- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
I started working at Civista Medical Center 20 years ago. I grew up near the hospital and have lived in the area for my entire life. It was a dream of mine to grow up to be a nurse and work right here at our local community hospital.
Up until a few years ago, Civista was very much a community hospital with a real family feel. My co-workers and I would get together outside of work and we were able to work with management to fix problems. I felt a sense of pride when I would hear someone talking about their experience at Civista because they were indirectly talking about my work family.
In many ways itís still the same, yet in many of the ways that matter most itís changed. My co-workers and I still get together outside of work, but when we do weíre talking about the staffing issues going on in other units of the hospital and how to fix them. Our relationship with management is strained as they continue to deny us a fair contract that protects staffing. And when you hear about Civista out in public or read about it in the local paper, people are wondering if management is pushing us toward a strike or wondering why they wonít provide safe staffing levels.
It seems that in the last several years, the administration has been attempting to turn our local hospital into a big-city institution that puts profits over patients and forces longtime employees to look elsewhere for better jobs.
Itís especially sad to me when I hear stories from other registered nurses and ancillary workers about intimidation theyíve faced from management in the last several weeks. Thatís just not how family treats each other, and it certainly doesnít create a positive atmosphere to provide care to patients in need.
Thatís why the nurses have been working so hard to settle a fair contract at Civista. Our bargaining team has put in countless hours of work in our fight for safe staffing. They recently met with the executive council of our union in New York, where a unanimous vote was made to support us in whatever our next steps are in winning a contract.
My fellow nurses and I have made the same commitment to support the bargaining committee and do whatever it takes to win a fair contract. After all, thatís what family does.
Tina Clements, La Plata
The writer is a registered nurse in the birthing center.