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Would you ever be a scab?

Union   (17,467 Views 66 Comments)
by klone klone, MSN, RN (Platinum*) Platinum*

klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

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tablefor9 has 16 years experience as a RN and specializes in ICU, Home Health, Camp, Travel, L&D.

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See, I think it's about more than "sticking it to the man". I truly believe that for a *nurse* to strike (granted, I've never been union, so somebody may be able to school me) it has to be BIG. Patient care and nobody's listening, big. So, no. I wouldn't cross the line.

When nurses intend to strike, they give warning. It's not like they all call in on Monday with the Blue Flu. Docs have time to take their cases to the cross town hospital, and management has time to figure out what's what...and get travel RNs that want the bucks more than to change nursing (not meant to be inflammatory, everybody's got priorities), or put every licensed person from the Asst Nurse Mgrs to the "C" suites in scrubs and try to run with the big dogs. Pulling out the "poor patient" card isn't really a complete picture about what happens, I don't think.

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9,098 Visitors; 259 Posts

I've always heard if you do cross the line, you get blackballed by unionized institutions. Sure I'd like to make some money doing it, but burning my bridges with future employers is not a good a idea.

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nursebenson has 5 years experience and specializes in Cardiac.

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How would the next job find out you crossed the picket line?

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3 Followers; 96,561 Visitors; 36,680 Posts

How would the next job find out you crossed the picket line?

People talk.

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nursebenson has 5 years experience and specializes in Cardiac.

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ahhhh. loose lips sink careers.

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disasternurse specializes in Done some of it all.

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When it gets down to the "nitty gritty", everyone's on their own! Solidarity? Yeah, Right! Remember that word when you have to tell your kids that you can't afford to buy groceries, pay the bills or provide them with their basic needs! Be sure to tell them that "Solidarity" will help make everything better for them... See how long "solidarity" sticks around when YOU and YOUR FAMILY NEEDS it.

Although I would cross the picket line to feed my family, I can see where most people wouldn't admit that they would do the same. Come down to the "Deep South" and work a day in our shoes. I WELCOME 7-8 patients on a med-surg unit or up to 3 ICU patients! Our med-surg units are tele/med-surg mixed with a higher level of acuity to add! I WELCOME a "Float Nurse" EVEN if they aren't a competent ICU, ED, NICU, etc nurse. A "Float nurse" can BENEFIT you if you utilize them as a "Float"! (Give meds, IV therapy, other skills!) Don't count them into your staffing ratio.

Patient Care and Patient Safety should be EVERYONE's number one motive but it's not. Life isn't easy or fair sometimes so put your "big girl panties" or "big boy breeches" on and deal with it. If a nurse crosses the picket line, it doesn't mean that he or she agrees with the management! Somebody has to take care of these patients and they are willing and able to do it... After all, you will still have your job and I'm sure your point has been proven to your facility! Don't think for a minute that these nurses are trying to "take your job" or "help the facilities". They are in it for the money, experience and patient care. The hospitals are also feeling the pain with having to pay up on the front end of your deal!

Why can't everyone just play nice in the sandbox and get along?

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1 Article; 12,600 Visitors; 624 Posts

When it gets down to the "nitty gritty", everyone's on their own! Solidarity? Yeah, Right! Remember that word when you have to tell your kids that you can't afford to buy groceries, pay the bills or provide them with their basic needs! Be sure to tell them that "Solidarity" will help make everything better for them... See how long "solidarity" sticks around when YOU and YOUR FAMILY NEEDS it.

Although I would cross the picket line to feed my family, I can see where most people wouldn't admit that they would do the same. Come down to the "Deep South" and work a day in our shoes. I WELCOME 7-8 patients on a med-surg unit or up to 3 ICU patients! Our med-surg units are tele/med-surg mixed with a higher level of acuity to add! I WELCOME a "Float Nurse" EVEN if they aren't a competent ICU, ED, NICU, etc nurse. A "Float nurse" can BENEFIT you if you utilize them as a "Float"! (Give meds, IV therapy, other skills!) Don't count them into your staffing ratio.

Patient Care and Patient Safety should be EVERYONE's number one motive but it's not. Life isn't easy or fair sometimes so put your "big girl panties" or "big boy breeches" on and deal with it. If a nurse crosses the picket line, it doesn't mean that he or she agrees with the management! Somebody has to take care of these patients and they are willing and able to do it... After all, you will still have your job and I'm sure your point has been proven to your facility! Don't think for a minute that these nurses are trying to "take your job" or "help the facilities". They are in it for the money, experience and patient care. The hospitals are also feeling the pain with having to pay up on the front end of your deal!

Why can't everyone just play nice in the sandbox and get along?

What a sad and cynical view of life. I prefer to believe - based on my own experience - that many of us are willing and able to look beyond immediate selfishness and see that in fact we all do better when we ALL do better, that the best way to acheive better working conditions/pay/benefits/whatever is to stand together as a group and work for them - which sometimes requires short term sacrifice for long term gain. Of all the phrases in the world I hate, "put your "big girl panties" is near the top of the list, since it is nearly always said by some manager demanding that a worker put up with something unfair and unreasonable - and often unsafe. And no, we don't have to just put up with those things - we can work together with others to change them. Management in the south obviously depends on the belief by workers that there is nothing they can do to make things better. And they are desperately afraid of the day when you all figure out that it really is possible to make change. How sad that some nurses are actually proud of their ability to suffer through unreasonable conditions and proud of their unwillingness to work together with others to make things better.

