Archive for Friday, June 11, 2010

12,000 nurses launch 1-day walkout

June 11, 2010


— More than 12,000 nurses walked off the job Thursday for a one-day strike at 14 Minnesota hospitals, a show of force being watched by many across the country as a test of how fiercely a new national nurses’ union can flex its muscle.

Nurses say they are being asked to care for too many patients at a time, and strict ratios are necessary to protect patient safety. The hospitals, all in the Minneapolis area, counter that patients are safe and that the walkout is a headline-grabbing stunt to build membership and clout for the fledgling union.

About the same number of nurses had wanted a simultaneous strike in California over the same issues, but were blocked temporarily earlier this week by a San Francisco judge.

Labor experts say unlike other unions that might shy away from striking during a recession, nurses have certain job security because they are in demand and can’t be outsourced.


Jean1183 8 years ago

Tom, more info than what is in the LJW is needed to correctly assess this. Patient abandonment is subject to discipline (and possible loss of license) in the Nurse Practice Act.

If you check out the news in Minneapolis where the strike occurred, you will find that it was planned well in advance and replacement nurses were hired for the day. The nurses who "walked out" did so at the end of their shift or were not scheduled to work that day. Some of the hospitals postponed ELECTIVE procedures/surgeries.

Nursing employers (especially in this economy) ARE expecting nurses to deal with higher workloads (mine included) and this is way more dangerous to patients than the planned strike.

I would be happy to discuss it further with you in person as to how it pertains to the two places where you know me from.

wisenup21 8 years ago

perhaps,sir if everyone in this country were not so 'sue happy' hospitals would not be requiring nurses to care for more than 10 patients,inform them they must work overtime,and disregard their family and personal lives, all while paying just a bit more than a plumber(not to offend plumbers). Have you been a patient in a large hospital or a 'for profit' institution? They are assembly lines. There is little thought given to quality of care. Get the patient in and out. What if you needed something but your nurse had 8 plus patients, all wanting something too? When the nurse was able to get to you, did you snap and be curt or were you happy to wait your turn? Times are changing and the health care industry is no different. 'Sue them' is not the answer, perhaps walkouts are not either, but it did get your attention, no matter how negative.

dncinnanc 8 years ago

My mom was a nurse in the '80s and '90s. She did not join the union even though there was constant pressure from her peers to do so. When I asked her why, she explained that she took an oath to care for the sick, and did not think that people in the medical field should strike for purely ethical reasons. As she put it, there is a pool of people able to do labor, but nurses must be specifically educated, licensed, and trained- who will help the sick if the nurses are not there? On a side note, she did leave nursing in 1998 due to burnout and bitterness towards hospital politics; she also complained about most of the issues the Minnesota nurses cited for their walkout.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

Expanded and Improved Medicare for All

Would Provide Real Healthcare and Insurance Reform!

The United States spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on healthcare – $8160 per capita – yet performs poorly in comparison and leaves over 46 million people without health coverage and millions more inadequately covered.

Expanded and Improved Medicare for All is the solution.

  • Easy to Implement: Medicare has been in existence since 1966, it provides healthcare to those 65 and older, and satisfaction levels are high. The structure is already in place and can be easily expanded to cover everyone.

  • Simple: One entity – established by the government – would handle billing and payment at a cost significantly lower than private insurance companies. Private insurance companies spend about 31% of every healthcare dollar on administration. Medicare now spends about 3%.

  • Real Choice: An expanded and improved Medicare for All would provide personal choice of doctors and other healthcare providers. While financing would be public, providers would remain private. As with Medicare, you chose your doctor, your hospital, and other healthcare providers.

  • State and Local Tax Relief: Medicare for All would assume the costs of healthcare delivery, thus relieving the states and local governments of the cost of healthcare, including Medicaid, and as a result reduce State and local tax burdens.

  • Expanded coverage: Would cover all medically necessary healthcare services – no more rationing by private insurance companies. There would be no limits on coverage, no co-pays or deductibles, and services would include not only primary and specialized care but also prescription drugs, dental, vision, mental health services, and long-term care.

  • Everyone In, Nobody Out: Everyone would be eligible and covered. No longer would doctors ask what insurance you have before they treat you.

  • No More Overpriced Private Health Insurance: Medicare for All would eliminate the need for private health insurance companies who put profit before healthcare, unfairly limit choice, restrict who gets coverage, and force people into bankruptcy.

  • Lower Costs: Most people will pay significantly less for healthcare. Savings will be achieved in reduced administrative costs and in negotiated prices for prescription drugs.

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