Hospitals are struggling for nurses right now because people are leaving the profession entirely or leaving for temporary travel contract positions that pay well. They have been treated poorly, underpaid for the work they do, and inadequately protected this year, and they’re done.
My brother in law said they’re advertising for a position in his normal unit, offering twice his salary. But they won’t offer him extra to stay after risking his life working in the COVID unit for months, so he’s out. It’s absolutely insulting, and so many industries are going to have a major reckoning coming up.
My father retired early because they refused to hire just one person to help with the work load. They had to hire 5 people to replace him.
This is a common occurrence amongst his retired coffee group.
One lady was a head nurse that ran two floor at her hospital. They wanted her to take on more work. She agreed to do so oy if they gave her a small raise and hired an assistant for her. They refused so she retired early. They had to replace her with 20 people.
You are NOT replaceable!!! They tell you this to make you complacent to their exploration of you.
Fun fact! This sort of reckoning happened after the Black Plague, also! I’m no historian, (and history side of tumblr, please come in with the accuracy) but I did look into the history of the Black Plague for writing purposes, and in that case, it was because there were so few people left that peasants started agitating for better treatment and fairer wages, and because there were so few people who could do the work they had been doing that they were able to gain better wages and better hours.
Historically, the labour shortage created by pandemics means a heightened bargaining capacity for workers of all sorts – an if there was ever a time to take advantage of knowing history, it’s now. Because the thing is, in these “unprecedented times” there are precedents, and the precedent leans toward workers. During the Black Death, villages emptied, fields were left, and people migrated to find work that paid them better and offered a better way of life.
Wages for lower-class workers rose drastically. In Oxfordshire; a plowman who had earned two shillings per week before the plague could command 10 shillings per week afterward. Pay rates for artisans increased, too. In Paris, wages for masons quadrupled between 1351 and 1355.
This isn’t to say that the elites just let this happen, either. Laws were passed to limit wage increases, and threats were made, but the workers had economic bargaining power on their side. Labour was in such short supply that employers and landlords had to take what they could get. The people held out – and so can (and should!) YOU.
This was the start of peasant revolts, popular rebellions, and – ultimately, more labour protections, political representation for the lower classes, lower taxes, and an end to serfdom. People could afford to own their own land, the feudal system vanished, and eventually, the Renaissance would rise.
In these unprecedented times, there is a precedent, and that precedent is that when workers know their worth, agitate for better and for more, when they hold out and unite, they force the elites to loosen the reigns, giving more power, autonomy, rights, and profits back into the hands of the workers, and with that freedom, society improves.
Know your worth. Know that you have bargaining power. Let’s make this pandemic part of the precedent. <3
? “Historically, the labour shortage created by pandemics means a heightened bargaining capacity for workers of all sorts – an if there was ever a time to take advantage of knowing history, it’s now. Because the thing is, in these “unprecedented times” there are precedents, and the precedent leans toward workers. “