Friday, November 13, 2015

Open letter to my sisters and brothers of Danbury and New Milford Hospitals

My sisters and brothers of Danbury and New Milford Hospitals,

In June I posted a letter to you on an upcoming vote to unionize.
In it I spoke of how for perhaps the first time in your working life you would get to have a say in your conditions of employment.
I told you that I had lived though a similar situation at Backus Hospital in Norwich 4 years ago, when nurses stood together and advocated for ourselves, our families and our patients and formed Local 5149.
In June I spent time with you visiting and talking about my experience.

It is your right to decide for yourself whether to form a union or not.  The hospital has a legal obligation NOT TO INTERFERE or influence your decision.

Because the hospital violated the law last spring by hiring known convicted criminals to walk through patient care areas and tell you lies about the evils of unions and how the hospital would change its ways and start to "take care of you" if you voted against unionizing, the federal government ruled after a trail that the hospital had violated this law and has ordered a new election.

That vote will be December 11.

My hope is that the hospital will allow you to decide for yourself.
They may call you together and explain why they think it is a bad idea.  These are called "captive audience" meetings.  These meetings violate the spirit of the law.
More than that, they violate your dignity.
The hospital has made it abundantly clear they do not favor you gaining the same rights that your nurses have had for 35 years.  Further meeting are not "informative," they are meant to intimidate.

I do urge you to become informed.  Talk to one of the activists in your area, come to a meeting at the union office, take a call from an organizer or coworker. 
Ask questions, get answers.

On December 11 YOU get to decide. Be informed.
Only one person will know how you vote on December
That is the way a democracy works.

You have a right to a voice, I urge you to take it.

In solidarity,

John Brady RN
Executive Vice President
AFT Connecticut 
Organizing Committee Member, Backus Federation of Nurses

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