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Saw this picture making the rounds on the Facebook machine today…..
As you can see, they’re putting up a “No on 1” sign right on UMass Memorial Hospital. Before we get into the most hyped ballot initiative I can ever remember, let me just say how inappropriate this is. Hospitals are where you go for health treatment. They’re not political infomercials, even if it’s about an issue that directly affects hospitals. Are you telling me this hospital has everything it could possibly need, and can therefore afford to rent a crane and put this political banner up? I don’t know a workplace in America that has spare cash. Plus, you can’t assume that your patients or your employees agree with this and it very likely makes them feel uncomfortable there. Keep work and politics separate. End of story.
Now, for Question 1, this has to be the most confusing ballot initiative I’ve ever seen. One second I’m seeing a commercial on TV of a bunch of nurses telling me to vote yes on 1. Literally thirty seconds later there’s a new batch of nurses telling me to vote no on 1. Here’s the thing – I really, really respect nurses. They can pretty much do anything. I learned this while having my first kid, because I think I saw the doctor once, and the nurses pretty much took care of everything from there. These people are well trained biological machines, and if they say something at work is needed then I believe them and want to support them.
The problem is I got one set of nurses telling me one thing and another set of nurses telling me another. I don’t believe the 86% thing the Yes votes are stressing, just from the feedback I’ve gotten from nurses. This is nothing more than nurse beef, and it really shouldn’t be left up to uninformed boobs like me. Seriously, why am I voting on someone else’s workplace requirements? Do I get to vote how many police officers are on duty in my city? Do I get to vote on maximum teacher-student ratios in classrooms? Do I get to vote for how many lap dances strippers are allowed to dole out per night at Sweaty Betty’s? Of course not. Because I shouldn’t be allowed to make administrative decisions on an industry I know nothing about.
Here’s my question – why isn’t this a union issue? Nurses are unionized, right? Every other unionized group of employees collectively bargains workplace conditions.
When we posed this question on Facebook yesterday it led to a huge thread. Tons of people offering up all sorts of information and literature. Guess what? I’m not reading any of it. Because I don’t have time. Seems like an extremely complicated question and both sides make fair points. I will never, ever cast a vote that isn’t 100% informed, and I simply don’t have time to become informed because I have kids that need shit and blogs that need to be written. For that reason I’m leaving this question blank. Although the fact that Elizabeth Warren is voting Yes kind of makes me want to vote no. But then I saw the hospital pull this move and I’m back to casting a blank ballot.
The bottom line is, don’t politicize the workplace, and don’t let voters who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about make personnel decisions at other people’s workplaces.