Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

Unions – Merit – Safety

on March 17, 2015

Every now and then, I get all highbrow and actually read the professional nursing journals that come in the mail. I think it compensates for the moments when I’m doing something so mundane at work and think to myself, “Geez, I can’t believe they pay me for this.”

So, I’m sitting on the couch after work, feet up, debating on blogging something personal versus something “nursey”, and there in the middle of reading magazine number two, there is a small sidebar about union activity. (Remember last year, I posted twice about Union reps stalking our hospital perimeter.)

Anyhow…

In a place I have visited, even rode the hilly streets, there is discord between nurses and the ever so mischaracterized management, Washington State. Oh my.

I didn’t know nurses had unions in Washington State.

The magazine blurb was small: After six months of negotiation, contract talks between Providence Regional Medical Center Everett (a hospital in the Puget Sound area) and 1,400 registered nurses remain deadlocked.

I did a little looking up of stuff since I don’t know much about Washington State’s economy, unemployment rate, minimum wage, etc…This is an interested tidbit I found.

Under Washington’s current law, the minimum wage goes up every January with inflation. The Employment Security Department said this year’s minimum wage hike affected more than 67,000 workers.

Here in good old Central Florida, we have merit raises. That’s it.

*****

I don’t know what to think about this. I looked up more online about the situation at Providence. I read nurses’ comments about the nurse patient ratio in Critical care being 3:1, about people being held in the ER for 24 hours because there are no beds. Yikes!

I am sitting upright and saying to the computer “Yes, yes, get your voice heard, more staff, more safety!”

Then I remember dabbling in management, the headaches, the pressure that comes from way up there, somewhere, I don’t know, and I understand that everyone is frustrated.

So I’m going to blame POTUS and ObamaCare. It’s probably childish, but I’m going to do it anyway.

I’m going to bed early so I get a good night’s sleep before work tomorrow.

Our department is leading the board when it comes to overtime.

It’s been crazy.


3 responses to “Unions – Merit – Safety

  1. Thank you so much, you are appreciated.

  2. Dee says:

    I was in a union in my hospital in Philadelphia prior to moving to Maine and I loved it. I had job security, excellent benefits, and I felt that admin wasn’t able to pull typical stunts like chronic understaffing >higher patient :nurse ratio > mistakes or patient needs not being met. The union also stopped administration from cross training unit secretaries to be phlebotomists and CNA’s because if the US was on the floor performing those duties, we were answering the phones etc. I finally became a union rep and was able to keep good nurses from being terminated for idiotic reasons. When I moved to Maine I thought with my nursing background, employment in a large teaching hospital, ALS etc. getting a job in the small local hospital would be a piece of cake. Wrong! Apparently the hospital (approximately 60 beds) had thwarted being unionized several times so they definitely didn’t want a union organizer working there. For years I couldn’t figure out why they wouldn’t hire me; finally someone from their HR who took zumba classes with me told me why. Yeah, life in a small town.

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