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Why patients need nurses unions

DCblogger's picture

Annie writes with some force that I have completely misinterpeted her post. Obviously I did not read carefully and posted in haste. My apologies.

Via the indispensable Avedon Carol:
It is what it is - It’s Slavery

How insightful then, to find deeply buried in the local Long Island page of the New York Times, at least one admission that this is how nursing is endured, and that employers and many in the “justice” (snort) system practiced outright slavery.

But in a strongly worded ruling, a state appeals court, the Appellate Division in Brooklyn, has barred District Attorney Thomas J. Spota from prosecuting the nurses. The court said that he joined with their employers in forcing them into “involuntary servitude” by using criminal sanction to require them to work against their will, thus violating the nurses’ constitutional rights under the 13th Amendment.

The Jan. 13 ruling also said the district attorney violated the First Amendment rights of the lawyer who advised the nurses by prosecuting him for conspiracy.

What I cannot figure out is why politicians can't work out that all the campaign dough in the world is not going to protect them from the effects of this when their time comes.

cannot find link to online edition

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Annie's picture
Submitted by Annie on

To use what I wrote to advocate for a union model governing nursing practice is dishonest. I wrote no such thing To the contrary, I provided evidence of how unions are not an adequate model by which to provide effective patient advocacy and assure patient safety by nurses.

The only framework for accomplishing this is to have ALL nurses - clinical, managerial, academic, research and consultant - to work as true colleagues in which they take and own full practice autonomy, authority, control and power over professional nursing. It is only then that nurses will not be used against themselves and their own interests and aims. It will only be then that managerial nurses will be accountable TO nurses and patients instead of to employers. It will only be then that academic and research nurses will routinely enjoy joint appointments so that bench to bedside research application is widely disseminated and embraced b clinical nurses.

I'm sick of people taking what I write and using it in a distorted and unethical fashion.

While you bleat on about patients needing nurses' unions, I actually advocated for nurses and patients as a managerial nurse, and I am homeless, destitute, defamed and blacklisted as a result. There is no NLRB protection, no union protection and certainly no clinical nurse support for me and those like me.

THAT'S what I'm writing about as a part of how professional nursing has failed. It's an important piece of the picture, and for you to refuse to acknowledge it and to use what I wrote to hurt me further is gross, but the norm.

How dare you!

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

I'm reading your post and I'm seeing the failure part, but I'm not seeing the failure of the union model part. What it looks like to me is the usual management practice of divide and conquer. What am I missing?

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

her anti-unionism.

Your claim that patients need nurses' unions isn't borne out in her writing, that I can find, lambert -- instead she appears to be giving an anti-union diatribe, albeit couched in excoriation of the two big nurses unions, as they're presently constituted, because those two unions don't actually help nurses advance in pay or benefits or work for better job conditions for their members.
I haven't researched the truth of those claims, but if those claims hold up under scrutiny, the solution looks to me like a massive activism in the ranks to change the leadership and remake the unions into actual useful unions. But that's just me.

Our for-profit health care system is a mess. Patient care is the worst symptom of the mess. "Nursing homes" or "extended care" facilities or "assisted living" environments, whatever you choose to call them, are just one aspect of the symptomology.

Home care nurses and aides for the elderly and/or infirm (my dad was "homebound" for the last 20 months of his life) are a far wiser and kinder way of helping our elderly and infirm than the dismal warehouses our society operates for profit; but so long as women are the foremost practitioners of nursing, as they are of teaching, the recognition of their contribution and professionalism will lag behind because it is so ingrained in our society to devalue "women's work" no matter what it is.