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Solidarity Forever October 15, 2005

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

It’s official: the nurses at the hospital where I am scheduled to deliver are on strike. My husband’s employer only offers one insurance plan, and they must have an exclusive deal with this hospital, because I am only covered if I deliver there.

The major issue for the nurses is staffing. They want enough nurses available so that 16-hour shifts are not necessary. The hospital says those kinds of shifts are only occasionally required and that “their staffing levels are safe and on par with other similar hospitals”. Tell that to the exhausted nurse who has been on her feet 14 hours already.

The hospital has brought in replacement nurses from a company called U.S. Nursing Corp. Basically these are nurses who see postings on the company website and go to whatever hospital needs them, to fill in for striking nurses. So they are professional “scabs”. I have a BIG problem with this. On the one hand I understand that these nurses are just making a living, supporting themselves and their families by taking available jobs, but isn’t it hard for them to constantly cross picket lines? They also get paid $40 an hour, compared to the $20/hr paid to entry-level RNs at this hospital. There is also a $500 completion bonus for nurses who commit to working EIGHT WEEKS.

I can only cross my fingers and hope that the strike is resolved soon. I’m scheduled to deliver on Nov. 28, a little more than 6 weeks from now. If I go into early labor I will obviously have to go to the hospital and cross the picket line, but I won’t be happy about it. At least not while we’re pulling into the parking lot past all the ladies (and a few men) I see on the news every night waving signs that ask why the CEO of the hospital gets a ONE MILLION DOLLAR bonus every year. I have been assured that the replacement nurses are well-trained and my care will not be compromised in any way. But still.

So how is everyone else? Good? Enjoying the beautiful fall weather? Or maybe shoveling snow if you’re Julie and/or live in Colorado? By tomorrow night BC should have finished the new baseboards for the nursery and I’ll have some pictures up. You’ll be impressed, I promise.



1. Nancy - October 15, 2005

I’ll be thinking of you and hoping you don’t have to cross the picket line.

Can’t wait to see the pictures of the nursery!

Not much up here — still haven’t updated my site today — hoping to get to it this afternoon.

2. mrsmogul - October 15, 2005

Hey six weeks ! I am also preggo. Good to see someone else experiencing the baby life!!!

3. Mother GooseMouse - October 15, 2005

I would be freaking out. Nurses are sadly underappreciated. I admire them with all my heart.

It was GORGEOUS here today! Short sleeve shirts and rosy cheeks from the sun. Surreal, isn’t it?

4. Once More - October 17, 2005

My sister is a nurse @ Mass General and she works 12 hr shifts. honestly I don’t know how she does THAT (and I bitch if I am at the office for 10 hrs on a 1 off day).
Your ins. will only cover at 1 hospital?? what the??
Good luck – hope the strike is over soon.
btw, what is that yellow orb in the sky? it looks vaguely familiar…and yet can’t place it.

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