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Healthcare Pulse

The healthcare industry has seen recent wins, losses, and expenses. In Pennsylvania, nurses at Penn Highlands DuBois turned down the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, while nurses for Shasta Regional in California voted 241-27 to join the California Nurses Association. In Riverside County California, the Board of Supervisors approved up to $7 million to hire replacement nurses, minus the $1.5 million already spent during the nurses strike there.

It Pays To Fight Back

The New York State Nurses Association threw in the towel in a recent attempt to organize 250 RNs at a New York hospital, even though they said they had the support of a “majority” of nurses. What caused them to turn tail? Apparently, hospital management decided to stand up for employee rights, distributing information about the realities of unions and union life and holding one-on-one meetings with the nurses.

As usual, the union cried “foul,” but St. Mary’s President and CEO Vic Giulianelli stated that the hospital simply “provided accurate, factual and verifiable information to enable our RNs to make an informed decision as to whether it is in their best interests to have NYSNA serve as their sole and exclusive representative.”

Is There A Nurse In The House?

The Nurses Association gave thanks this year by conducting their 7th strike in 19 months and pulling 3300 nurses and several hundred technicians from Sutter Hospitals off their normal job duties to strike and walk picket lines the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Bill Gleason, Sutter spokesman, says they offer competitive salaries and options for healthcare and that increasing the bottom line would hurt the corporation. The average full-time nurse earns $136,000 per year with an open CNA contract. Gleason added, “Most registered nurses have an option for 100 percent employer paid health benefits.”

Study Claims Nurses Strikes Kill Patients

A study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research claims in-hospital mortality jumps 19.4% during a nurses’ strike. According to the study, “Hospitals functioning during nurses’ strikes do so at a lower quality of patient care.” The study also shows no better outcome when hospitals hire replacement workers. While the authors of the study are pushing a different agenda, it is worth noting that hospitals were excluded from collective bargaining laws for three decades out of fear that nurses’ strikes would negatively impact patient care.