Linda Hamilton: For nurses, this figh...

Linda Hamilton: For nurses, this fight isn't about money

There are 34 comments on the TwinCities.com story from May 16, 2010, titled Linda Hamilton: For nurses, this fight isn't about money. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

Everybody knows a nurse. And right now, more than 12,000 of us are in the fight of our lives with six different Twin Cities hospital systems.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

First Prev
of 2
Next Last
Soon_To_Be_Laid_ off

Minneapolis, MN

#1 May 16, 2010
Yeah. They care about the National Nurses Association so much they're going to put Minnesota through the wringer when there IS NO PROBLEM with patient safety in Minnesota. That number Hamilton quoted is a national figure and since Minnesota is among the top 3 states in the nation for patient safety - and has nurse-patient ratios that meet or exceed national benchmark, this argument is moot. But hey, let's put thousands of other people out of work, watch nurses leave their patients to pick up picket signs and applaud them for taking on a cause that isn't Minnesota's. Thanks a ton for caring nurses. I will really really enjoy the extra time off without pay because you followed your union blindly and turned your nose up at taking the medical benefits everyone else in the company has, told the company your rich pension wasn't rich enough (I don't have nearly what you have!). Oh, and let's not forget your wage increase. You already get 2 percent step increases automatically (which is the most I can get for the year), but let's demand another 4.5 percent. Because you deserve it since you're already making more than the rest of the country. Thanks a ton.
Soon_To_Be_Laid_ off

Minneapolis, MN

#2 May 16, 2010
PS> Loved your argument in the Strib about the salary...oh no, we don't make 79K a year since most of us are part-time. Wow, that's rich.
Liz

Isanti, MN

#3 May 17, 2010
In the movie "Sicko" there is a scene with the recording of Erlichman talking to Nixon about the HMO concept in 1973 .."you see...the less care they give, the more money they make.." The bill passed and the money started rolling in. Not much has changed in 37 years. Healthcare is still defined as "less care = more money". The nurses are not trained to give "less care", they want to give the care that saves lives, not money for corporations. When a nurse has too many patients you get less care. When a nurse has too many patients, hospitals make more money. This model has created mega fortunes for the industry, but has done nothing for the quality of care.
non-rn hospital staffer

Eden Prairie, MN

#4 May 17, 2010
What a bunch of nonsense! "In six weeks of bargaining, the hospitals have not responded to a single one of our staffing proposals." I'm not a hospital administrator, I am far below the notices of most nurses come to think of it - and I have to say that article is to full of - well we'll call it malarkey for the sake of being polite. The last contract negotiation that took place and my non-profit place of employment the "union negotiators" showed up over two hours late, refused federal mediation, and then allocated only 75 minutes total for negotiation. Yeah, that tells me they are solely focused on patients. Not about the money - ok - it's funny how the author compares the 60K the nursing staff makes, to CEO salaries. Wouldn't it be interesting to compare it to the salaries of other hospital workers who have similar education levels or even higher degress than some of them that aren't CEO's? I myself have a 4 year degree, something that I know for a fact a good portion of the nurses here don't have and they are making double what I do. Patient care is a very noble profession - and this "negotiation" is cheapening it to politics for a bigger bottom line. Greed comes with many faces - and the nurses "We Care" slogan is just another mask.
gompers

Saint Paul, MN

#5 May 17, 2010
Liz wrote:
In the movie "Sicko" there is a scene with the recording of Erlichman talking to Nixon about the HMO concept in 1973 .."you see...the less care they give, the more money they make.." The bill passed and the money started rolling in. Not much has changed in 37 years. Healthcare is still defined as "less care = more money". The nurses are not trained to give "less care", they want to give the care that saves lives, not money for corporations. When a nurse has too many patients you get less care. When a nurse has too many patients, hospitals make more money. This model has created mega fortunes for the industry, but has done nothing for the quality of care.
It,s called managed death.
gompers

Saint Paul, MN

#6 May 17, 2010
non-rn hospital staffer wrote:
What a bunch of nonsense! "In six weeks of bargaining, the hospitals have not responded to a single one of our staffing proposals." I'm not a hospital administrator, I am far below the notices of most nurses come to think of it - and I have to say that article is to full of - well we'll call it malarkey for the sake of being polite. The last contract negotiation that took place and my non-profit place of employment the "union negotiators" showed up over two hours late, refused federal mediation, and then allocated only 75 minutes total for negotiation. Yeah, that tells me they are solely focused on patients. Not about the money - ok - it's funny how the author compares the 60K the nursing staff makes, to CEO salaries. Wouldn't it be interesting to compare it to the salaries of other hospital workers who have similar education levels or even higher degress than some of them that aren't CEO's? I myself have a 4 year degree, something that I know for a fact a good portion of the nurses here don't have and they are making double what I do. Patient care is a very noble profession - and this "negotiation" is cheapening it to politics for a bigger bottom line. Greed comes with many faces - and the nurses "We Care" slogan is just another mask.
Two year RN's take the same state boards as a four year grad.
toejammed

