Nurse union exploits Ebola crisis in negotiations

Nurse union exploits Ebola crisis in negotiations

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Seizing on the growing concern about the deadly West African virus, the California Nurses Association, one of the state’s most powerful unions, has added several Ebola-related provisions to its list of demands in its ongoing dispute with Kaiser Permanente. The two sides have been at an impasse for months over a new four-year contract for nurses at Kaiser’s Northern California hospitals.

In addition to more training about the Ebola virus and full-body hazardous material suits, the union wants hospitals to carry an extra life insurance policy that would make a cash payout for any Ebola-related death or injury.

“We are asking in our contract negotiations for an extra insurance policy,” Diane McClure, a Kaiser Permanent nurse, told KQED. “We’d like to have an extra supplemental coverage, specifically for Ebola, if we were to contract Ebola while we’re at work.”

The nurses say their new contract demands are merely a matter of health and safety.

“They went in with full Hazmats,” McClure said, explaining why the union was seeking access to the expensive equipment. “We want the same high standard for health care workers that are directly dealing with patients who are very ill.”

California Nurses Association blocked surgical masks mandate

The union accused the hospitals of spreading lies about Ebola.

“We’ve been lied to in terms of the preparation in the hospitals,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the CNA, at an Ebola-related union rally this week.

The same could be said about the nurses union.

The union that’s now demanding full Haz-Mat suits just two years ago rejected a requirement that nurses wear surgical masks. Back in 2012, the CNA blocked common-sense legislation that would have decreased the spread of the flu in hospitals.

Senate Bill 1318, authored by Senator Lois Wolk, D-Davis, would have required employees in health clinics and hospitals “to either annually receive an influenza vaccination or, as an alternative to the annual influenza vaccination, wear a clinic-provided surgical or procedural mask.”

“These individuals regularly come in contact with health care personnel, and are at higher risk of flu complications and death,” Wolk said in a press release about her bill. “My legislation is an essential step toward preventing unnecessary deaths. The goal of SB1318 is to decrease deaths from influenza and make California hospitals and health care facilities safer places for patients and workers.”

You’d think workers in the health industry, who have a greater risk of infection, would understand the benefits of vaccinations and see the deadly effects of the flu and would be motivated to get a flu shot. However, based on data from the California Department of Public Health and a report by California HealthLine, four out of every 10 hospital workers were not vaccinated during the 2010-11 flu season.

“As a doctor of internal medicine, I would like nothing better than to tell this medical assistant to get a flu shot or stay away, but I have no such authority. Nor does my healthcare organization, which employs this medical assistant,” wrote Dr. Charity Thoman, an internal medicine physician in Southern California, in a piece at Zocalo Public Square.

Nurses worried about Ebola, but not flu

Organized labor came out in full force to stop the bill.

The CNA, the AFL-CIO, the California Labor Federation, Laborers’ Locals 777 and 792, the Service Employees International Union and the United Nurses Associations of California lobbied lawmakers that the surgical mask requirement was harmful to workers who, according to the legislative analysis, “should not be forced to wear the ‘Scarlett Letter’ of a mask just because they’ve chosen not to get a flu shot.”

Eventually, the bill was amended to remove the surgical-mask requirement. The watered-down version of the bill simply mandated that clinics and health facilities have a 90 percent or higher vaccination rate. That mandate — with no enforcement — was eventually vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

“Health care workers are protected by union contracts, and unless the state of California overrides a given provision, the contract determines what employers can demand,” explained Dr. Thoman. “As things stand, if you want a healthy nurse, you have to keep your fingers crossed.”

Public health threat: Flu vs. Ebola

From a public health perspective, the flu is a greater threat to public safety than the Ebola virus. In 2010, 53,826 people died from influenza, making it the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control. By comparison, the global death toll from the 2014 Ebola outbreak stands at 4,500 people — with just a single death in the United States.

The flu, which doesn’t get the same headlines as Ebola, isn’t a concern for the nurses union.

On Ebola: “We’re scared because as nurses we are the front line people to first come in contact with these types of patients,” Carol Kisner, a Sacramento nurse representing the CNA, told News 10 this week.

On the flu: The CNA told Fox 11 News earlier this year the nurses “strongly encourage voluntary vaccinations, but oppose forced vaccinations or the scarlet-letter type wearing of masks under threat of job loss or other discipline.”

