Any good free marketeer can tell you how to make sure your job is well paid:
Make it a service that’s very much in demand, and one that not many people want to do, or are qualified to do.
Anyone with the slightest grasp of demographics has been telling us all the following for 50 years:
As soon as baby boomers get old enough to start shuffling away from this mortal coil (like, right about now), health care of all kinds will be very much in demand.
So, a lynchpin of the healthcare system; the person who stands by your bedside, keeping you alive and reasonably comfortable, who has to go through some difficult and expensive training, (continuously to keep the license renewed), who does a messy, sometimes dangerous job, who sometimes has you quite literally by the short & curlies, but can get sued if anything goes wrong, ought to be sitting pretty when it comes to demanding good compensation, right?
Well, not always…
Management at St. Joseph’s hospital in Orange decided recently that their employees don’t need the accrual of time off or retirement benefits that they were promised when they were hired.
Not in ALL St. Joseph’s hospitals, mind you, only the ones that are non-union.
500 employees signed a petition against these cuts, and a delegation of nurses went to the office of St. Jo’s CEO Steve Moreau to present it yesterday. What do you think happened? What always happens: He “wasn’t in”.
No sweat. It’s not like you want the person your patients’ lives depend on to be HAPPY with the job or anything. Not like you want to keep experienced nurses. They can all go to the union hospitals, where the best benefits are.
This follows a recent series of staffing cuts. Demand for healthcare services hasn’t been increasing or anything, dontcha know.
Expecting exactly what happened; that no one in management would want to talk to them, the nurses were greeted outside by an already-assembled group for a short rally. It included nurses from hospitals that are organized, reps from the teamsters and a teachers’ union, and a priest (just in case anyone forgets what the Church says about the right to organize).
We await the usual press release from St. Jo’s blaming it all on union organizers making people unhappy when they were just fine before. (The signatures were all gathered by nurses who worked there.)
There IS an organizing drive going on, for the nurses to join CNA (attempted two or three times in recent years). We expect the usual response to this also: Paid, mandatory meetings for employees to be intensively brainwashed against unions. We’ll see how that goes this time.