December 4, 2023
Taking action to resolve Windham’s patient care crisis

As the presidents of the healthcare unions symbolizing Windham Local community Memorial Healthcare facility (WCMH)’s nurses and allied overall health experts we are obligated to ring the “bed alarm” when affected person care is jeopardized.  We have been accomplishing that since negotiations with the hospital’s administration and lawyers with Hartford Health care (HHC), the organization that owns the acute-care facility, started to lavatory down this summer months.

Our local nurses union, the Windham Federation of Experienced Nurses, has considering the fact that moved to authorize an unfair labor practice strike at WCMH. We know that this announcement may possibly appear frightening, but we have not come to this conclusion frivolously. 

Heather Howlett (still left) and Andrea Riley, RN

Because December of 2021, the caregivers at WCMH have been laser-targeted on functioning alongside one another with healthcare facility administration to solve our region’s individual care disaster. Somewhat than recognizing its workforce by agreeing to widespread-sense methods, the chain’s lawyers have refused good wage improves and pushed larger personnel coverage fees. 

Considering the fact that HHC took more than WCMH, there has been a remarkable shift from excellent affected individual care to favourable operating margins. HHC’s “partnership” and acquisition has led to the decline of important services these types of as our Intensive Care Device (ICU) and our Labor and Delivery Unit. 

Soon after just about two a long time of deliberation, the state’s Business of Health Technique has proposed a remaining conclusion denying Hartford Healthcare’s application to terminate maternity providers at WCMH, a final decision which HHC has contested. HHC is currently named in a course-action lawsuit for overcharging people in its tier method, and has also been taken to court by Trinity Well being of New England for monopolizing healthcare solutions. 

Whilst our nurses prepare to take this serious move, leaders and activists with the hospital’s company and routine maintenance union, WCMH United Staff, are difficult at function examining their next ways. Their membership stands potent in guidance of the nurses’ selection to acquire this extraordinary action. 

We are not alone in an field where health and fitness chain CEOs and their lawyers are progressively turning a blind eye to the calls of caregivers to place patients before income. Nurses and wellbeing specialists are getting collective action – and in lots of conditions, that contains strikes – to execute this important target on behalf of the communities we serve.

We are now calling on individuals, their families  and all who share our worries to be part of us. Enable 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 Professional Nurses, AFT Nearby 5041. Heather Howlett, CA, is President of the WCMH United Workforce, AFT Community 5099.

Together the authors signify close to 400 registered nurses and allied wellbeing pros at the Hartford Healthcare (HHC)-owned Windham Community Memorial Clinic (WCMH) in Windham and its lover health care facilities.