by Patricia Campbell
Overworked nurses often complain that nurses are their own worse enemies. We are trained to accept our lot, while senior nurses plan the policies that keep us oppressed.
Nurses cannot understand this. I often hear my coworkers say, “Don’t they know what it’s like on the floor? Haven’t they been here?”
Professional Poison explains why nursing supervisors are more loyal to employers than to their former colleagues.
Professional Poison confirms my own experience that union officials are also professionals who help employers to manage the workforce.
Once, when I was a workplace representative in a mainstream union, my coworker and I waited for a senior union official to join us for a meeting with management. After waiting for some time, we were finally ushered into the manager’s office. We were astounded to find that our union official had been meeting with the employer while we were kept waiting outside!
Understanding is empowering. I recently represented a union member against two professional managers in the health service. Having read Professional Poison, I was ready for them.
As I heard their tale of woe, “there is no money” and “things are different now,” I thought, “Oh yes! Things are different now.”
We told them that our union would not tolerate budget-driven decisions that compromise patient care. How can there be no resources, when a private dental company in Northern Ireland has just been given £17 million from the National Health Service?
Rosenthal is right. Rank-and-file workers must lead the fight for improved conditions.
We are the many; they are the few. The arguments in this pamphlet are essential to tipping the balance in our favour.