We Stand with Our Caregivers
On Tuesday, October 13th, community members turned out to listen to testimony from hospital workers who voiced their joys of caring for patients and their current concerns about working conditions. The crowd of nearly 100 met at the New Hope Baptist Church, which included hospital workers, fellow union supporters, and elected officials.
It has been a turbulent period at the Danbury and New Milford hospitals. Healthcare workers, including technicians and therapists, have been working tirelessly to both unite their voices and to create a stable and fair contract in order to advocate on behalf of the patients at these two facilities.
Hospital workers have been unsatisfied with the level of support they have received from Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN), which recently acquired both hospitals. The professionals claim that the hospitals have transformed into places where profits are put before patients, being run more like a business than the community hospitals they once were.
WCHN made over $350 million in profits last year, and executive pay has increased significantly. At the same time, staff levels have been called unsafe, putting patients and caregivers in jeopardy. On top of this, management have been accused of bullying the staff into keeping quiet about faltering conditions within the hospital.
The night highlighted the difficulties that staff have been through to try and be effective. WCHN cut workers’ take home pay, income and benefits – along with many positions. A smaller workforce is now scrambling to maintain a high level of care.
Last week’s forum was encouraging for Danbury Rising! and for the health care professionals at both WCHN-run hospitals. To build off of this momentum, a patient care candlelight vigil is scheduled for Sunday, November 1st.
Join us to stand in solidarity with those that provide it.