setting down our own conditions of employment with legally binding contracts by unionizing and still some nurses wont do it.

Nurses Link Working Conditions To Exodus of RNs From Patient Care

Albany, NY - March 11, 2002 - Thousands of registered nurses are no longer working in patient care settings because of intolerable working conditions. That was the message delivered today by nurses attending the annual legislative workshop sponsored by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA).

At a noontime news conference, NYSNA President Robert Piemonte warned that workplace conditions must be improved to reverse a disturbing trend - registered nurses leaving patient care for jobs that provide predictable working hours, less stress, and fewer physical risks.

"Nurses are leaving patient care because they're burned out, fed up, and just plain tired," he said. "They're tired of trying to deliver patient care without enough staff. They're tired of not knowing whether they're going to be mandated to work overtime. They're tired of running the risk of back injuries, exposure to infection, and even physical attacks."

Piemonte and nurses at the news conference urged the State Legislature to enact legislation that would prohibit employers from forcing nurses to work overtime, except in the case of a declared emergency. Nurses who work excessive hours are more likely to make medical mistakes, are prone to injury, and experience high levels of job stress.

"Nurses face a Catch-22 situation. According to their professional standards, they should not work if they are too tired to practice safely. But if they refuse to work overtime, under state law they can be charged with patient abandonment," Piemonte said.

Mandatory overtime is one reason a growing number of nurses are leaving patient care.

A national survey of nurses conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed that the number of RNs employed in nursing in the U.S. increased by only 4 percent between 1996 and 2000. During the same period, the number of licensed RNs not employed in nursing increased by more than 11 percent.

In New York State, the survey estimated that the percentage of RNs not employed in nursing increased from 15.2 percent in 1996 to 19.0 percent in 2000, higher than the national rate of 18.3 percent.

Piemonte said the expected passage of a state healthcare whistleblower protection bill is an important foundation for NYSNA's legislative proposals to improve working conditions for nurses.

"Legislation to set staffing levels or ban mandatory overtime can work only if nurses feel that the law protects them when they report violations," he said. "Nurses must be empowered to exercise their professional judgment and speak up on behalf of patients."

NYSNA's solutions to the nursing care crisis also include these measures:

Ensuring Safe Staffing: Legislation that would require the state to establish and enforce guidelines for safe staffing in all healthcare settings.

Disclosure of Quality Indicators: Legislation that would require healthcare facilities to disclose information related to the quality of nursing care, such as nurse-to-patient ratios, staffing levels, and patient outcomes.

Ban Mandatory Overtime: Zero tolerance legislation to prohibit mandatory overtime for RNs and LPNs except in government-declared emergencies.

Whistleblower Protection: Nurses must have the right to speak up for their patients and advocate for them without fear of losing their livelihood when they do.

Violence Prevention: Incidents of violence against nurses have been on the rise in hospitals, psychiatric facilities, and other settings. This legislation would require employers with 50 or more employees to develop and implement plans to protect employees against violence. >>>>>>

Pam Johnson

14 Posts

3/20/02

Various professionals which include police officers, teachers, et.al. & even physicians have unions. Has their union affiliation kept them from providing adequate community/public services. Nurses deserve better working conditions & treatment on the job, along with the patients deserving quality care. Working in nursing today is analogous to working in the sweats shops of yesteryear in this country. Nurses don't support eachother or look after eachother. Nurses have become apathetic. There is too much @ stake, to not endorse unionization. It's long overdue. Nurses are treated with bias & inequitably on the job. Many good , competent nurses have lost there jobs through the years. Yet I've also seen nurses who have behaved unprofessionally, unethically, unsafe;y & perhaps incompetently thrive on the job. The politics in nursing are rediculous. You'd never see physicians treat eachother as unprofessionally as nurses do. it's time to see the light. Nursing as a profession, far from it, this profession is circling the drain relatively speaking. We need to become pro-active & working toward national unionization. Patients & nurses are both @ risk. Allnurses.com would be a perfect medium for just such an effort. Write the legislators of your states & nation. United we stand, divided we fall.

Pam J. RN-WI.

chocolab

4 Posts

I agreee Pam. Nursing is the only profession where we fight amongst each other.I have seen some ver UNPROFESSIONAL nurses with attitides and temperments that would get them fired anywhere else.Unfortunately these are the ones who USE the union to protect their jobs. Believe me, I'm prounion but there should be someway to get rid of the malcontents.

kjnorris

16 Posts

I think this move to unoins is a good thing but just like any elected posistion there is no garuantee that representation will occur effectively. If your not active, your voice is unheard and an unheard voice is a like a bacteria with an unlimited supply of food. It will eventually take over and destroy the host. Thus another nurse posistion opened.

