ARH Strike Settled

  1. The strike is settled and staff is returning to work. No details for contract available as yet. Any comments?
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    About gitterbug

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 557; Likes: 47

    12 Comments

  3. by   Noryn
    I was surprised it lasted as long as it did. To be honest, I have little faith in those type unions mainly because they were not designed for healthcare. I also think unions need to be more careful about how they approach things. I was working in a hospital years ago, when I think the local carpenter's union was striking at the hospital because the hospital had used out of state non union workers. Well census did decrease a bit, but do you honestly think the big wigs felt an extra ripple in their personal jacuzzis? Nah, they just made the peons like me take time off using our vacation time. Needless to say I was a bit upset over the unions actions but again I guess it really wasnt their fault.

    Anyway I am not anti union, I just wish we had more healthcare type unions that understood the problems we face. I would love for the CNA to come in our state.
  4. by   RN Randy
    Quote from Noryn

    Anyway I am not anti union, I just wish we had more healthcare type unions that understood the problems we face. I would love for the CNA to come in our state.
    Amen.

    My two personal favorite phrases are:

    I love Jesus, it's his groupies I can't stand!

    and

    The problem isn't the union, it's the union members.

    I saw some of the ARH thing firsthand and was amazed at the childish and unethical behavior that went on, from those that are trusted with our loved one's healthcare, no less.

    First they walk out on the patients, [yeah, they did. The only people that suffered in the end were the patients.] then they sit out there telling anyone with a window down to go away, trying to turn away any vehicle including those simply trying to visit their loved ones.
    Apparently they also spent hours trying to disrupt patient care as well, doing stupid things like calling into the paging system and sending false 911/emergency pages, sending folks to the ER and ICU, etc, or calling departments asking people what their names were then making some comment about 'thanks for the info' then hanging up, as if to threaten or scare the temp staff... you know, just total low-brow nonsense.
    It sounded like it was a pathetic party of kids and morons.

    I'd be ashamed to say I was a part of that.

    Flame away.
    rb
  5. by   ewattsjt
    i too have lost faith in unions.

    after working for a factory for many years and being a member of a union; i can honestly say that i am strongly anti-union. the union only stood up for those who should have been let go and never backed someone who was in the right. i lost a good job by them returning a person who served 1 year in jail for beating his girlfriend three times (twice on the clock) then getting a stalking charge. he was terminated for absenteeism. when released, he back paid his dues and demanded his job back. he was returned with full seniority which in turn bumped me into a different area (heavy lifting). our beloved union said, "we have to represent everyone including people like him." i have 100's of stories just like that one but it was the final straw. i will forever fight any attempt to unionize any facility that i may an employee of. thanks for helping me to see the light ibew 1160!

    go ahead and flame me. if you really believe in unions; i have no respect for what you have to say anyway, so it won't bother me.
  6. by   RN Randy
    Well, I can't say as I've seen anything like that happen, and that does sound pretty unfair.
    As for me, I've been a union member several times, but only as part of medical employment and I should probably say this to follow up.

    I don't have a problem with the unions, and I think unions serve a very useful purpose where they're needed [trades/skilled labor etc] where employees may need protection for their own safety, or if they are being taken advantage of. However; the definition of "protection" has been sorely bastardized by other areas, such as the medical fields.

    Ever visit an ARH hospital? Patients lie in broken beds with antiquated equipment barely working at the bedside. Most care and protocol/procedures are circa 1988. But hey, the nurse out at the desk has a benefit package to die for.

    That's what happens when all the money is focused on the employee, not the facility or it's patients.

    That's what happens when greed demands priority over greater good.

    That's what happens when the employee is given a strong-arm over management. It's a constant fight to maintain balance; management just trying to keep the doors open and greedy employees trying to milk evey free cent they can.

    As a student, I did clinicals in union facilities also. I saw the laziest most non-caring nurses I've ever met to date.
    I saw a nurse overturn a soda at the desk once. She jumped up and moved to another desk as the clerk in the corner says "I'll call housekeeping." and not a soul bothered to pick it up as soda ran across the desk, over paperwork and into the floor for 28 minutes until housekeeping wandered by.
    It was like a scene from a bad movie.

    Another instance I remember; a bedridden pt was struggling with a phone, saying he wanted to call his daughter in the next 15 minutes as she was going out of town and he wouldn't get to see her for a while. The phone had a stuck button and wouldn't pick up. I simply took out my pocket knife and used a file to pop the button up, and fix the problem in exactly 2 seconds. Unfortunately; an RN saw that and the fight was on. She immediately told me that I have created a serious infraction, that maint was already called an hour ago, and they would now be filing a grievance, etc, etc, wah, wah..... A crowd gathered and I was even told to put the phone back to the condition it was found in. YES, they told me to jam the button back!!! AND thought I should apologize to the patient for giving him a false hope of making that call.
    Anyway, I'll not type my response but it cost me time in the instructor's office, and some extra homework. However; after they left the crying man's room, I fixed his phone and he made his call anyway.

