Sunday, November 27, 2016
In a 3 way vote between AFT /OFNHP, another union, and no union, AFT received 46%.
The other union and the hospital (no union) ended in a virtual tie with 26% each.
After a recount, the NLRB will determine who came in second, and there will be a runoff between AFT/OFNHP and that entity.
If the presidential election has taught us anything, it is that nothing is certain, but it appears that the overwhelming majority of health care workers at PeaceHealth SW will stand together as AFT sisters and brothers and members of OFNHP and WSNA.
In the pacific Northwest, as is happening across this country, communities are losing local control of their community hospitals. As hospital systems become larger and larger, they gobble up smaller community hospitals and local control is lost.
This is the very battle we are fighting in New London, in Windham, and at the state capitol, here in Connecticut.
As hospital systems get larger, insurance companies follow suit, in an effort to maintain bargaining power in negotiations over prices. Add to this the continued growth of large pharmaceutical companies and you can see the effects of a lack of competition driving up healthcare costs.
That leads to excessive profits that are distributed as excessive salary compensation at the top, while the bedside caregiver is squeezed by having to see more and more patients in less and less time, with less and less staff.
This causes an ethical dilemma for the caregivers, who entered their profession to make a difference, but find themselves having to choose between doing the minimum for each patient or not being able to help some patients at all.
That's why caregivers, form service and maintenance workers to doctors, are organizing.
They realize that if they do not stand up to the large health care systems, the mega insurance companies, and Big Pharma; no one else will be able to.
And they realize that to stand up,
They must stand together.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Soon I will be boarding a plane, headed for Vancouver, Washington.
There are a group of healthcare workers out there trying to claim their voice by organizing as an AFT local.
My goal is to help out if I can, by sharing my experience.
It wasn't all that long ago that we at Backus Hospital were in the same spot.
We had lost our ability to advocate for our patients, our families and ourselves, because of changes at the hospital.
But we stood up and stood together and AFT Local 5149, Backus Federation of Nurses, was formed.
It wasn't easy, but we had help from other AFT locals, from Connecticut and beyond.
That is why I'm going to Vancouver.
It's time to pay it forward.
I want to thank AFT for this opportunity, Jan for understanding the importance and asking me to go, and Michelle for her continued understanding.
Sunday, November 6, 2016
It will be over soon
This campaign has been tiring.
All the negative campaigning has led people to believe that all politicians are crooked and only out for themselves.
The truth is, many are hard working, honest public servants, doing what they feel is the best for others.
There are some who only care about themselves or those like them, and because they cannot campaign on their strengths, they try to pull their opponent down, hoping that this levels the playing field and voters think everyone is crooked so what's the use.
Don't buy it.
Don't be deceived.
There are good candidates.
Seek them out and support them.
One of them will be leader of the free world in January.
Others will represent us in congress and the statehouses.
We can agree to disagree about the appropriate role of government.
That's why we have 2 major parties.
But we must not let party loyalty blind us into voting for someone who will work against our interests, someone who would be harmful for our state or country.
There are two candidates with a chance to be president.
One is qualified and one is not.
One insults women, blacks, Muslims, Latinos, the disabled and others. He thinks more countries having nuclear weapons would be a good thing. He thinks not paying taxes for years makes him smart. He thinks cheating small business owners and their workers by declaring bankruptcy is being a good businessman.
Hillary Clinton has served as First Lady, U S Senator, and Secretary of State. She has worked for the welfare of working class Americans her whole life.
She has what it takes to be President of the United States, Commander in Chief, leader of the free world.
It will be all over Tuesday night.
This isn't reality TV, it's real life.
What kind of state and country do we want to wake up to on Wednesday morning?