Thousands of Minnesota Nurses Strike at 14 Hospitals

Has Obamacare already started affecting hospitals and their workers? This is happening in Minnesota so will it spread across America. What is your take on this issue?  I say our health care system is in trouble and will get worst the more Obamacare takes over. 

More than 12,000 nurses went on strike at 14 hospitals Thursday, primarily to demand increased staffing they say is needed to improve patient safety. The hospitals responded by bringing in extra non-union staff, hiring 2,800 replacement nurses and reducing patient counts.

The union wants to write rigid staffing levels into their contracts, reduce the hospitals’ ability to “float” nurses from department to department and order hospitals to shut down units, with some exceptions, at 90 percent capacity in the name of patient safety. They also are resisting a proposal to reduce their pensions.

The hospitals claim the union’s staffing proposals would increase costs by $250 million a year without improving safety. The hospitals also say that even with their proposed pension cuts, a nurse with 25 years of experience would receive $3,000 a month at retirement.

Full-time nurses at the Minnesota hospitals are paid an average of $79,000 a year, or about $10,000 more than the national average. However, most nurses work part-time and when they are figured in the average Minnesota nurse makes about $62,000 a year, or $38 an hour. READ MORE AT SOURCE

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3 comments on “Thousands of Minnesota Nurses Strike at 14 Hospitals

  1. I am a retired, disabled RN, i can fully understand the situation these nurses face on a daily basis.
    In the past i had to care for up to 60 patients with only 2 Aides, the work and hours were long, the compensation very small. We worked because it was more like a calling in our lives. Most of my friends were Christians, and so the Church encouraged us to become nurses as part of the order of things.
    This was with pay levels of $1.25 hourly, many of us now only recieve $1200 monthly from Social Security if we are lucky. As we look back over those years, we would do it all over again.
    We were not allowed to strike in those days as it would have been grounds for dismisal.
    Many of us now suffer in silence, and is a part of the forgotten, and discarded nurses.
    We were abused, misused, degraded, but we kept on for the good of the patients.
    Nursing is a good profession but paperwork, documentation, and many other factors impede the delivery of good care to the patients. This is not only a problem in the US I worked as a travelling nurse in 8 countries, and saw the same patterns, lack of supplies etc.
    I forsee a major crisis in America with the increase in the patient population, nurses retiring, and not enough young people entering nursing school to fill the positions. Nurses from other countries may have to fill in the gap. Things have not changed really the same thing happened in the 1970s and before that time.
    These nurses have to be aware that under a Government run system, the salary scale will never be the same as private funded hospitals. I also worked and trained in the UK, and worked in the Carribean.
    The Unions may not be in place also as in those system of care, the Government dictates the salary for all workers, and they would not be able to have any bargining rights. $38 per hour may not be a lot to many, but to those of us who were paid less than minimum wage after years of training, heavy duty work, and having to keep on going to school for more degrees, and education, it is a lot.
    Hopefully things will get better in the future.

  2. Thanks Cele for your comment! With Obamacare you’re going to see many more non-paying patients and lower wages for nurses and doctors. I have heard doctors say that they will quit and close down when Obamacare takes full control of the healthcare system. Instead of Obamacare we should of work to lower prices on bandaids, exrays and room prices. I have a feeling that there will be more nurses and doctors walking off the job for the lack of personnel, wages and benefits. http://goodtimepolitics.com/2010/06/08/more-than-million-people-could-be-stripped-of-their-health-insurance-coverage-come-september/ There already is one insuance company going out of business because of Obamacare. http://goodtimepolitics.com/2010/06/08/obamacare-force-first-insurance-company-to-terminate-all-business-by-dec-31/ The future does not look good unless the Obamacare is not funded and threw into file 13!

  3. Goodtimepolitics,
    Thanks for your comments.
    I forgot to mention the major problems in the Nursing Homes and some of the neglet i saw first hand.
    Right here in America, i saw rats as big as cats eating the patients food, roaches etc.
    i worked in Jamaica, West Indies and as a nurse you have to know how to suture wounds, fix fractures, deliver babies, and go beyond the scope of nursing practice. There is always a shortage of supplies, and many times there are 2 women in 1 bed in the maternity ward. The pay is small and you are paid monthly, and have to survive the best way you know how. Many families there keep their loved ones at home, it is safer, and less traumatic, and they can look after their loved ones in a more humane way.
    Many times in Jamiaca, the family cook meals and take to their loved ones in the hospital/ home.
    As a missionary nurse we also washed the clothes and volunteer to help at the hospitals and homes.
    I had to care for patients with maggots in wounds, and not enough antiseptic, pain medication etc.
    I also worked in the US Virgin Islands and saw first hand some of the shortages even of wash clothes, soap, and general supplies. There was always a shortage of nursing persons including Aides.
    i also had training in the UK, so i know first hand about Socialized medicine, the main plus back in the 1960s was the Matron and Ward Sisters were the ones the Doctors rely on to ensure that the patients were well cared for. We had to give a report on all the 60-100 patients on these open WARDS, with only a screen for privacy. We were the dietitian and pharmacist, food was cooked in the kitchen, and we have to share it based on the patient’s diet. The main pharmacy brought up the medications liquid, and pills also the control substances. We had to know how much of each kind to give, and give a written report of the Narcotics.
    We also had to sterelize the instruments used on the patients on the floor, and in the Operating rooms.
    We also had to train in Psychaitry, infection control, schools, water works, public health, and how to handle natural disasters in addition to working and training in all other aspect of nursing disipline.
    We also had to keep the beds, and floor clean, dust, and mop etc.
    This was a part of nursing in those days.
    There were no BED SORES or the responsible parties had to resign their position, and the head nurse who is the Ward sister had to step down. I dont know about the system in these days and how it is now.
    I have see it all, and could write many books on Health Care.
    Hopefully, the US system will never reach to these levels

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