Facts, data, trends, and mee
-Adding to the Senior crunch will be a child care crisis. After World War II, the French were in a very bad position. There had been 3 wars against the Germans: The Franco-Prussian war [ 1870-1871], WWI [1914-1918] and WWII, which for the French started in 1939 and ended in the summer of 1945.
3 long and bloody wars in the space of 75 years! So there were 3 "hollow classes" and the French economy needed more people: Children, mothers, men.
Instead of forcing women to carry babies against their will while the economic crisis was on, they decided to take a decidedly pro-mother stance. Premiums would go to big families as a thank you [and economic help, of course]. Free food for the indigents, free lunches. [Yes, there was such a thing as a free lunch!]
Pregnant women were given preferential treatment in public transportation, at the bank, even in stores where they could redeem coupons.
Nowadays this special treatment is only given to Veterans.
They also instituted a system of "creches": an early pre-school that was free, paid for by the French Government so that fathers and mothers to rejoin the work force.
It was so good and so successful that it is still in place today, although now, people have to pay for the babysitting service. It is still affordable.
They were of course short of teachers as well for those creches and in the late 30s, they began to implement distance learning. [Ecole par Correspondence]. That's how I studied during my 6th grade. [Dad was in the French military and had been moved to a remote location. I could not travel to school]. I would get my tasks on Monday in a large envelope and had to return the whole thing finished on Friday. Because we never met our teachers, there was no need for a physical building [Saving $$$]. The teachers [I had 6, one for each subject] coordinated with the Postal Service. They never had to deal with discipline problems, assaults, hazing or bullying, detentions... A big plus, IMHO. They could concentrate on ME and my progress. It was just like having a very expensive private tutor, but for FREE :all paid by public taxes. My papers were very well corrected, with a lot of suggestions for improvements that were really lacking later, when I was able to return to a conventional school.
I was so well prepared that the teachers suggested I could skip a grade. My parents wouldn't have it, though.
All this to tell you that when we are short of money or personnel, there are excellent workarounds. We just need the imagination and the desire to try new things. My older sister was in the same situation and did quite well also.
Because in France Public Education is centralized, all the teachers have the same general preparation and diplomas are given upon completion by ONE entity. [The Ministère de l'éducation Nationale]. The books come also from one source and they are very carefully vetted, making switching schools in the middle of a school year a breeze: We use the same books and teachers progress pretty much at the same pace. Book banning is anathema to the French. We saw too much of that under Nazi occupation. [And still, French people are some of the most varied in their political opinions. The number of French political Parties is a prime example of that!]
With folks being able to live longer [although with more chronic problems] and baby boomers having retired, we are facing a real crisis in Healthcare. Indeed, nurses are loved by all and they seriously give of themselves when you are in a tough spot. Today is Thanksgiving. Be grateful for all nurses and support their plight to unionize and get better working conditions.
They are truly ESSENTIAL Workers: Let's treat them that way!
In terms of Labor progress this year, let’s turn attention to the health care workforce, and the number of union successes we have seen.
In our discussions with family, be sure to bring up nurse staffing shortages and it’s effect on patient care when you’re discussing the pros and cons of unions.
Even in Texas- a “right to work” your ass off state- here in Austin, my nurse colleagues have organized and the National Nursing Union at Ascension Seton Hospital has been bargaining for a fair contract since 9/22. 14 months, no contract. They won’t budge. Ascension- the worlds most profitable “nonprofit” hospital system- has blithered and delayed, and the patient care at my hospital has suffered terribly. They are not negotiating in good faith. The other hospital systems are complicit in price fixing against nurse compensation, and in refusing to promise safe RN: patient ratios.
Patient safety has suffered. Patient access has suffered. Patient care has suffered.
I’m an OB Gyn physician, and I have watched this deterioration over 25 years as a practice owner, as hospitals consolidate vertically, and insurance corporations and hospitals collude. It was not just the pandemic- short staffing is a longterm corporate strategy.
For sake of discussing workforce with our acquaintances, I find that people are hungry to know this information. People love nurses: it’s something even crazies will admit. Nurses are valued. Their plight should be elevated.
Everyone is born and dies, we all partake of the healthcare pie at some point- guaranteed. The corporatization of the health care economy hurts patients. Hurts us all.
All nurses want is safe staffing ratios. That means not having too many patients at a time. Can you imagine being a patient in labor and having your RN running between 3 patients? How’d you like to be that patient? How’d you like to be that nurse- juggling 6 people’s lives? I know how it feels to be the OB trying to help the team hold it all together, and it is incredibly stressful. Patients feel it; we are not as safe with 3:1 as we are 1:1.
Look into healthcare workforce organization, and private equity in US healthcare. Let’s start talking about it when we discuss labor in America.
Highlight this if Union topics come up. Nurses get sympathy from even the worst right winger, so it’s a great starter to the conversation about what the hell we gonna do about healthcare in America.