I have read alot of posts here i have been a steel worker for 12 years worked in rubber plants and steel mills alike in the rubber plant we had a strong unoin where the stewards talked regularly with management about safety. It wasn't all "how to do less for more" this attitude wasn't it, it is safety. I worked in a steel mill that fired people for getting injured with a union that would back that decision! (quit that job after seeing 3 people die on the job) In the hospital it is patient safety, staff safety and how to make our hospitals better. When people say unions take away from the manager/staff relationship they must realize unoins don't exist with out numbers. if there wasn't a lot of staff management issues there would be no unoin. The issue comes down to communication, the very thing nursing schools are stressing today. To communicate effectively will resolve alot of problems and unions are the only resort many of us have left.

Be heard not herded!!:rotfl:

franknurse

6 Posts

Amen jt. I have seen nothing but good come from union involvement in my facility. I know that those who work in management don't see it that way. Why would management want the staff having any say in what would or could make the hospital a better workplace. I just think that having a contract that ensures better benefits and working conditions and a chance to work things out with management when problems arise is a good thing for all.

n_babegurl

8 Posts

I agree 100%, the administrater was the first one "let go" FIRED,in what occurred at a facility I was employed with. WE, "7 employees" were "let go" after 3 months of following the chain of command,as it goes ,your nurse, DON, Administ.,corperate office, then onbudsman, state,etc.. Finally we could no longer take the blame for pressure sores, falls,not enough documentation,wt. losses, losing clientale/patients!!When there is one Nurse and two CNA's to 44 pt's,things start to FALL apart,families get upset. Families try to help,but get tired of seeing their loved ones not getting the care they deserve.We,I geuss you call it "Whistle Blowing" did something we will live with the rest of our livies. We spoke to the media ,during our break while on the job.We had no other choice, the so called chain of command is a joke!! I've been in LTC for 8 yrs. and everywhere you go its ths same answer we get about staffing issues ," ITS NOT IN THE BUDGET"The goverment/and ,or company will not allows us to staff that many.Bet the Adm. wished she would've listened.Upon firing us that day on camara the United Steelworkers of america got in touch with us and immediately filed charges against this facility for unfair labor laws.Well it's been 2 yrs. Jan. 14 , they lost two campaigns to get union in facility.But it has not been good for me or my family WE have suffered, I went a little over a year without work ,basically being Blackballed.No one wanted to hire me ,cause they were afraid I would try getting the Union in they're facility or that I would let them know the rights they all have but don't realize.I had to move but it was still with me. cause I had to give references,and I had worked there 3 different times.I finally had to just not mention it when appl.or interveiwing. So not mentioning it is not really lying ,is it? Anyway we have won the case twice but the company is very large (in the top 4) in US.they have good "UNIONBUSTER LAWYERS" but we have the GOVERMENT,(NLRB).There isnt to many who beat the GOV.. I am now due over $80000.00 in backwages,which is not going to makeup for lost time giving good pt. care that I had to offer nor the pain and suffering my family had to deal with, by going from $37000.00 a year to $1650 a year. The shame it made me feel whenever I was not excepted at a job.See this had NOTHING to do with the Union , they just contacted us after we were fired. then of course they wanted to start A UNION CAMPAIGN.It was about the care we could not provide to these pt.'s and families,cause enough staff would not fit in their budget.The fall/blame we were being tagged with,when we had breakdown. These are humans these or Mothers, Fathers,Sister these are going to be you and me someday.Dignity is supposed to be such a big issue now,well laying in feces or urine for any amt of time fits that description.getting a cold tray of food,not getting a shower or bath dly!!!Daycare workers from what I hear have a ratio of 1 to 7 ,which would be a blessing.As we all know the elderly regress back into their childhood. so why aren't they treated equally??? any thoughts?? Yours Truely "Working on the Ledge"

n_babegurl

8 Posts

AMEN , Unity is the key word !! Alot of nurses don't know unless they have been involved in a Union Campaign.If one nurse complains or threatens to walk or not do a task . That ONE dont have a chance, get two or more an it's a Unity!!

