Norma Jean Dunning
Nurse's Strike 2022
I sat at work today, biting my tongue, like I always do. I sat there and listened to someone complain about nurses going on strike. And while one complained, another came to the defense. They deserve to be treated right, was the general defense. But, it bothered the first because the one nurse she knows doesn't need the benefits. And as I sat listening to the back and forth between the sides, I realized that this is exactly the problem.
The problem that keeps us from talking about our wages and our benefits. The problem of pitting us against each other instead of a society devoted to keeping us down. The problem that it's not the fact that the nurses are asking for more, it's that we aren't in a position to make those same demands.
The point that was made was that they don't need a 24% wage increase. And we do? Yes, we all do because when the vast majority of people won't survive a major emergency before ending up homeless, we all need to be paid a wage that'll keep us housed, warm, with food on the table. But, that's not the discussion that people want to have.
I sat there and all I could think is you're mad because you know in the private sector, one person or a small band of higher ups hold whether you make rent or your mortgage payment in the palm of their hand and if they don't feel you deserve a raise, you don't get one.
Yes, a 24% wage increase sounds drastic when you can hope that the measly 4% increase comes again this year. But, remember cost of living went up 7%. So, we're still not getting anywhere. We continue to fall behind. That's why the nurses are asking so high because they're making up for all the times they took the 4% because that was better for everyone.
I've seen both sides of the road. I have sat on both sides of the road. I've been with and without a union backing me and I've seen the difference that union can make. So, maybe let's not complain and begrudge those who have been doing nothing short of miracles over years, over holidays. Let's maybe say thank you and we support you. And then maybe turn the attention back to how we can make our situation a bit better for ourselves and those to come.
Because let's not forget as we gain seniority in the company how it felt to be the pawn, run ragged, just hoping some day to be able to not worry about what happens if our car breaks down, or where the food is going to come from. Which bill do I let slide for a month and maybe next month will be better.