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disasternurse specializes in Done some of it all.

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What a sad and cynical view of life. I prefer to believe - based on my own experience - that many of us are willing and able to look beyond immediate selfishness and see that in fact we all do better when we ALL do better, that the best way to acheive better working conditions/pay/benefits/whatever is to stand together as a group and work for them - which sometimes requires short term sacrifice for long term gain. Of all the phrases in the world I hate, "put your "big girl panties" is near the top of the list, since it is nearly always said by some manager demanding that a worker put up with something unfair and unreasonable - and often unsafe. And no, we don't have to just put up with those things - we can work together with others to change them. Management in the south obviously depends on the belief by workers that there is nothing they can do to make things better. And they are desperately afraid of the day when you all figure out that it really is possible to make change. How sad that some nurses are actually proud of their ability to suffer through unreasonable conditions and proud of their unwillingness to work together with others to make things better.

I understand your view. I hope that things will improve for all of us. However, I can't say that we are "selfish" in the south. I am saying that if it comes down to taking care of my family's needs verses fighting for work or political issues, my family will always come first! Selfish? I don't think so. Responsible? Absolutely. Also, I don't think any nurse "likes to suffer" and most nurses are willing to work together! Most of us share core values and for the most part understand what our colleagues are going through. It doesn't mean we don't care. Sorry if I gave you any other impression. As for the sad and cynical view of life, the lack of "solidarity" and our profession with "politics at work" has helped me reach this reality... 22+ years of it! (and it's not only southerners)

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Yeah, I lived in the south too which has always been the cradle of the best and of the worst to

my thinking. The worst iof the anti-labor sentiments that come from there still. maybe not coincidentally it thus has the highest poverty rates and illiteracy. I've been lucky in that I've gotten to live and work all over.

In Europe I learned that the reason the French say, seemed to go on strikes religiously is becuase they understood when one group of people below them lost ground the next followed. Their history has taught them that.

Maybe ours will too. The minorities got hit first, then the bluecollar workers , then the trade unionists, then high tech workers, and now we even go after our teachers for Godsakes. Everyone it seems except say multibillionaire bankers that brought the country to collapse and cost the middle class near everything in housing bubbles and financial derifitives and then got bailed by two Administrations.

A little professional solidarity lifts everyone up. And very little return if one never takes risk, rather the big money just keeps chipping away at us.

If you're a good nurse, you'll feed your family one way or another. Stand up for your peers and profession. It's NOT easy work, it's NOT unskilled work and it's not for the faint-hearted. Nurses deserve every bit of pay and professional courtesy they don't get.

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5,485 Visitors; 281 Posts

:idea:Well, "free" agent, you've got the golden handcuff syndrome, locked in by the money, like a mercenary 'soldier of fortune', and IMHO, ultimately, you sell the profession short taking that line of reasoning. (As the saying goes, "It's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.")

Are you really able to provide the safe and effective care with an high acuity/high patient to nurse ratio with limited or no ancillary staffing? Nah, ya just dumb down the concepts of safe and effective care, take the money and run, instead of trying to improve conditions. Taking the money and leaving the problems for someone else to solve is not professional. Neither is ignoring them, or stepping over and going around the nurses who are trying to effect positive change.

It stands to reason that in a step down unit, for instance, if you have 3 patients, you're going to catch subtle signs and symptoms that could lead to deterioration of the patient's condition. If you're assigned 6 or 8 patients you're just not going to be able to do that; provide an optimum level of surveillance, ongoing assessment, evaluation, teaching, hygiene, and observing for efficacy or side effects of medication. Some nurses have a false sense of security about the code teams and rapid response teams, and reason that if anything bad happens, they've got back up. That's just wrong. Why push your patients to the cliff by remaining silent about deliberate "for profit" short staffing, and then, when you find they've fallen over the cliff, think someone else will come along, "just in time" to save them. That's unprofessional!

Well said! There's professions that absolutely make sense to unionize because inherently for profit healthcare is a conflict of interest with safety. It protects the staff AND the patients and ultimately, whether they realize it or not, the hospital and provider.

I don't see the CEO's, bankers or Congress apologizing for their salaries and benefits nor for having me in a higher tax bracket than people who inherit hundreds of millions of dollars. I'll believe the nation is flat broke when they take a hit for once.

Until then I'll be damned if I'm going to take seven high accuity patients with nothing but an overworked CNA backing me thus and put my license and their lives on the line for 29 bucks an hour.

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5,485 Visitors; 281 Posts

How would the next job find out you crossed the picket line?

They'll no doubt know because these things make the headlines and if the network replaces you all with temps or sometihng and you're from that healthcare network and looking for work they'll likely figure it out.

If you've got good skills and experience (that's still rare in nursing given the sheer volume of new grads), it's unlikely to matter.

After all, the hiring decision is not made by the CEO and board, it's made by the clinical manager and director.

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CMCRN has 28 years experience and specializes in L&D,Lactation.

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I would never ever cross a picket line.

And especially for $46 per hour that would be a huge pay cut for me.

Thanks to my union here in California I make a fair wage.

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