n_babegurl

8 Posts

:o CRYING INSIDE BUT NOBODY HEARS ME? WHAT IF YOU WERE LAYING THERE UNABLE TO MOVE,UNABLE TO SPEAK,WET COLD,AND ALONE?CRYING INSIDE,BUT UNABLE TO SHED A TEAR. YOU SEE THEM ,WALKING UP AND DOWN THE HALLS,YOU HEAR THE SOUNDS OF OTHERSAND YETYOUR UNABLE TOSAY;HEY ,I'MHERE ,ALONE,UNABLETO TELL YOU THAT I NEED TURNEDOR MY CHESTHURTSOR MY LEG HURTS. WILL SOMEONE JUST STOP TAKE A MINUTE, PLEASE.I'M SO ALONEJUST A MINUTE OR TWO/TO SEE ME TO LOOK AT ME , TO SEE IF IM WET , COLD ,LONELY?JUST TELL ME YOU 'LOVE ME' ,JUST IN CASE I DONT HAVE ANYONE THAT SEE'S ME OR CHEAKS IN ON ME.JUST GIVE ME THE CARE I DESERVE.THE DIGINITY ANY ANY HUMAN SHOULD BE GIVEN.JUSTBECAUSE I CANT SPEAK OR MOVE DOENT MEAN I DONT DESERVE THESE THINGS.THE PERSON ACROSS THE HALL CAN TALKOR I SHOULD SAY YELL,PEOPLE STOP AND TALK TO HIM ALL THE TIME . HE'S STILL WET,YELLING,PEOPLE GO UP AND DOWN THE HALL GLANCING IN.DAY AFTER DAY. SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!! FACILITIES CONTINUE TO UNDERSTAFF. ACCORDING TO STATE GUIDELINES WE ARE STAFFED BUT,THE PT'S AND CAREGIVERS ARE PAYING THE PRICE. THIS IS HOW A STROKE VICTIM MIGHT POSSIABLE FEEL.NOBODY REALLY KNOWS?icon9.gif

mark hamel

216 Posts

I agree 100%, the administrater was the first one "let go" FIRED,in what occurred at a facility I was employed with. WE, "7 employees" were "let go" after 3 months of following the chain of command,as it goes ,your nurse, DON, Administ.,corperate office, then onbudsman, state,etc.. Finally we could no longer take the blame for pressure sores, falls,not enough documentation,wt. losses, losing clientale/patients!!When there is one Nurse and two CNA's to 44 pt's,things start to FALL apart,families get upset. Families try to help,but get tired of seeing their loved ones not getting the care they deserve.We,I geuss you call it "Whistle Blowing" did something we will live with the rest of our livies. We spoke to the media ,during our break while on the job.We had no other choice, the so called chain of command is a joke!! I've been in LTC for 8 yrs. and everywhere you go its ths same answer we get about staffing issues ," ITS NOT IN THE BUDGET"The goverment/and ,or company will not allows us to staff that many.Bet the Adm. wished she would've listened.Upon firing us that day on camara the United Steelworkers of america got in touch with us and immediately filed charges against this facility for unfair labor laws.Well it's been 2 yrs. Jan. 14 , they lost two campaigns to get union in facility.But it has not been good for me or my family WE have suffered, I went a little over a year without work ,basically being Blackballed.No one wanted to hire me ,cause they were afraid I would try getting the Union in they're facility or that I would let them know the rights they all have but don't realize.I had to move but it was still with me. cause I had to give references,and I had worked there 3 different times.I finally had to just not mention it when appl.or interveiwing. So not mentioning it is not really lying ,is it? Anyway we have won the case twice but the company is very large (in the top 4) in US.they have good "UNIONBUSTER LAWYERS" but we have the GOVERMENT,(NLRB).There isnt to many who beat the GOV.. I am now due over $80000.00 in backwages,which is not going to makeup for lost time giving good pt. care that I had to offer nor the pain and suffering my family had to deal with, by going from $37000.00 a year to $1650 a year. The shame it made me feel whenever I was not excepted at a job.See this had NOTHING to do with the Union , they just contacted us after we were fired. then of course they wanted to start A UNION CAMPAIGN.It was about the care we could not provide to these pt.'s and families,cause enough staff would not fit in their budget.The fall/blame we were being tagged with,when we had breakdown. These are humans these or Mothers, Fathers,Sister these are going to be you and me someday.Dignity is supposed to be such a big issue now,well laying in feces or urine for any amt of time fits that description.getting a cold tray of food,not getting a shower or bath dly!!!Daycare workers from what I hear have a ratio of 1 to 7 ,which would be a blessing.As we all know the elderly regress back into their childhood. so why aren't they treated equally??? any thoughts?? Yours Truely "Working on the Ledge"[/Q

NurseKevin

140 Posts

the proof:

NYSNA RNS DO IT AGAIN!!

RNs at Columbia-Presbyterian Ratify Break-through Contract

New York City, Dec. 21, 2001

.

Yeah, using union propaganda to support the position is wunderbar! Much like using a white house press release to support the presidents position...

The thing that I hate about unions, well most everything actually, but in particular, is the support of the leftist-socialist movement. The corrupt canidates that they support are no better than the corrupt canidates that they oppose..

I can think for myself thank you very much, and would much rather see my dollars go to a canididate that I support than one that I am vehemently opposed to.

I think that I would rather opt in to politcal spending than have to opt out, and get a portion of my money back, because contrary to what the union thugs may think, I really do know more of what is better for me than they do...

If they stuck to collective bargaining, ok, but they don't that is just a tool that they sucker people in with so that they can leech off of them, and then use the dues monies to promote whatever socialist agenda they want..

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