News & Events

Labor-management partnerships: infection & remedy

From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
August 2011 Edition

Understanding management buzzwords

When they say… They mean…  


Spending as little as possible on patient care.


How close patient-care spending comes to zero.


See “Efficiency."


Freedom for management to downsize, outsource, subcontract, use travelers, require floating and overtime and cut RN staffing.



"Adding value / value-adding"

Selling out union members to increase the employer’s profit margin.

"High trust network"

A union that can be bought by management.


As a property of management: Artifice; cunning; deceit; double-dealing; duplicity; equivocation; falsity; guile; hypocrisy; insincerity; lying; mendacity; prevarication.
As a property of labor: Folly; foolishness; gullibility; naïveté.


We get the pie, you get crumbs.


Giving you information that either (1) is useless, or (2) you aren’t allowed to use.


Talking when no one is listening.

"Participation in decision-making"

Participation in trivial decision-making.

"Service enhancement"

Modeling patient care on fast food customer service.

"Employment security”

See “Flexibility."


"Contract specialist"

HR’s grievance diverter.



Empowering management to limit patient care, intensify your work, and deskill (fragment, simplify, routinize, automate) and outsource your job.


Group of individual workers pitted against each other to benefit management.


Helping management by getting others to work harder or eliminating their jobs.

"Improvement in labor relations"

Elimination of strikes & grievances by union-busting.

"Stable workforce"

Docile workforce.


"Alignment of interests"

We’ll pretend to care more about patients than profit if pretending will increase profit.


This list was developed by Linette Davis, an educator and research analyst with the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.