Friday, May 23, 2014

Nurses

Good day my friends out there in Cyberspace! I started this blog post to keep as a draft to have one ready for tomorrow but when it comes to writing, I just want to share right away so today will be a double-header with blog posts as I've decided to publish this one today instead of waiting until tomorrow. I'm currently debating taking Saturday's off from blogging as I will be resuming my Sunday Afternoon Poetry series starting this weekend. Let's get to it shall we?

Not too long ago, the union which represents nurses here in Nova Scotia went, or tried to go, to the bargaining table with their employer, Capital Health. Unfortunately no agreement was met and as a result the nurses held an illegal strike which was quickly quashed by back-to-work legislation enacted by the province and denoting them an essential service. What's super important here is the "essential service" part of this. Yesterday, Capital Health announced that it would be dolling out punishment as a consequence to the wildcat strike (now that the nurses are back to work). You can read about that here before I get into things.

I've made a few attempts at trying to open this same discussion on my social media however people are either biased towards me due to my past actions/opinions or they are simply looking to engage in a controversial debate because most have missed the point entirely or just plain avoided it. Let me state what I am not interested in: I am not interested in if these nurses should or should not be disciplined. I do have an opinion on the matter but what has got me going is the suspensions themselves.

Approximately two hundred essential nurses are being suspended from work to punish them for not going to work...does nobody else see the absolute insanity of this? How is it that nobody is pointing out the glaring contradiction? The wasted time, energy and money to get these nurses forced back to work only to turn around and take them off the job? By far, this is one of the most counter-productive, counter-intuitive moves that could have been made to discipline the nurses for breaking the law.

The powers that be did their best to damn the nurses, as I'm sure the nurses union did to the government (unfortunately that's how these things still work). They told us horror stories of missed appointments, patients suffering, patients in duress, etc, etc, etc. They told us that the nurses were needed; that they were essential; that is was a crime to deny this right to healthcare to citizens; they told us the nurses were greedy. Yet, despite all the huffing and puffing about the damage done and the dire need to get them back on the job, dire enough to call MLA's together to pass a law to force them back to work, those same patients are no longer in dire enough need to require service from any of the two hundred or so nurses who will be off the job soon. Strange. I didn't realize that all those patients were suddenly of such good enough health that they no longer require the nurses services.

The nurses, of course, aren't taking this sitting down and will be contesting each individual case. You can read a little more about that here. Personally, I support the nurses in their efforts to have these suspensions overturned because, as I've stated and made clear, this move by Capital Health is completely contrary to providing an essential service to Nova Scotians.

I will take a moment to add my own two cents about this whole situation. Back to work legislation is no different than holding the muzzle of a gun to someone and telling them what to do; inversely, holding people at the muzzle of a different gun by striking is no less an affront against treating each other with decency and respect. Are all strikes good? No. Are all government back to work laws bad? No. I am not the judge of all matters nor possess the wisdom or knowledge necessary to make that call; what I am is a person and as a person I know what respect and dignity are and right now, those are both being ignored. The one's who suffer the most as a result? The patients; people.

So, I stand in solidarity with the nurses not because they are necessarily right but because the government is more wrong. I'm certain that the thoughts and opinions may fly, perhaps not here, but given that I've tried to express this opinion more than once and it has devolved into the argument of: should they or should they not be disciplined? Or: do they deserve it or not?

Thank you all for taking the time to read. A special thanks to my readers who have supported and encouraged me by sharing and engaging. I look forward to continuing to bring you new blog posts on a regular basis.

Smile.
Love Yourself.
Love Each Other.

UPDATE 5/26/14

Nurses are now being forced to write "confessionals". This is completely degrading. Capital Health, I have no words to express how disgusted I am with this. You can read the story here.