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.

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nursedee

Minneapolis, MN

#22 May 17, 2010
Do you know me?
I have been called lazy, ungrateful, uncaring greedy, selfish, unfeeling, prideful,... the list goes on and it makes me physically sick. All by people who don't know me and have no idea what my thoughts or feeings are. So before you continue to spew your hateful and often uninformed remarks, I thought I should tell you a bit about me.I am a nurse at one of the hospitals currently in contact negotiations. I am very grateful to have a job; a job that I love and that pays well. I have been a loyal employee for 21 years. I love caring for people and making a difference in their lives. I have worked hard to get to where I am at and I continue to attend workshops and classes and get extra training to make sure I give the best possible care to my patients. Honestly, I am not a big fan of some of what the nurses union ( or most other unions) stand for in many areas. That being said, the MNA has worked hard to advance the nursing profession in Minnesota and fights for the rights of nurses and patients alike and I am in agreement with that. I do not want to stike, but I don't feel we have been given much choice. I am willing to do it to ensure that myself and my fellow nurses across the Twin Cities are able to safely care for patients with the skill, dignity, a respect and time they deserve and to ensure there is a future for my profession. If you still want to bash me and hate me, go ahead, you and your loved ones will still receive high quality, compassionate care from me because I am a nurse; it is not just what I do, that is who I am.
Jim

Duluth, MN

#23 May 18, 2010
Bob the Bilderberg wrote:
If anybody dies while you're walking a picket line it'll be on your conscience. If you have one.
Give me a break bob the builder, maybe you should growup
lovemyjob

Minneapolis, MN

#24 May 18, 2010
Bob, that would be terrible, but it isn't any more terrible when I've had patients die when I've been on duty but had too many patients to care for and couldn't be at the bedside long enough to properly assess my patient and catch those early signs that something was wrong. Either way, it's the administration that holds the power to prevent both of these scenarios from happening, they are the ones who are choosing to put nurses in this position.
future_patient

Minneapolis, MN

#25 May 18, 2010
Bob the Bilderberg wrote:
If anybody dies while you're walking a picket line it'll be on your conscience. If you have one.
Seriously, you don't think that increasing patient to nurse ratio is not going to cause more deaths? You don't think that everyday we work, we aren't afraid that one of our patients will die because we couldn't provide the quality of care they deserve d/t the fact that we are being called to 3-4 other patients at the same time? It's amazing how it's ok, until it's your own love one in that hospital bed!

One of the reason why Twin Cities Hospitals ranked high on patients safety is because we fight for it every 3 years for over the last 40+years! So, just because we provide excellent care here in the Twin Cities, we are doing too good of a job and must lower our standards to that of the national average? Is that what you truly want? The hospitals are not willing to negotiate, and would rather pay replacement nurses 2-3xs current pay. What is wrong with this picture?

It's not the question of wanting to strike, but having to strike. Yes, I'm afraid of a long strike and not making my mortgage payments, buying groceries, etc. However, I'm more afraid of what the future holds! This is about our patients and our future, because one day it will be me in that hospital bed and I would like to know that I will receive the quality of care we all deserve!
Janet Izzo

United States

#26 May 18, 2010
As I speak to nursing students across the country on the topic "Nurses Can Make the Difference," I stress Mother Theresa's admonition that "we cannot do great things...only small things with great love." That is exactly how nurses practice the profession...with great love!
In my book, "Hotel Hennepin" I relate story after story of what it is like to be practicing nursing in 2010. The social situations and difficulties we face on a daily basis tell it all: We Care For You... just as the thousands of yard signs in the communities proclaim!
Visit www.janetizzo.com to read "Hotel Hennepin" and experience what nurses face every day...

“REUNITE GONDWANALAND!”

Since: Jun 08

Woodbury

#27 May 18, 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.
one of the problems we are trying to address is that the hospitals are demanding that we take on ever larger patient assignments, without regard to patient acuity. They are trying to increase the number of patients we care for, without regard to how sick or complicated each patient may be, and the nurse:patient ratios the hospitals are proposing are not safe. Yes, care in Minnesota is excellent, but, the hospitals should be striving to make the care here even better; instead, they are making demands that will lower the quality of health care here in Minnesota.
kemanai

Minneapolis, MN

#28 May 18, 2010
I saw a recent survey that showed the public trusts nurses above all other professions. So, you nay-sayers are in the minority.

I know for a FACT that other states will take a Minnesota nurse in a heart beat - I was practically hired over the phone once. Let's keep our quality nurses here in the Twin cities and not drive our nurses to other states who will GLADLY take them!
Union RN

Minneapolis, MN

#29 May 21, 2010
toejammed wrote:
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?
That was proposed. The answer from the hospitals "NO, and we will not even consider your staffing proposals."
Union RN

Minneapolis, MN

#30 May 21, 2010
Darwinian wrote:
<quoted text>
one of the problems we are trying to address is that the hospitals are demanding that we take on ever larger patient assignments, without regard to patient acuity. They are trying to increase the number of patients we care for, without regard to how sick or complicated each patient may be, and the nurse:patient ratios the hospitals are proposing are not safe. Yes, care in Minnesota is excellent, but, the hospitals should be striving to make the care here even better; instead, they are making demands that will lower the quality of health care here in Minnesota.
And the care is what it is BECAUSE of the contract we have!
Union RN

Minneapolis, MN

#31 May 21, 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.
Were you there when the Children's hospital administrators failed to even show up for one of their scheduled bargaining sessions, that was to be held ACROSS A PARKING LOT from their offices? When confronted by the negotiating team, that had to track them down after being made to wait, they said they were "too busy" to meet that day. At the Allina sessions, nurses were told that their stories of unsafe staffing were too boring to be heard, and other days the administrators were to concerned about their 4 hour lunch break than speaking with the negotiating team! These are not behaviors of negotiating fairly. FYI- I have 2 bachelor degrees from a local private college. Yes- one of them is nursing, but I made more as a CNA while in nursing school than I did working in my other field. So if you have a problem with what I make compared to you, maybe you just made the wrong choices.
Bob the Bilderberg

Minneapolis, MN

#32 May 22, 2010
Bottom line, anybody who has to depend on a union for employment is no "professional."
MNARN

Saint Paul, MN

#33 Jun 11, 2010
toejammed wrote:
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?
Absolutely! That is all nurses really want out of these negotiations. We even proposed at the beginning of negotiations to ratify the same contract in terms of pension, wages, and benefits that is currently in place for another 3 years, but hospitals refused. They proposed outrageous concessions, so we were forced to propose things that were a little outrageous with the intention to be meeting in the middle, but hospitals will not budge! I am MORE than willing to forego wage, pension, and benefit increases, and this is true of the vast majority of nurses that went on strike yesterday. What we refuse to compromise on is patient care. We want our patients to be safe, and let me assure you, patient safety is still an issue right here in MN.
Bobs an Idiot

Cottage Grove, MN

#34 Jun 11, 2010
Bob the Bilderberg wrote:
If anybody dies while you're walking a picket line it'll be on your conscience. If you have one.
***** U
U shouldnt have got sick.
next time plan ahead.
Hack Jah

Minneapolis, MN

#35 Jun 11, 2010
Favor from the nurses? Could you tone down the party like atmosphere - you have coworkers worried about their job because of this situation.

Every video I've seen displays the laughing smiles at the press conference, sign making events and the actual strike day makes it look all fun and games. Just saying - You might get a little more support out there.

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