Sunday, April 1, 2012


Monday, as people drive on Washington St in Norwich, many will ask, "why are the nurses picketing?".

We learned in nursing school that we must be advocates for our patients.  It's the the most solemn duty of a nurse.  Over the last several years we have seen our ability to fulfill this duty at Backus erode.  No longer can we speak freely to advocate without the fear of retaliation.  So, last year, we nurses banded together and formed a federation.

We affiliated with health care professionals from Danbury Hospital, Johnson Memorial, L&M, Manchester Memorial, Natchaug, Rockville, UConn, Windham, the VNA of Southeastern CT, and others, as well as teachers, paraprofessionals, school personnel, and public service employees from across Connecticut, some 28,000 members of AFT Connecticut, 1.5 million members of the American Federation of Teachers and 11 million members of the AFL-CIO.

Since May we have been working for our first contract, a contract that will give us the ability to advocate for our patients and fulfill our responsibility to them.

Management has not cooperated.  The Federal Government has set a May 14 trial date, charging them with failure to negotiate in good faith.

We want the people of the community, the people we care for, to know about our plight.  We hold your hand when your children are born and when your loved ones die.  We feel confident that you will be there for us if you know know and understand.

So let us know you care on Monday by honking your horns, give a wave, or come out and walk with us awhile.  Tell your neighbors and if you know any Backus management or board of directors members tell them also.

Being a nurse is a special thing, much more than a job, it is truly a vocation, a life commitment to caring.  It is an honor for us to care for you.  We just want to be able to do it well.

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