    Now tell me, where is the usefulness of the union there to anyone except the greedy employee??

    If it were a mine or factory and people's safety or rights or pay were being taken advantage of, then sure... unionize. No problem. But when strike time comes.... the coal isn't going to suffer if you walk out.

    But enough is enough. I don't mean to start a union brawl, and please let's not start one. There are pro's and con's to every instance and beating opinions around isn't going to change the world.

    Sorry for the rant....
    rb
  7. by   gitterbug
    Hello rmbelcher,
    Glad to read your input, very enlightening for some. Come back more often.
    We need voices on this site. Have a safe holiday weekend and a blessed day.
  8. by   RN Randy
    Thanks, glad to be here! LOL....
    rb
  9. by   Noryn
    In my honest opinion I am extremely impressed with the NNOC or CNA and the positive changes they have made to healthcare. They have established safe staffing ratios which are proven to not only help relieve the "nursing shortage" by bringing nurses in who had left the hospitals but also these safe staffing rations have been proven to improve pt outcomes. WV desperately needs this type of union in the hospitals. I have had close family members in hospitals here, and also my friends have either been in or had family members in the hospitals and the care now is horrible. The nurses are ran ragged. I have long heard stories of nurses going home at night crying because of how bad it is. Before I left the hospital I was so frustrated I had planned on going to the mall to work.

    Nurses and aides everywhere are greatly under appreciated and underpaid. They deserve every benefit they get from that hospital and then some. Everyday they put their body and health at risk. The job is extremely difficult and dangerous. If ARH has old equipment, dont blame it on the nurses or aides, as if it werent for them, there would be no money for any equipment. I also have a hard time believing the poor managers are struggling to keep their doors open, if so then how are they paying for the multi million dollar renovations and additions?

    Of course I do have to feel sorry for these poor managers, I mean one CEO around here only made 700,000 last year. These CEOs and managers are making a fortune. Most of these companies are making millions which is true greed, not a hard working hospital employee wanting decent benefits. They are able to pay 10-20 million on the drop of a dime for another hospital or building. They can afford to take care of their patients and staff.

    Do I condone immature behavior and threats? Absolutely not. Every facility, be it union or not has their lazy employees. I also have a hard time "not being allowed to clean up a spill." I think that rule is ridiculous.

    I have been in every hospital in that area, in general I have not seen harder workers (or better nurses for that matter) than some at BARH which is a union hospital. They have good benefits, but their benefits dont seem that much better than other places. Do they have better retirement packages than the VA or Pinecrest? Their hospitalization is great but again most hospitals offer decent insurance especially if you use their facility.
  10. by   RN Randy
    You're comparing apples/oranges. Yes, CAMC's management system is the poster-child for "too many Chiefs, not enough Native Americans"....
    Something about the good ol' boy system maybe? I dunno, but as an employee, I spend much time trying to figure out the need for a VP to the VP to the VP. I fail to understand. And for the decent stuff we have, we SHOULD have cutting edge equipment. But we don't. Why? Exactly what you said.

    Yeah, we all think The Man makes too much for someone who doesn't even live here.

    On the ARH issue, I've worked at one, visited the other, and did clinicals at the third. And, well I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder. Some find it quite upscale. Personally, I was just boggled by my brief visits.

    Care? Well, there is no arguing with the fact that a non-ed facility is a slave to it's physician base, i.e. if the docs all started practice 20 years ago, you get 20 year old medicine. MOST do not keep up and are creatures of habit.
    Not slamming anyone, not saying the care is 'bad', just pointing out simple facts and statistics.

    Staff at those hospitals treat their union business like the coal mines do. It's all about the money and the patients can take a flying leap. I will not be convinced otherwise. Yes, I did meet a *few* caring nurses who even quietly told the dirty little ARH union secrets and that they were against it for the stupidity that goes on, but required to be a member.

    Again, just an opinion and not something I wish to debate. No offense intended at all.
    rb
  11. by   Noryn
    I am not offended, just didnt agree with the statement that management was barely able to keep the doors open when in fact they have plenty of money. If their equipment is outdated, it is soley on the backs of the administration. Instead of making numerous additions and renovations along with buying buildings they perhaps should funnel some of that money back into equipment for patient care.

    I was not really talking about physician care, more about nursing care. Again, it isnt a criticism against the nurses, they are just too short staffed to be able to provide pt care.

