Sunday, November 27, 2016

PeaceHealthSW caregivers standing together

The caregivers of PeaceHealth SW in Vancouver, Washington have spoken.
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.

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