Instill Respect For Others

To the editor:

Well, I am on my first day off since the HEU protest ended Sunday evening. I am reading the letters to the editor on the Castanet website on the internet, which my 8 yr old and 11 yr old children have agreed to sacrifice so that they may continue in their dance classes and soccer. I am appalled by the number of people in Kelowna who are so under-educated! I am educated - educated in Nursing, educated enough to know that generally you should believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see, especially in the media.

I am a disgruntled HEU member, but a card-carrying, membership-paying member, none the less. I began my employment with Kelowna General Hospital in 1997 and I knew that in order for me, a single mother of two children, to be hired by Kelowna General Hospital to nurse, I would become a member of the HEU. So, I chose to continue my nursing career, to earn a decent wage, to pay my Union dues, and to work with my hands and my heart, in a career I love... although it takes all my strength physically and mentally to do my job. And I am one of approximately 5,500 Licensed Practical Nurses in BC who just received an average of just over $3.00 / hour in wage rollbacks.

A co-worker said to me last evening during my shift "You guys (LPN's) should be in the BC Nurses' Union, not the Hospital Employees Union." Well, we do not have a choice. Unless - maybe Mr. Campbell is willing to pass legislation allowing nurses to stand together in one union. We will remain in the HEU, as we have for 60 years. And I will remain a supporter of our Union, and I will take my wage rollback, and the kids and I will disconnect the internet and the cable, and we will survive.

Just, please realize, I am a nurse. I am responsible for your care when you enter my hospital. I care for my patients, and took an oath to provide an excellent level of care. Nursing is deemed Essential Services in an agreement between the Employer and the HEU, and so I was on the job every day during our job action, providing the highest quality of care to YOU. I certainly did not rollback my level of care 15%! I am a human being, and deserve the same respect that you desire. I am a mother and I will continue to instill in my children that they must respect others and treat others as they wish to be treated.

I will certainly continue to allow my children to walk on a protest line with me, and to read the letters to the editors about me, and I will be sure they have the tools that these children of mine need to determine if what Mommy did was right or wrong. To my children, thank you for supporting me and loving me through this past week. You two were phenomenal, and I love you both very much. I apologize for not being home with you, but I know you had lots of fun at daycare.

I hope that I can help you two to see that this province we call home is not "full of bad people who don't like Mommy" even though Mommy saved lives at work yesterday, and that I can restore your faith in the people of your community, Kelowna.

-C.F., LPN

Story# 1306 / 

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