Monday, May 9, 2011

Let's get to work

This is a historic week for Backus Hospital. On Wednesday, RNs will decide whether or not to join together as a union! 
"RNs will decide"
I like the sound of that.

Over the past month the hospital has been trying to shift the focus by warning nurses of all of the responsibilities that come with having a voice. We understand that when we are partners with administration we will have to be responsible partners.  The reality is that the hospital wants us to focus on these things because they want to distract us from the very real issues.

We want to talk about how we have we been forced to use substandard supplies, including IVs.
Why have they taken peanut butter and Italian ice from our patients?
Why do they staff our units with so few people we run ourselves into the ground? 
Why are some of the most dedicated and skilled among us penalized for getting sick?

We tried over and over to address these issues each of us on our own but as individuals the administration just does not listen to us or respect us. 
If they did would we have had our certification and longevity bonuses taken away?
Would we have had our weekend and shift differentials decreased?
Would we have lost sick, vacation, wellness, and holidays? 
Would we have replaced our health insurance with a cheaper version? 
Would we have frozen our pension and replaced it with a 403B that is matched at the discretion of administration? 
Would we have instituted pay for performance in it's current form? 
These and more issues are what this vote is all about. When you clear away the smoke, the facts remain.

The hospital administration wants to make your vote between the administration or "the union" but it isn't. Hospital administration is not on the ballot and they don't get a vote. The election is between whether or not we want to join together as a group of nurses or whether we want to continue as individuals who happen to work in the same building.

Clear away the smoke, look at the facts, search your hearts. There's a lot of work needed at Backus, let's get started.

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