Increased Strikes Affect Nurse Wages
Hospitals "are paying replacement nurses as much as $50 an hour in some cases and as much as $90 an hour for overtime" in part because of more nurse strikes at hospitals and a nurse staffing shortage, the Wall Street Journal reports.
This year, nurses to date have held at least eight strikes at hospitals in California, Iowa, New Jersey and Hawaii, compared with five in 2005, according to the Bureau of National Affairs. In response, companies that provide replacement nurses during strikes have begun recruitment efforts in Ohio, California and Rhode Island to meet increased demand.
"For many hospital administrators, the steep upfront costs are considered preferable to higher long-term costs associated with contract demands ... because there is a chance to negotiate more favorable terms after a strike," the Journal reports (Maher, Wall Street Journal, 9/5).