Taking action to resolve Windham’s patient care crisis

As the presidents of the health care unions symbolizing Windham Group Memorial Hospital (WCMH)’s nurses and allied wellness industry experts we are obligated to ring the “bed alarm” when client care is jeopardized.  We have been executing that since negotiations with the hospital’s management and legal professionals with Hartford Healthcare (HHC), the firm that owns the acute-treatment facility, started to lavatory down this summer.

Our neighborhood nurses union, the Windham Federation of Qualified Nurses, has because moved to authorize an unfair labor exercise strike at WCMH. We know that this announcement may perhaps appear terrifying, but we have not appear to this choice evenly. 

Heather Howlett (still left) and Andrea Riley, RN

Due to the fact December of 2021, the caregivers at WCMH have been laser-concentrated on operating jointly with healthcare facility administration to resolve our region’s affected individual treatment disaster. Alternatively than recognizing its workforce by agreeing to frequent-sense remedies, the chain’s attorneys have refused reasonable wage raises and pushed increased employee coverage charges. 

Due to the fact HHC took in excess of WCMH, there has been a spectacular shift from excellent individual care to favourable operating margins. HHC’s “partnership” and acquisition has led to the loss of very important providers these kinds of as our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and our Labor and Delivery Unit. 

Just after approximately two yrs of deliberation, the state’s Office environment of Overall health Strategy has proposed a final determination denying Hartford Healthcare’s software to terminate maternity products and services at WCMH, a conclusion which HHC has contested. HHC is currently named in a course-action lawsuit for overcharging patients in its tier system, and has also been taken to court docket by Trinity Health and fitness of New England for monopolizing health care products and services. 

When our nurses get ready to take this critical step, leaders and activists with the hospital’s services and maintenance union, WCMH United Workers, are tricky at operate examining their following ways. Their membership stands powerful in assist of the nurses’ conclusion to just take this spectacular motion. 

We are not alone in an business the place health and fitness chain CEOs and their lawyers are progressively turning a blind eye to the calls of caregivers to place individuals ahead of revenue. Nurses and well being industry experts are using collective motion – and in quite a few instances, that involves strikes – to carry out this essential intention on behalf of the communities we provide.

We are now calling on patients, their family members  and all who share our considerations to sign up for us. Aid us maintain this heartless health care chain’s executives and attorneys accountable by signing and sharing our petition today.

Andrea Riley, RN is President of the Windham Federation of Expert Nurses, AFT Nearby 5041. Heather Howlett, CA, is President of the WCMH United Staff, AFT Area 5099.

Together the authors signify about 400 registered nurses and allied well being gurus at the Hartford Healthcare (HHC)-owned Windham Local community Memorial Hospital (WCMH) in Windham and its partner professional medical services.

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