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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:31 PM
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Resurrection Health Care Workers Rally for Voice to Provide Better Care

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Resurrection Health Care Workers Rally for Voice to Provide Better Care

Kelly Beringer is proud of the work she does as a labor and delivery nurse, helping to bring new life into the world. But more and more, Beringer says, she feels exhausted and demoralized at the end of her shift at Resurrection Health Cares (RHCs) West Suburban hospital near Chicago.

I spend the day running from one patient to another, answering phones, doing charts, consulting with docs, coordinating lab tests, starting IVs and prayingpraying that all of our patients have a quick and safe delivery. But what if they dont?

When we talk to management about improving staffing, we are always told we cannot staff for the what ifs. But the what ifs are our patientsliving, breathing human beings.

Beringer is one of more than 8,000 workers at RHC facilities who are fighting to win a voice at work with AFSCME Council 31. Management has launched a vicious anti-union campaign. The workers claim during their drive to form a union, Resurrection has fired several employees for backing the union.

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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 04:14 PM
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1. That is why I QUIT and I'll never go back
I could have kept working with the pain, I'd certainly done it all my life. What I couldn't stand was crawling out at the end of a shift, wondering if my license was on the line, feeling I'd cheated my patients out of the care I should have been providing because management had cut staffing to dangerous levels there were too many people to care for.

If my back healed tomorrow and my eyesight were suddenly perfect, I would still not go back. It isn't about the money, folks, it's about the JOB, and working conditions in healthcare are the worst in this country.

The nursing shortage could be solved tomorrow if they addressed working conditions. Half the RNs in this country no longer work in the field because of the working conditions.

Think about it. After all, we're all going to get sick, we're all going to have family members get sick. This is your fight, too.
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 04:17 PM
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2. I I had a nickle....
for every time hospital Nurses tried to unionize and management fired some folks ...well, I wouldn't have to work as a Nurse. To the non Nurses on this BB, Nurses will strike for better staffing and better care before they strike for money. If we were motivated by money, we would not have gone into Nursing. Read 'Confessions of a Union Buster. This guy outlines all the dirty tactics that management does. Heck the even have professional Nurse Union busting companies that specialize in providing scab labour. They will spend millions upon millions to break one Nurses strike before they would spend 2 mill to hire and pay staff to improve patient care. They buy strike insurance I think. They have no interest in real health care.
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:46 PM
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3. The Kentucky River decisions could take away ALL nurses rights to a union

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Organizing & Bargaining

Aug 9

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Nurses to NLRB: Were Not Supervisors

In Chicago, nurses took to the streets yesterdayliterally sitting down in the middle of a busy intersectionto highlight an issue that centers on an obscure government agency with the power to take away the freedom from millions of workers to form unions.

That agency, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), although little-known to the public, interprets the nations mire of labor laws.

The NLRB now is deciding a series of cases in which the majority-Republican board could rule that nurses, as well as many other workers, are supervisors, a classification that legally would bar them from joining unions and being represented on the job. In fact, in one fell swoop, the NLRB could ban 8 million workers from joining unions.

The American Hospital Association (AHA), the umbrella group for the nations hospitals, has urged the NLRB to consider charge nurses as supervisors. At yesterdays protest, which included the California Nurses Association (CNA), nurses rallied at the AHA building. CNA is the parent organization for the National Nurses Organizing Committee, which represents nurses in Cook County, Ill.

RNs Working Together, a coalition of unions that includes AFT Healthcare, the United America Nurses (UAN) and Steelworkers, said in a statement:

Nurses will not stand by and allow their union rights go up in smoke. It is imperative that hospitals and the NLRB acknowledge the importance of nurses as patient advocates and continue to recognize their right to union protection. Nurses cant truly speak up for their patients if they fear jeopardizing their jobs, which is why they need a union behind them.

In July, nurses, media workers, construction workers, miners and other workers held rallies nationwide to demand the NLRB protect workers rights and not expand the definition of supervisor in what is collectively known as the Kentucky River cases.

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Aug 10

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AFSCME Launches New Political, Health Care, Organizing Initiative

Faced with what AFSCME President Gerald McEntee says is a newfound audacity from anti-union business leaders and the politicians they bankroll who have become shameless in their attacks on working people, delegates to the public employee unions convention yesterday approved a sweeping plan to fight back.

The 3,500 AFSCME delegates at the 1.4 million-member unions Chicago convention overwhelming said yes to a new political action and organizing plan called the 21st Century Initiative.

Key elements of the initiative include:

* Creating a 40,000-member army of volunteers to register 90 percent of AFSCME members to vote and turn out on Election Day and signing up 25 percent of the unions members to each give $100 or more annually to the unions PEOPLE political action committee.
* Launching a new national legislative campaign to comprehensively reform the U.S. health care system and make affordable care universal.
* Funding new organizing drives to help more working people join the union and in turn increase power at the bargaining table, at the ballot box and in the corridors of government. The plan commits AFSCME organizers to win representation rights for 70,000 new workers per year.
* Opening a Leadership Institute to train union leaders and activists at every level. The institute will show AFSCME members how to use field skills and online tools to fight for fair contracts, elect pro-worker politicians and beat back efforts to privatize public jobs.

Says McEntee:

In the last six yearsour wages are stagnant. Our jobs are being privatized. Our health costs are ballooning. Our pensions are disappearing. Our contracts are getting tougher to negotiate. Our middle class is shrinking. Even our basic rights to join a union and bargain collectively are now being taken away.

AFSCME members took an enormous step in fighting back against the forces aligned against working people. The 21st Century Initiative is how our union will become stronger and hold politicians accountable for this unmitigated assault on our economic security and basic workplace rights.

AFSCME-United Nurses of America is over 60,000 nurses working in unity to advance quality and accountability in the healthcare setting through organizing, political action and nursing practice. Together, United Nurses of America members across the country are winning wage, benefit and other improvements such as prohibitions on mandatory overtime through strong collective bargaining agreements with our employers and advocating for legislation and policies to increase health care funding, improve quality care, and institute safer working conditions and protections for nurses. Across the country, we are reaching out to other nurses who want to join AFSCME-UNA. As our numbers grow, so does our power to improve our jobs, the care we deliver and the quality of our lives.

Yes I'm a steward and AFSCME proud!

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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I followed the Kentucky case...
the NLRB has voted down Labour more than they have supported and the Kentucky case was really bad. The SCOTUS hasn't been friendly either. What this has done is prevented Nurses from speaking out on the deteriorating conditions in Health Care. Nurses don't have expensive legal representation or deep pockets. Many of us dislike strikes because it harms our patients (at one strike in Ca-a pedi nurse left the picket line to care for a critically ill child she was familiar with-all with the other picketers blessings).
How we practice Nursing is no longer in our hands-it is the domain of bean counters and CEO's that prefer to redecorate their offices and give themselves 25% per year raises, while giving the Nurses a 2% but lessen their benefits and retirement, forcing them to take more patients than can be safely handled while making them take on ancillary staff duties, and shorting them on the supplies to do the job.
This is why we lose so many new Nurses. We are lucky if 1/4 of the new Nurses make it to their 5th year graduation anniversary date.
I am a building steward and a proud member of the Texas Federation of Teachers (where School Nurses are welcomed AND supported).
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