Eden Prairie, MN

#7 May 17, 2010
I don't get why the hospitals don't compromise and do the staffing like the union wants for these next years and see what happens and not make any changes to salaries, or benefits, or pensions or anything. If it's really all about the patients wouldn't the union agree to that to see if it makes such a difference in patient care?
Mn at the front

Eden Prairie, MN

#8 May 17, 2010
20 states and the District of Columbia have mandatory reporting systems and five states are in the process of forming such systems. But only five of the 20 — Washington, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado and Indiana
Bob the Bilderberg

Minneapolis, MN

#9 May 17, 2010
When people say it's not about the money it's about the money.
Bob the Bilderberg

Minneapolis, MN

#10 May 17, 2010
This problem came about because the nurses are unionized.

If there was no union, nurses could choose to work at whatever hospital offered the best wages, benefits and working conditions and avoid those hospitals that offered the worst.

The hospitals would then have to compete with each other for nursing talent with the worst hospitals getting few takers, which leads to poor nursing service and fewer patient customers which would cause the hospital to either improve to match what others are doing or go out of business.

That's how free markets work when there's no unions gumming up the works.
toejammed

Eden Prairie, MN

#11 May 17, 2010
gompers wrote:
<quoted text>Two year RN's take the same state boards as a four year grad.
And I took the same driving test as the guy who took my husband to the airport today - so what?
lovemyjob

Minneapolis, MN

#13 May 17, 2010
When it's said "It's not about the money", here is the translation for those around here who can't figure it out on their own: It's not about RN WAGES.
Of course extra staffing costs money. Duh. The point is that the hospitals HAVE the money to spend. They are crying about the recession, yet they can still manage to rake in $700 million in profits? Throwing a few extra nurses on the units isn't going to break their bank, not even close. Every nurse I know has felt that sinking feeling in the pit of their stomach when they walk onto the unit and are overwhelmed with too many patients and too little time. More nurses = less complications in patients, increased safety, increased patient satisfaction. A little money invested in staffing on the front end ends up saving money on the back end, but some people are too short sighted to understand this.
Abby Buster

Dallas, TX

#14 May 17, 2010
Wow...some bitter people out there... Yeah, too bad we can't go back to before unions.. Humm.. we could work 7 days a week for poor wages and watch the CEOs live the good life... Hey I bet you'd like to go back to child labor too.... Unions are needed... I wish I lived in your bubble where the employer cares about the worker ... But I don't. I need the strength of the union to protect me from the greedy SOBs
Michelle RN

Maple Grove, MN

#15 May 17, 2010
Soon_To_Be_Laid_off wrote:
Yeah. They care about the National Nurses Association so much they're going to put Minnesota through the wringer when there IS NO PROBLEM with patient safety in Minnesota. That number Hamilton quoted is a national figure and since Minnesota is among the top 3 states in the nation for patient safety - and has nurse-patient ratios that meet or exceed national benchmark, this argument is moot. But hey, let's put thousands of other people out of work, watch nurses leave their patients to pick up picket signs and applaud them for taking on a cause that isn't Minnesota's. Thanks a ton for caring nurses. I will really really enjoy the extra time off without pay because you followed your union blindly and turned your nose up at taking the medical benefits everyone else in the company has, told the company your rich pension wasn't rich enough (I don't have nearly what you have!). Oh, and let's not forget your wage increase. You already get 2 percent step increases automatically (which is the most I can get for the year), but let's demand another 4.5 percent. Because you deserve it since you're already making more than the rest of the country. Thanks a ton.
Obviously you're not an RN and seem to be grossly misinformed. Our position has nothing to do with NNA directly and the staffing issue is nationwide. Minnesota is recognized as a leader in Healthcare as well as Nursing. We are not following our union blindly, we are our UNION! You are also misinformed about the wages. We don't get automatic increases at a set rate every year. We have to negotiate all of our benefits every time with contract negotiations every three years. And if you think we have it so good, perhaps you should consider going into nursing, then you will be able to speak correctly on the issues.
Abby Buster

Dallas, TX

#16 May 17, 2010
Well written Michelle!!
RN from HCMC

Minneapolis, MN

#17 May 17, 2010
As an RN working at HCMC, a hospital that is not currently in contract negotiations, I would like to say that I completely agree with Ms. Hamilton. I stand in solidarity with all the nurses in contract negotiations at this time. I can't agree more with her statements regarding safe staffing, which are supported by the research that she cites. A nurse is responsible for the well-being and safety of all the patients in his or her care. When you have too many patients to care for, the quality and safety of care is significantly diminished.

Please contact the chief executive officers of these fourteen local hospitals to express your own concerns regarding safe staffing for patients: Allina which includes Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis, United in St. Paul, Unity in Fridley, Mercy in Coon Rapids; Health East which includes St. Joseph’s in St. Paul and St. John’s in Maplewood; Fairview hospitals which includes Fairview-Southdale in Edina, Fairview Maple Grove, Fairview-Riverside and Fairview-University in Minneapolis; Park Nicollet Methodist in St. Louis Park, North Memorial Medical Center in Minneapolis, and Minneapolis Children's as well as St. Paul Children's.