    Just a year or two ago, some nurses at ARH actually got suspended for speaking openly about short staffing. So, there are a good number who are genuinely concerned about pts. There are basically 2 hospitals in Beckley (as far as general patients go) so if the nursing staff was so inconsiderate of the patients, it seems like the union hospital would have the worst reputation and from my experience of talking and working with people in that area, the union hospital is as popular, if not more so, than the non union hospital.
  12. by   RN Randy
    Sorry, I think we're on different pages. I was speaking of no one particular facility when saying mgt had trouble keeping the doors open, I'm simply saying the only unions I've been privy to, including ARH, would rob the place blind to the point of closing the doors and seem not to care. The focus being "ME, and my union bro/sis" first and foremost. It's 'us' against 'them' and goes nowhere.

    On the other issue, I think you're looking at things from the employee point of view, whereas I'm speaking from the business perspective. Physician care will dictate nursing care, and if you walk into an ARH facility and get told that turning off 5 of PEEP on a vent will fix hypotension, then ya gotta wonder where that comes from. And on the same hand, you notice all the patients are on 1.5 l/m cannulas, and on inquiry you get told that putting the ball under the 2 makes for 2 l/m, then ya gotta wonder where that comes from as well. So both sides are suffering, no doubt, [and not listing other things], the sum of all the seemingly insignificant shortcomings, is substandard care.

    Again, I think it's partly due to not being in a constant teaching environment so there's isn't a blame to be laid, except to say that only those that have the drive to stay on the ball [no pun intended]; will.
    Unfortunately; those folks seem way too few and far between.

    Enter the union with it's loopholes and complaint mill, and the focus is even further narrowed, cutting out the patient yet again.

    On the suspension issue, in the same spirit as always, one person's open speech about short staffing is another person's crass complaining, usually in the wrong forum.

    And finally, on the popularity thing... well, that's just Appalachia. I've watched horrible and uncoordinated care kill a patient with the family right at the bedside, and so long as the staff 'kills' with kindness [pun intended], the family is perfectly happy. Emphasis being on the effort to help and demeanor, not whether anyone knows their bum from a hole in the ground. It's just culture. People will go to a total quack if he's a country boy they can relate to before they'll go to the specialist that's dry and short with them.
    rb
  13. by   Noryn
    It is all perspective. I could very easily say all hospital administrations I have worked for are only interested in profit and show no concern for patient safety or for their employee well being.

    I disagree that physician care will dictate nursing care. I am not really talking about nursing knowledge, my main point is simple patient care that is often getting overlooked. The teaching hospitals in the area, in my experience are not doing any better of a job than the smaller ones at basic nursing care. By basic nursing care I mean bathing patients, taking them to the bathroom and preventive measures such as turning. I dont blame the nurses, I see how hard they work and know the environment they are working in. There are some bad nurses but overall these nurses especially on the med surg floors are simply overworked.

    I will agree that it seems that the unions in the state are only advocating for the workers and not so much the patient hence my initial post about a union such as the NNOC coming in which have been successful in passing ratio laws.

    I admire the nurses who were suspended, they spoke out against something they saw as being unsafe. That is one of the reasons we as nurses have such a high ethical position in the eyes of the public and another reason hospital administrators have such a low position. It is easy to divert attention by suspending, saying they are just complaining or saying it is the wrong forum instead of actually taking measures to solve the problems.

    Kindness and compassion mean a lot to people. I never get into the dilemma of choosing which doctor I want, the intelligent one with a horrible attitude or the inexperienced but caring doctor. I see no reason why I have to only choose one of the above. So I choose both, an excellent up to date doctor who will listen and care. There are plenty around, you just have to look for them. And some of these "country boy" doctors in my honest opinion (I wish I could mention names but it is against the TOS) can easily hold their own against the larger city doctors.

    I just honestly cannot put my entire faith in the "most up to date" procedure or medication or the facilities that utilize them. I can easily see someone saying, "Can you believe those hick country doctors treating cardiac disease with medication like they did 30 years ago, we have been using stents which work much better." Then the research comes along and puts into question, that there is no doubt the new procedures cost more but do they really improve the pt's outcome?

    I ramble too much but your posts are great and invoke thought. My whole thing is trying to reach the happy medium. My present employer is great, if a union came in, I would honestly laugh at them. They treat us well, and I love my company (as you can guess it isnt a hospital or insurance company). I just honestly feel that unions are pretty close to being a necessary evil.
  14. by   RN Randy
    Well, I have to say, we pretty much agree then. I've enjoyed the discussion as well.
    I'm employed at a hospital, in the city, but live in the country and like my employer just as much as I would be a patient in my local rural facility.
    As a matter of fact, I'm thinking of doing my PRN-second-job thing at my local rural facility due to the simple diversity of care their ER has.
    Here in the big city, each hospital ER is pretty much "specialized", one for cardiac/med and the other for trauma, etc. I find it very limiting and long for the small outlying facility, to be honest.
    It is indeed all in the perspective.... and we've all got one, I'm sure, LOL!
    On the union thing, I can say for sure, I'd be the organizer/leader if I felt we were being treated unfairly with no recourse.

    Thanks for a spirited discussion!
    rb

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