Sunday, March 30, 2008

STRRRIIIIIIIIKE TWO: Not to be outdone by writers, CA nurses go on strike

In the latest chapter of the storied nurse vs. writer rivalry, the Northern California Nurses Union, commonly known as the NCNU, has staged a strike merely a month and a week after the resolution of the Writer's Guild of America Strike that took place in Los Angeles. The “spin-off” strike began on March 21st and is expected to be at least partially resolved when nurses return to work on Monday. Over 4,000 registered nurses took to picket lines all over the Bay Area in hopes of keeping up with the writers.

“When we saw what kind of a deal the writers got after their strike, we decided it was our turn,” said Betty Long, an officer in the NCNU, “we felt like we could get a similar deal, since we actually face a lot of the same issues they did. Like them we also want a percentage of medical advising broadcast through the internet. We also want to increase our share in instructional hospital DVDs. One issue we face that they did not however is our demand that doctors quit calling us ‘Toots’ and stop whistling and snapping when they want our attention.”

Despite the significant demonstrations, the strike has yet to make national news. Andrea Green, vice-chairwoman of the NCNU who is growing out a strike-stache, resents the lack of attention the nurse’s strike has received compared to the writer’s strike. “When the writers went on strike, all the talk shows went off the air, production of movies and television programs virtually came to a stop, and the internet was buzzing with chatter. And when the late night shows finally did come back, all they talked about was the strike. Where‘s our support, where’s our attention? We‘re tired of playing second fiddle to a bunch poindexters who never get laid and aren’t as funny as they think they are, just like those three lowlifes at www.orgivem******.com. Our work is hard and no one appreciates it. We clean out bedpans for goodness sake, meanwhile writers take crap and broadcast it, usually featuring Jimmy Kimmel.”

Many hospital employees, especially doctors, feel it is time for the nurse's strike to come to an end. “Those lazy broads need to get their blubbery asses back to work and quit their bitching and moaning,” says Dr. Jerome Grey of St. Andrew’s Hospital in West San Francisco, “Me and the other doctors were saying during our poker game last night that we want to strike in protest of these skirts gossiping around the Foley catheter disposal all day instead of doing their damn jobs. How the hell are these sluts going to go on strike? Half of them just play with the sick kids in the ward all the time and flirt with terminally ill old men. I‘ll tell you what, in my eyes, these so-called "medical professionals" are just glorified hookers in little white dresses and cutesy hats with red crosses. Yep, in my book, the hierarchy goes prostitutes, strippers, waitresses, and then nurses.”

Not all opinions are as drastic as Dr. Grey’s. Some hospital non-striking staff are supportive of the strike, such as Alan Garrington, the chief administrator of San Francisco Memorial, “This strike is pointless. It‘s accomplishes nothing and has had a very negative impact on the community,” Garrington said. “For example, my precious little niece Trudy was visiting from Oklahoma. She broke her arm while attempting a very challenging and dangerous waterboarding stunt in my pool, so I rushed her to the hospital only to be met with a bunch of striking, pissed-off nurses. I had to take her all the way to Oakland to be treated. Luckily, I’m fluent in ebonics and have a “Bell for U.S. Furor” bumper sticker on my hoopty so no one gave us any trouble.”

This marks the third strike in NCNU’s history. The first time was on July 10, 1960, exactly one month after the writer’s strike of 1960. The result of this strike was a increase in the minimum wage for nurses as well as residuals for “re-runs” or medical tasks that nurses have perform multiple times. The second began October 21, 1988 two months and two days after the 1988 writer’s strike was resolved. For some unexplained reason, the nurse strike blamed along with the writer's strike by critics for the first Batman movie sucking so hard.

Green denies any correlation between WGA strikes and NCNU strikes, “Look, industries go on strike all the time,” she said, rather defensively, “just because we just so happen to have gone on strike soon after they do three times doesn‘t mean we‘re doing it because they do. These issues are floating around, building up for years, and finally one day we've all had enough and go on strike. Maybe it's a comment by some 1st year resident about how he was hoping for some sexy nurses, or a patient makes a wise crack about how bland hospital food is. Unlike plot twists in most TV shows and movies, nurse strikes cannot be predicted.”

Despite the tension and financial loss over the strike, both sides are looking to have the matter resolved quickly. As one nurse on the picket line put it, "We've spent a lot of time out and here, made a lot of sacrifices and we're all just hoping for a Hollywood ending."

Hot damn, that was corny.

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