Notes from the chair at Franklin Medical Center
From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
September 2009 Edition
Recently, Donna Stern, our MNA Vice-Chair made an interesting analogy. She was talking about a situation where a person might pay for a course and then fail to attend any classes or do the required work and still be surprised and indignant about not doing well. Guess what? This is a lot like our situation with the MNA, a service where you have to play your part to benefit. If you went to a doctor only in an emergency and then didn`t provide him or her with much information, didn’t get lab work and x-rays that were ordered, didn't take medicine that was prescribed, didn't follow a recommended exercise program, etc., then the doctor couldn't do much for you, no matter how terrific he or she might be. I really liked what Donna said and wanted to pass it on.
The services are yours to make use of, just as a college course is, essentially. There are a lot of ways you can make the union work for you. Taking an active part in our next negotiations is going to be major. I`ll write more about that in a separate article, because the importance of it is a topic all its own.
You might just look through the contract. You might contact your rep if you think a situation is out of line with the contract. You might consider asking a committee member if theres something you could help out with, if your life allows that. You might suggest a topic for the newsletter or write an article. Anyway, just know that some courses are fun and some are not. You might feel OK about a doctor’s appointment or you might not want to go, but even if it isn`t all fun, you do it because it’s what you need to do in order to take care of yourself and keep yourself going in the right direction.
A certain amount of care and work is needed, using the resources of the MNA, to maintain good working conditions. It needs to be done in a timely, on-going way, because just as with these analogous situations, waiting too long can mean running out of time. It doesn’t just happen after you pay your dues. The nature of a union is that you continually have to make it work, and what you’ve paid for is the means and support to make that possible. It is one of those things that nobody can do for us but it is what we have to do to take care of ourselves.