Thursday, April 11, 2013

Quincy Medical Center Nurses' Strike

Flickr photo by Tony Fischer Photography
Yesterday, I received a letter in the mail that presumably was sent to all Quincy residents.

It was from Quincy Medical Center regarding an upcoming nurses' strike. I read it kind of quickly and didn't think of it again until I saw this article about the nurses striking today.

I found it rather interesting that the hospital wanted to reach out to all Quincy residents in advance of the strike. However the language used was certainly not supportive of any the nurses' concerns.

Below is an excerpt from the letter with added links. You can read the letter in full here.
Recently, the National Nurses United/Massachusetts Nurses Association (NNU/MNA) made false claims about the quality of care at Quincy Medical Center and has taken the drastic measure of staging a one-day strike on April 11th. First and foremost, please know that we have a well-developed plan in place to ensure that patient care will be uninterrupted while the NNU/MNA stages its protest.
I certainly don't know all the facts about this situation, but I tend to think that most nurses have enough to do with work and their own lives than to strike for no reason. Also, I grew up in a union household. I definitely have a leaning towards the belief that generally  unions are trying to protect their workers from conditions beyond their control.

In a press release by NNU, they state that they are striking to "protest dangerous staffing conditions" and that this is "the first nurses' strike at a Greater Boston hospital in more than 25 years and it has been sanctioned by the most overwhelming nurses strike vote in Massachusetts history. "

The press release continues. "Staffing at Steward-Quincy Medical Center is at a bare-bones level, forcing nurses to care for too many patients at one time, which is compromising nurses’ ability to provide safe patient care. In fact, RNs have submitted more than 150 official written reports of unsafe staffing incidents to management in the last 14 months."

While I don't receive my health care at Quincy Medical Center, I have been there over the past couple of years with a friend who needed to go to the ER. I have to say that the wait was not long at all and everyone that we encountered was very good.

Hopefully the concerns of all parties involved will be addressed and resolved in the most fair way and as soon as possible.

*Updated 4/13/2013* I just saw a new article about the strike that really struck me. Apparently the bitterness between both sides is escalating unfortunately. Below is an excerpt from the article.
Nurses escalated the battle with a one-day strike on Thursday, a first for the long debt-ridden hospital. Nurses wore signs and shouted slogans about Steward putting profits before patients, with emphasis on what they call unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios.

Steward, backed by equity giant Cerberus Capital Management, swung back, volunteering how much top-scale nurses make an hour – $52 – and painting pictures of surplus nurses reading beside empty beds that patient volume doesn’t justify staffing.
I thought it was quite interesting that top nurse pay would be brought into the equation. While $52 an hour is certainly very good pay, most likely it's only the most senior and experienced nurses that are getting it. Also, I wonder if this might be overtime pay. I just don't know.

But it doesn't seem that unreasonable to me when I think about how much some CEOs and investment bankers are making. Who are the ones emptying bedpans and who are the ones getting million dollar bonuses? Just my two cents.....


Photo credit: Arlington National Cemetery Nurse's Monument

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Disclaimer: Nothing stated on Anali's First Amendment should be construed as legal advice. No attorney client relationships have been formed on this blog. © 2006-2016. Anali's First Amendment/Lisa C. Johnson. All rights reserved. Do not use writing or photographs without permission.