National Nurses United

RNs In Motion CNA-NNU

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 49 of 55

Workplace Issues Grievance Policy and Organizing 50 RNs in Motion Why Grievances Are Not Enough Grievance and arbitration, negotiated into every CNA/NNU contract, is a formal time-limited pro- cedure used to resolve individual and group issues with management. A grievance is a claim by a member or by CNA/NNU that there has been a vio- lation of the contract or a law. Management knows whether you are alone or whether your colleagues are supporting the grievance as well. Resolving issues is less about individual skill and more about the balance of power in your unit and in your facility. Simply filing a grievance and waiting for the process does little to alter that balance of forces in the mem- ber's favor. It is usually not a collective activity, but is carried out by one individual, the nurse represen- tative/shop steward. It takes the issue off the unit and out of your hands. While the grievance slowly winds its way through its steps, you have nothing to do but wait. The CNA/NNU Philosophy in Handling Grievances » Grievances are best settled based on the support we have among our colleagues, not by pure reason. » A CNA/NNU agreement merely lays down some of the rules for the ongoing struggle with our employers to maintain and improve our condi- tions. A union agreement does not settle things for all time. » There is rarely undisputed interpretation of contract language. Grievances must sometimes be filed, but they should also be fought for by: » Making them visible and public, so that every- one is aware of what is taking place. » Making them collective, group grievances involving as many members as possible. » Making them active, involving numbers of RNs in various actions. » Being mobilized to face the hospital manage- ment who are causing the problems and who have the power to resolve them. YOUR ORGANIZING TOOLBOX › Informational flyers — just remember that management is reading your flyers too › Open letters or petitions to management signed by most of the unit › Organized calls and emails to the administration › Department staff meeting — lead discussion concerning the issue › Staffing surveys, issue surveys › ADO forms › Patient Care Reports that document specific patient care issues from the staffing survey and ADOs › Verbally confronting manage- ment at the beginning of shift concerning assignments and the need for more staff › Delegation to the CEO or CNO › Invite the CNO to a PPC meeting to discuss issue after you have an initial plan › Next steps: informational picket, candlelight vigil at hospital, media coverage, etc. partial list

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of National Nurses United - RNs In Motion CNA-NNU