RNs - Wisconsin

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Milwaukee County Board OKs nurses' contract extension

Negotiations also under way on new pact for county's largest union. Steve Schultze, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 23, 2011 Nurses who work for Milwaukee County won a one-year union contract extension Thursday, a move that forestalls some of the impact of the new state law greatly restricting public employee collective bargaining. The County Board approved the nurses' contract on a 15-4 vote, and County Executive Chris Abele signed it. The state law is slated to take effect Wednesday. Meanwhile, negotiations were under way on a new contract for the county's largest union, District Council 48 of AFSCME, in an effort to beat the state law. ... Milwaukee

Protesters force halt to Wisconsin Senate session

Associated Press, May 11, 2011 Madison - Protesters have forced a halt to a state Senate session. Senators were in were in the middle of debate in their state Capitol chamber when a group of about two dozen protesters sprang from their seats in the overhead gallery. They began to scream "Voter rights are under attack! What do we do?

Stop Walker’s “Reverse Robbin’ Hood” Budget

Corporations must pay their fair share - community action targets local corporate tax evaders. National Nurses United, May 10, 2011 Madison - A coalition of labor and community and organizations including seniors, teachers, nurses, students and public workers, will be led by Reverse Robbin’ Hood to deliver their last pennies to his friends, local corporations who have shirked their fiscal responsibility, this Wednesday. The action makes the point that Governor Walker's budget makes the wrong choices by robbing schools, seniors, working families, and the poor while giving massive tax breaks to corporations and his wealthy contributors. ... Stop

Nurses fight mandatory overtime

Corrinne Hess, Business Journal of Milwaukee, April 2, 2010 In their continuing quest to ban mandatory overtime for nurses and health care workers, the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals has launched a new Web site to protest the practice. The site provides facts about mandatory overtime and allows people to contact their legislators and urge them to pass a pending bill that would ban mandatory overtime in Wisconsin. Fifteen other states already have banned the practice or restricted its use, including Illinois and Minnesota. ... Nurses

Survey: Mandatory overtime for nurses impacts patient care

Elizabeth Sanders, Business Journal of Milwaukee, May 9, 2008 The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals has released a survey citing mandatory overtime and nurse fatigue as contributors to errors in patient care, but others in the hospital industry contend the survey is too small to give an accurate picture. With 1,500 respondents out of 19,000 nurses in the Milwaukee area, the federation survey found that 42 percent of nurses have been forced to work overtime at least twice a month, with 12 percent at least once a week. The survey, which was mailed out to Milwaukee-area nurses in April, also showed mandatory overtime is a large factor in nurse turnover. ... Survey

Nursing Group To Discuss Limiting Nurses' Hours

Channel3000.com, December 27, 2006 Madison - The Wisconsin Nursing Coalition on January 25 will hold a discussion about whether to limit the hours a nurse can work. The decision comes after the death of a patient at St. Mary's Hospital due to a nurse's medication error. There are currently no such regulations, and some are concerned about fatigue. Others said that maintaining continuity between caregiver and patient improves the quality of care. "We would take the position that each individual nurse best (knows) when they can work a set of hours or not. There are certainly circumstances in which hospitals really need the flexibility to say to someone, 'We need, for safe patient care, to keep you here," said Judy Warmuth of the Wisconsin Hospital Association. ... Nursing

Nurses to convene to discuss hospital hours

Anita Weier, Madison Capital Times, December 26, 2006 Concerned about potential harm to patients from long working hours, the Wisconsin Nursing Coalition will meet in January to discuss whether work hours should be limited. Preventing medical errors has become a major focus of hospitals nationwide in recent years, but the issue of nurses' hours came to the fore locally after Julie Thao was charged with a felony when a patient of hers died while giving birth at St. Mary's Hospital in July. Thao, who made a medication error and did not follow several hospital procedures, voluntarily worked two back-to-back eight-hour shifts the day before, slept overnight at the hospital and then started work at 7 AM on the day of the fatality, according to investigators. ... Nurses

Nurse given probation in mistaken death

Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press, December 15, 2006 Madison - A nurse tearfully apologized Friday as she pleaded no contest to charges stemming from a drug mixup that led to the death of a 16-year-old patient giving birth. Julie Thao, 42, pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors for obtaining and dispensing a prescription drug without a prescription. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a felony count of neglect of a patient causing great bodily harm, a charge that had sparked protests from medical groups when it was filed last month. ... Nurse

Wisconsin nurse charges scare caregivers

Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press, December 7, 2006 Madison - By most accounts, nurse Julie Thao helped hundreds of women giving birth during a 15-year career. But a drug mixup that led to a death may send her to prison, frustrating fellow caregivers. Prosecutors filed a felony charge against Thao, igniting a debate over whether medical professionals who make unintentional yet deadly mistakes should face criminal charges, on top of civil punishment from victims and regulators. ... Wisconsin

Nurses criticize labor (sic)

Appleton Post-Crescent, October 7, 2006 Wisconsin nurses criticized a decision on Wednesday by the National Labor Relations Board, which ruled 3-2 to limit nurses' ability to collectively organize and speak out on healthcare. The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals said the ruling had changed the definition of "supervisor," which would exclude supervisory nurses from being allowed to organize collectively under the National Labor Relations Act. "Nurses in Wisconsin and throughout the country will not accept this attack on our right to continue to be advocates for patients and healthcare professionals. ... Nurses

Board OKs bonuses to retain nurses

Denise Dammen, Monroe Times March 21, 2006

Darlington - The Lafayette County Board Tuesday authorized a $30,000 bonus incentive for seven non-union nurses at Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County. The money will be distributed based on years of service. If the nurses leave before six months they must repay a percentage of the bonus.

Board member Steve Carpenter pointed out it costs the hospital anywhere from $58 to $60 per hour to hire agency nurses. Hospital nurses currently receive a $17.24 per hour starting wage, although neighboring hospitals are offering $26.50 per hour. ... Board

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