30 comments

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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 17 October, 2014, 17:14

    If I were an ICU nurse and assigned to care for late stage ebola patient I would demand a full hazmat suit w/ respirator. And I would settle for nothing less. We’re learning more and more that the experts and the gov know less and less about the ebola disease. This union should contact POTUS Obola and demand that he freeze all flights to the USA originating in West African nations or any other nation that is experiencing an ebola outbreak. PLUS, they should demand Obola put 50,000 troops on the border to seal it. All it would take is 10 self-infected ebola contagious terrorists to sneak into the country and start spreading to us. It would multiply exponentially and it would ruin our economy. Would you leave you home if it became an epidemic? I think the hospital should provide an insurance policy for it’s nurses in the event they catch ANY ILLNESS and, as a result, sucuumb to the disease or sustain injury while following all prescribed safety protocols. It is the hospital’s responsibility to protect their employees. I understand why nurses would have more fear of ebola than the flu. If you catch the flu you’re out of commission for a week or 2. You catch ebola and there’s a 50% chance you’re going to die. Which one would you fear more? I don’t think anybody should be FORCED to vaccinate for anything. But if they catch a god-awful disease that could have been prevented with a vaccine – they are on their own. The hospital should not be held responsible. I don’t think parents should be required to get their kids vaccinated either. There is evidence that certain vaccines could cause autism. The reason we have these comeback diseases that we cured decades ago is because we are not enforcing our immigration laws. Now there is evidence that the Enterovirus 68 was brought to the country by the illegal kids from Central America. SEAL THE DAMN BORDER!!!

    Reply this comment
    • T Mind of Ted Your God
      T Mind of Ted Your God 17 October, 2014, 18:07

      LOL NOW it’s Dr. Little Boy Collapso?

      Collapso— your post is typical of the goofy right wing whacked out panic about this bad disease— grow up little buddy….

      Oh— And I guess you still find it funny to refer to our president using a pan= African disease word play?

      Are you 12?

      Reply this comment
    • T Mind of Ted Your God
      T Mind of Ted Your God 17 October, 2014, 19:51

      In regards to Ebola–Dr Collapso wrote–

      “I don’t think anybody should be FORCED to vaccinate for anything. But if they catch a god-awful disease that could have been prevented with a vaccine – they are on their own.”

      LOL News Flash Doc! There is no vaccine!

      Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 17 October, 2014, 21:39

        “LOL News Flash Doc! There is no vaccine!”

        Read the article. There is a vaccine for the flu, dummy. 🙂

        Reply this comment
        • Jerry
          Jerry 18 October, 2014, 09:18

          LetitCollapse; You’re mistaken, he’s not a dummy, he’s a full fledged Moron!

          Reply this comment
          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 18 October, 2014, 21:07

            I stand corrected, Jerry. Thanks! 😉

  2. T Mind of Ted Your God
    T Mind of Ted Your God 17 October, 2014, 18:20

    LOL so little boy– it’s Obola when you refer to the President of the US and Ebola when you refer to the disease? What a clever little boy you are to figure out such a brilliant and I guess, funny or ironic word play to you?

    Wait……I hear your Mom calling…..

    Reply this comment
  3. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 17 October, 2014, 18:34

    tedtard, you sure you ain’t in the same blood line as Miss Cleo with your psychic mind reading ability? lol. You should be on Obola’s cabinet. You could be the ESP or abracadabra czar. lol. With you Obola wouldn’t even need NSA. Why illegally monitor phone calls or read emails when you could just read everybody’s mind! 😀

    Reply this comment
  4. T Mind of Ted Your God
    T Mind of Ted Your God 17 October, 2014, 19:00

    LOL Little Boy C.,

    Mind reading or other childish fantasies you have are not required when I see you calling the President “Obola” and this sad disease Ebola!

    That’s all anyone needs—- it shows that you know the difference and are trying as hard as your 12 year old brain can to construct a play on words to promote your often hate filled and preteen rhetoric.

    LOL Carry On!
    Post NOW!!!

    Reply this comment
  5. T Mind of Ted Your God
    T Mind of Ted Your God 17 October, 2014, 19:02

    Oh— and you told us that you use “tard” from “Mustard” not “Retard”?

    LOL man up little boy and admit you were caught!

    IF you have the guts……..

    Reply this comment
  6. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 17 October, 2014, 20:22

    “Retard”? That simply indicates to me where your mind is. Namely, in the gutter. Clean it up.

    I think Obola is a very dangerous president. Just like ebola is a very dangerous disease. They have commonalities. Obola has caused severe damage to the nation in the last 6.9 years. He has eroded trust in the political system with his egregious and preposterous lies. Liberals are beginning to understand what fools they’ve been for supporting Obola. 39% approval rating. Even NTHEOC has figured him out. You appear to be a slow learner. But then, I’ve suspected that for years. 😀

    Reply this comment
    • T Mind of Ted Your God
      T Mind of Ted Your God 17 October, 2014, 21:18

      So when you refer to me as Ted Tard, as you did in the above post, what does “tard” derive from?

      Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 17 October, 2014, 21:37

        It’s seems that there are huge lapses in your short-term memory. I suggest that you don’t wait for your annual. Get it checked out ASAP. Time matters. Keep us updated.

        Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 17 October, 2014, 20:35

    Time out…….Calypso your grounded…..Teddy your turn.

    Reply this comment
  8. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 17 October, 2014, 20:41

    I just read that one of the lab techs who handled specimens from the ebola patient in Dallas (who died) was on a cruiseliner to Mexico. Somehow the mexican government found out that he was on board. Although the man is not ill nor does he show any symptoms of ebola – the mexican government would not give clearance for the ship to dock at the Cozumel port! lol. The ship had to turn around and return to the Galveston port in Texas because the mexicans refused to let it dock!!!
    Think of the arrogance and hubris of these swine. Mexico provides safe transit for TENS OF THOUSANDS of illegal kids from Central America to enter the USA and spread their enterovirus 68 to our children. A few American children actually died from the infection caused by enterovirus 68. Yet Mexico refused a ship with HUNDREDS OF PASSENGERS to dock because one passenger WHO WAS QUARANTINED ON THE SHIP worked at the hospital that treated the ebola patient in Dallas!!! How many vacations were RUINED here??
    America needs to SEAL THE BORDER tight as a drum and cut off ALL FOREIGN AID to Mexico forthwith. I am generally opposed to the US invading other nations. However, if Obola ordered US troops to invade Mexico and seize their oil fields and force regime change in Mexico City – I WOULD BE ALL IN!! Mexico is no friend. They are opportunists who take advantage of American stupidity!!! 🙁

    Reply this comment
  9. T Mind of Ted Your God
    T Mind of Ted Your God 17 October, 2014, 21:19

    Poor Collapso! It’s just sad.

    Reply this comment
  10. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 18 October, 2014, 13:03

    Who wanted him back…..what have I done opening the Dracula box!!!’

    Reply this comment
  11. T Mind of Ted Your God
    T Mind of Ted Your God 18 October, 2014, 15:07

    I don’t personally attack you little guy UNTIL you’ve called ME names, which you’ve done dozens of times. What I HAVE done is to critique your thoughtless hateful posts. You need a thicker skin– or maybe just post civilly– stop using race and things like developmental disabilities in your low brow rhetoric. I have always noticed that kids like you who can dish it out usually can’t take it.

    Hurry!

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 18 October, 2014, 21:06

      “I don’t personally attack you little guy UNTIL you’ve called ME names, which you’ve done dozens of times.”

      “Little Boy” and “Calapso” aren’t degrogatory names? You’re the one who can dish it out but can’t take it, whiner. Go cry to yo mama. Post now, slave! Post! 😀

      Reply this comment
      • T Mind of Ted Your God
        T Mind of Ted Your God 18 October, 2014, 22:07

        LOL
        Little Boy Collapso– You earned your nicknames after months of racial, odd, drastic, hateful comments to many posters…..Now your whining about it? LMAO!

        Why don’t we just agree that you won’t use developmental disabled monikers and African disease names for our first AA President? Wouldn’t that be a nice change for you?

        My bet—– You can’t do it!

        Hurry!!!!!! Post right away!!!!!

        Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 19 October, 2014, 09:44

          Poor widdle tedtard. He wuns and cwies to mama when udders tweat him like he tweats dem. Cwy, cwy, tedtard! 😀

          Reply this comment
          • T Mind of Ted Your God
            T Mind of Ted Your God 19 October, 2014, 10:16

            LOL
            You can’t do it!
            Like a child!
            Are you 12?
            “tard”?
            What adult uses that language?

            LMAO

            Hurry little boy post now!!!

  12. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 19 October, 2014, 15:34

    Teddy

    Ignore him….let him write and work out his Black Sea demons with his meandering psychotic tomes….throw him an old soup bone for the energy he consumes………geesh……..

    -have some charity, for once…..

    Reply this comment
  13. T Mind of Ted Your God
    T Mind of Ted Your God 19 October, 2014, 16:56

    I should, you’re right of course, as usual. I will monitor her behavior and see if she improves.

    Reply this comment
  14. Vince Foster
    Vince Foster 19 October, 2014, 17:27

    Well at least the moneygrubbing union-bashing asswipes with media access are not trying to take advantage of the Ebola problem to further their own warped agenda.

    Reply this comment
  15. Queeg
    Queeg 19 October, 2014, 22:24

    Vince,

    Welcome back!

    Reply this comment
  16. T Mind of Ted Your God
    T Mind of Ted Your God 20 October, 2014, 08:47

    I feel your pain Vince– you were missed!

    Reply this comment
  17. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 20 October, 2014, 15:27

    I think the nurses should get EVERYTHING they want/need/demand for caring for an ebola patient. Otherwise no one will do it…..

    Reply this comment

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