Remember that the research that she cites is replicated research, thus increasing the validity of the research. There really is no way to dispute the facts regarding increased mortality of patients.

Please send an e-mail to your local representatives to express your concerns. These are hospitals throughout the entire metropolitan area and it is important to listen to nurses at these hospitals as they know the current staffing conditions in these facilities.
4thenurses

Minneapolis, MN

#18 May 17, 2010
Great article. Makes me proud to be an RN. Thanks, we need the strength to get through this.
RN from local hospital

Minneapolis, MN

#19 May 17, 2010
As an RN working at HCMC, a hospital that is not currently in contract negotiations, I would like to say that I completely agree with Ms. Hamilton. I stand in solidarity with all the nurses in contract negotiations at this time. I can't agree more with her statements regarding safe staffing, which are supported by the research that she cites. A nurse is responsible for the well-being and safety of all the patients in his or her care. When you have too many patients to care for, the quality and safety of care is significantly diminished.
Please contact the chief executive officers of these fourteen local hospitals to express your own concerns regarding safe staffing for patients: Allina which includes Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis, United in St. Paul, Unity in Fridley, Mercy in Coon Rapids; Health East which includes St. Joseph’s in St. Paul and St. John’s in Maplewood; Fairview hospitals which includes Fairview-Southdale in Edina, Fairview Maple Grove, Fairview-Riverside and Fairview-University in Minneapolis; Park Nicollet Methodist in St. Louis Park, North Memorial Medical Center in Minneapolis, and Minneapolis Children's as well as St. Paul Children's.
Remember that the research that she cites is replicated research, thus increasing the validity of the research. There really is no way to dispute the facts regarding increased mortality of patients.
Please contact your local representatives regarding safe staffing issues at these hospitals. We must listen to these registered nurses as they are aware of the current staffing conditions in these hospitals.
An Anxious Doc

Saint Michael, MN

#20 May 17, 2010
I'm a Hospitalist - a physician who takes care of patients in the hospital full time. Not going to lie - I'm very nervous about what's about to happen here. I can't do my job without nurses. They spend 8-12 hours per day in direct contact with my patients. They are my surrogate eyes and ears. They are Florence Nightengale and James Bond all wrapped into one. They comfort families, reassure patients that these terrifying and sometimes invasive things we're doing to them are for their best interests. They make my life easier and more importantly make any patient's stay in the hospital as comfortable, safe, and secure as any hospitalization could be. They are angels of mercy and heroes. I respect every last one of them. I've done job shadowing with Nurses at my hospital - I see what they have to metaphorically and sometimes literally "wade" through every day.

I don't know who is right or wrong in this debate. Perhaps increasing the staffing will lead to the financial collapse of every major health care delivery system in the Twin Cities. Perhaps asking nurses to accept staffing ratios of 4-6:1 will lead to the greatest peacetime single city body count since the Black Death? I don't know. What I do know is that I've taken an oath to care for my patients to the best of my abilities. I know that RN's have taken a similar oath. I am sure that our administrators who were at one time health care professionals didn't renounce their oath upon elevation to their current positions. All I know is that if this strike happens - my ability to care for my patients, the ability of my patients to get the care that they deserve and expect, the safety of all my patients and those of my colleagues, will be significantly affected.

I am asking my friends who are nurses, my friends who are administrators, and my colleagues and friends who are physicians - to find a way to come together and solve this issue once and for all so that this walkout is not necessary.

We need our best trained nurses in their roles to give the patients the care they need and deserve. We need to be financially viable in order to be in a physical position to provide that care. We need to be on the same page if our patients are to continue to get the best care from some of the best hospitals in the country. We need to make sure that the best interests of the patient are the only interest being considered and act accordingly.

I hope that this strike doesn't happen. If it does, I will support my friends and colleagues who are nurses as much as I can, but will be counting the minutes until it ends.
Bob the Bilderberg

Minneapolis, MN

#21 May 17, 2010
If anybody dies while you're walking a picket line it'll be on your conscience. If you have one.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 2
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Nicollet Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Ashley Lynn Throckstar E. Ridge Medical Center Jan 7 I c U 1
News This artist is famous, but his name is a secret Oct '16 chad hatten denver 1
News Officials detail case of LeSueur County deputy ... (Nov '09) Sep '16 Dickhead 61
Corey Sass Aug '16 Wondering 1
News Four new hotspots you want to know about, plus ... (Jul '15) Jul '15 space ace 1
News Depression program shows promise (Dec '08) Jan '14 Orelie 10
Election Who do you support for U.S. House in Minnesota ... (Oct '10) Jan '14 DutchQ 11

Nicollet Jobs

More from around the web

Personal Finance

Nicollet Mortgages