What Does Your Recent Pay Cut Mean To You ?

Hi, I’m Rita Batchley, the Chief Nurse Rep for Ventura County and I am writing to you in order to connect because you are an RN, LVN or a Psyche-tech that currently works or has worked as a regular or per diem employee of the County. We are a diverse group that spans the Healthcare Agency within Ventura’s borders from Thousand Oaks, to the Santa Barbara line which makes it difficult to communicate the current events that affect the quality of our work life. We serve or have served the many patients that access the county’s clinics, public health, hospitals and subscribers of the Ventura County Health Care Plan. Over the past year I have been working hard along with the other members of our bargaining committee and the California Nurses Association (CNA) to prevent takeaways for our members. It’s been a tough ride navigating the current economic waters of recession, foreclosures and inflation but our group of RNs, LVNs and Psyche-techs have joined together in unprecedented ways to let the Board of Supervisors and our Management know how these cuts effect our ability to maintain recruitment and retention of the employees that seek to improve the services we provide.
Last pay period ending 10/2/10 you received a separate check issued 10/8/10 by the County because our cuts were prematurely taken and had to be reimbursed. If you did not receive your money contact your manager immediately! This amount will be the bi-weekly cut that will now remain a permanent cut due to the County’s Pension Reform Plan that was imposed on us despite the fact that our unit overwhelmingly voted against it. This unfair practice that forces us to pay almost 80% into our pension funds while police, firefighters and management (including the Board of Supervisors) only pay 2.5-3%.
Isn’t it ironic that the County can retool payroll virtually overnight to remove benefits while the Public Health Nurses have been waiting over 10 weeks to receive a 0.19 cent adjustment that was promised months ago? This is unacceptable and discriminatory. WE HAVE BEEN INVICIBLE FOR TOO LONG!!
In the light of the Bell City Council fraud in which taxpayers are mandated to pay for the sins of their voted electives: What are your thoughts on Pension Reforms? Why should a handful of bad apples spoil the whole bunch for all of us who have earned 7-12% less than those working in the private sector because we were promised a living wage for retirement.

So nurses and psyche-techs unite. Let me know what you think and what we can do to let our leadership know how we need to be treated.

Rita Batchley RN

Ventura County RNs, LVNS and Psych-techs Take Cuts

The California Nurses Association(CNA) bargaining unit for Ventura County took a big hit from the county. After a year of bargaining, the county imposed its cuts to the 500 + membership recieving retirement benefits. In a trend across the nation, state and local governments are slashing pensions in the name of reforms. But, many rank and file workers like the CNA  members believe that true reformm needs to start at the top of the heap not at the bottom. Nurses have always paid 50% or more into their retirement and get far less than safety workers who paid nothing yet reaped the greatest rewards. Now with scandolous fees being paid out to these top salaried workers nurses can’t help but ask : “Why are we footing the bill for the abuses made by the few?” More will be revealed as the county plans to balance their budget while opening expensive new clinics without the man-power to operate them. Watch the politicians squirm when there jobs come up for re-election. We nurses have long memories and we won’t forget how we’ve been treated.

It’s national hospital safety week

According to Healthleaders Media Industry Survey 2010, healthcare CEOs are less concerned about quality and patient safety this year than last year. Quality and patient safety are still the number one priorities for CEOs but areas of cost-reduction, technology systems/equipment and patient experience/satisfaction have risen as the major competitors for healthcare CEOs’ concerns. What this boils down to, is that more than ever, patients need protections to safeguard their lives whenever they are admitted to the hospitals. RNs must be vigilant as the last safety net between the doctor and what happens to the patient. To say that a medication or a procedure was given because a doctor ordered it is malpractice. If the RNs don’t follow through and research that an intervention is appropriate for their patients’ problems then that nurse is not doing their job.  

How can you have a satisfied patient if you have a bad outcome related to misappropriation of treatment? Thousands of patient continue to die each year because of errors. There needs to be more checks ad balances between the doctor and the patients receiving care.

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