In exchange, I pledged to support them, to do what I could when they needed help. Some might say I was buying their support, but it's not that way. These are people with a record of supporting working men and women and their right to organize.
I never wanted to be a politician, and I have no desire to serve in public office, but one could argue that I have become one. I am motivated by the desire to change things at the hospital, to make it the type of hospital where nurses would want to spend their career. This is best for our patients because experienced nurses are good nurses. For this to come about nurses need the ability to speak without fear of retaliation, they need to be compensated fairly and competitively, and they need to have a real voice in their own practice. Without these changes, the talent drain will continue and patients will suffer.
As I work on this I have come to realize that this effects not only Backus, it effects working men and women everywhere. We all desire and deserve the ability to make a living wage.
Getting from these beliefs to enactment is where politics comes in. The rich have money and the ability to influence elections, but workers have numbers. When workers stand together we can elect officials who believe as we do and we can become strong and effect change.
So, a small group of us have been meeting with politicians, labor leaders, and non profits. We have been making contacts with newspapers, bloggers, and radio. The word is getting out every day. People hear our story and become supporters, because ours is an easy cause to support.
We seek a hospital bases on the belief that patients come before profits.