I arrived at the picket line a little after 6:00 in the morning and we had the beginings of a small crowd. They were slowing down the trucks who crossed our lines, and I was more than happy to join in.
We count to 30 seconds before letting the trucks pass. Some times we say ONE Mississippi, TWO Mississippi...and some times we spell one M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I. I didn't realize the union had such good spellers. Of course by the time you get to 30, one should have it memorized.
Some of the union members had breakfast with the Mayor. They had the opportunity to thank him for his continous support for our strike and he talked about upcoming ballot iniatives. Contrary to my reputation, I did bypass a free meal--but my fellow strikers came back excited by the experience.
Today was Pay Day which is always welcome. The strike fund really makes this strike possible. I have seen entrys from around the country and i want to say thanks to all of the union members nation wide who voted to support the Sutter Strikers. Everyone on the line really appreciates it.
I have been talking to other CNAs (Nursing Aides) about working other jobs to supplement the strike pay.
We have noticed a difference between CPMC and other San Francisco hospitals. Some of the other CNAs were shocked when I told them about my experience at Saint Mary's.
They know that evening shift Aides have to care for 14-18 patients at CPMC but were flabbergasted when I told them that I was capped at 8 patients.
I really had time to care for those people. When I found abnormal Vital Signs I wasn't time constrained to blurting out a single sentence to the RN and running out to the other 17 people. I actually had conversations about the patients to discuss how I would care for them in light of their special needs.
Isn't that the care we would all like our Mothers to get? Who would want their Mother to be one of 18 patients waiting for the aide to finish the other 17 patients before taking her to the bathroom? No one!!!
CPMC can do better. They aggressively fight diseases like cancer. However, an elderly patient also needs some one to be there quickly to prevent falls.
The announcement of CPMC university--for nonUnion workers has the strikers thinking that it is only a matter of time. Perhaps they are listening to the Union's message of the need to educate our healthcare work force. This is especailly important in the face of the international nursing shortage. We know waht it is like to work in a hospital--so you know we won't burn out of nursing in 5 years. We want to advance.
It's the Educated thing to do.