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Letter: Nursing union

This letter supports the viewpoint expressed by Alison Childs, RN, in her recent My Turn column. Since last October, I have wanted to send a letter in support of BFMC management but have held back due to concern for my colleagues who fully believe there is a need for unionization and also fear of anger from my colleagues.

The decision to strike in October was the impetus for me to take a stand. I was scheduled to work on the day of the strike. Morally I could not join them on the picket line. Because of this, I submitted a letter to all the nursing units informing them that I would not be joining them in the strike and my reasons behind this decision.

Originally, I was a non-bargaining union member. But when the strike was proposed, I changed my status to a full member. The reason for this decision was to be able to vote against the proposed strike, not because I changed my viewpoint in regards to unionization.

Since being hired in November of 2005, I have loved being employed by BFMC. There has always been an atmosphere of teamwork and caring amongst the staff. This union campaign has been very stressful on the hospital and its employees and has impacted negatively on our morale.

Multiple road side signs indicating that BFMC does not respect its nurses are not true. Many of us feel respected and resent the implication. Certainly we are all treated respectfully and feel valued by the administration at BFMC.

In closing, I want to emphasize that the request for nurses to sacrifice overtime pay for less than 40 hours is not unreasonable. According to the MNA, this is not “the standard practice of the surrounding hospitals.” In spite of this, I know there are hospitals in Massachusetts that do follow this practice and only pay overtime after 40 hours. Given the unstable health care environment and unstable global economy, each person is going to have to make sacrifices. I strongly encourage my fellow nurses to reach an agreement.



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