News

Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) – Covid Related

Below are Covid Related MOUs and policies between SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin and Wisconsin Healthcare Employers.

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SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin in the Media

The public and the media want to hear about the experiences of health care workers at this time. Recent Media with SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin & supporters.

6/2/2020

Amid ongoing demonstrations in defense of Black lives across the country, SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin releases the following statement:

“We are a union made up of healthcare workers -Black, white, and brown- who are committed to providing care and working toward a healthier society for all. We join in solidarity with those expressing pain, anger, and outrage at the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, David McAtee and countless other Black Lives.

The full statement can be read HERE.

5/15/2020

“This Nurses Week, instead of a supportive tweet or an empty proclamation honoring the work and sacrifices of nurses, we call on lawmakers to do something that nurses actually need. Pass legislation that prioritizes the health, safety and economic well-being of all working people.”

4/23/2020

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV-NBC)– Channel 15

 MADISON, Wis. (WISC-CBS)–Channel 3000

Take Action!

Healthcare workers need more than a “thank you”. To advocate too for covid Paid Sick Time, Hazard Pay, More PPE and health insurance! Support a Healthcare Heroes Act

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Ricardo Torres
April 22, 2020
“The way to help is not to put us all in danger with ill-considered protests, but for all of us to urge the Republican leadership to drop their request to the Wisconsin Supreme Court to block the governor’s order,” Margulis said. “But rather to bring the Legislature back to work to pass a relief bill that will help those that need it the most.”
“Mariah Clark, a nurse at University Hospital in Madison, said the recent protests “show no respect to those of us trying to keep Americans safe.”
“I’m not just talking about health care workers, I’m talking about all the essential workers that cannot stay home,”
Clark added she and other nurses have discussed with her family and colleagues about her last wishes if she was infected and became seriously ill. “These are the stakes for health care workers in this pandemic, it’s life and death,” Clark said.”
Wisconsin Examiner
Erik Gunn
April 23, 2020
Bonnie Margulis: “We are all deeply concerned about the economic impact this pandemic has wrought, particularly on those least able to withstand an economic shock,”
“Speakers called on the Legislature to abandon the GOP-led lawsuit and instead work to pass legislation guaranteeing hazard pay, personal protective equipment (PPE), paid sick leave and free medical coverage for treatment and prevention of COVID-19 for healthcare workers and other critical employees during the pandemic.”
WKOW
Caroline Bach
April 22, 2020
Up North News
Julian Emerson
April 22, 2020
“Mariah Clark, an emergency department nurse at UW Health System in Madison, is among medical personnel and others putting their lives on the line as they have contact with people infected with COVID-19. She criticized President Donald Trump for his support of the protesters seeking to lift stay-at-home orders across the country.
“It is appalling to see President Trump supporting these dangerous actions,” Clark said, likening his rhetoric to “reckless political stunts.” Clark also was critical of Trump’s failure to provide adequate funding for personal protective equipment necessary to protect nurses and other front line workers from infection. She said she and her coworkers lack protective equipment, often reusing masks for several days at a time…
At the state level, Clark called on the Republican-controlled Legislature to approve the Health Care Heroes Act that would provide funding for more PPE, fully paid sick leave and hazard pay, and health insurance for front line employees.”

CBS 58
Andy Devine
Apr 22, 2020

WPR
Laurel White
April 21, 2020

“Shari Signer, an inpatient nurse in Madison, spoke with reporters on the Tuesday call organized by Pocan’s office. She and her husband are both nurses….”I’m expected to wear the same mask from patient room to patient room, despite their isolation, despite their health care conditions,” she said. At the end of the day, she puts the mask in a brown paper bag to be re-worn the next day. “It is outrageous that health care workers continue to show up for a battle against a deadly virus without the protection, resources and support that we need to safely do our jobs,” she said.

Channel 3000
Staff
April 20, 2020
Ani Weaver, RN: “President Trump and Vice President Pence and all those that have treated this situation like a  political battleground, please put your differences aside and do what is truly right for both the economy AND the health of our community.”
WORT
Staff and Martin Rakacolli
April 21, 2020
Ani Weaver, RN: “I support the approach Governor Evers outlined Monday: A coordinated and science-based reopening of the economy as soon as we have sufficient testing infrastructure in place to ensure we can keep our communities healthy and safe. We need more testing supplies now. I think everyone can agree that we want to be able to reopen our economy. This just needs to be done safely and in a way that protects those of us on the front line who are already at risk. People are suffering, the pain is real, and that’s why we need our leaders to act.”
WPR
Shamane Mills
April 15, 2020
Quotes: Justin Byers, Kathy Hintz

“Kathy Hintz cleans rooms at an Appleton hospital. Not long ago, she said she cleaned her first room where a patient infected with the disease died. She said she lacked adequate protective gear and is monitoring herself for symptoms of COVID-19.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic started I live on pins and needles,” said Hintz, who can’t babysit her grandchildren for fear of infecting them. “When I accepted this job as a housekeeper I didn’t ever think that it might mean I’d be signing my death certificate,” she said, bursting into tears during the teleconference.

Wisconsin Examiner
Erik Gunn
April 15, 2020
Quotes: Demetrica Shipp, Chip Stankovsky, Justin Byers, Randi Payne
“Joseph “Chip” Stankovsky, works in the food and nutrition department of a Milwaukee hospital and replenishes food stocks throughout the facility. One protective mask has to last him for the whole day or longer. Stankovsky recalled seeing his father’s pay stub in 1976 when he was 12 years old. His father made $12 an hour.
“I said ‘we’re rich!’ Now, 44 years later, I make the same amount,” he said. “Twelve dollars an hour was a living wage back in 1976,” Stankovsky continued. But in 2020, “$12 wasn’t enough before the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s definitely not enough now.”
WKOW Channel 27
AJ Bayatpour
April 15, 2020
Quotes: Ryann Streicher, Justin Byers
 
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SEIUhcWI Retirees call for Mass testing and NOT mass protesting against public health

SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin Retirees have contacted all members of the Wisconsin Legislature calling for more testing, funding a public health strategy and better support for Wisconsin’s healthcare workforce.

2020 4 25 Safer At Home - Retirees

Retired Nurses and other healthcare professionals are outraged that misguided individuals would congregate to disagree with the sound science of “safer at home”.

In order to get people safely back to work we urge the adoption of a proven public health strategy, one that relies on testing and contact tracing to determine who has been exposed to the virus. When you know who has the virus you can then take appropriate intervention, i.e. isolation and treatment.  

Imagine a system where if you are diagnosed with exposure or have the virus that you are supported by health care professionals who find you, talk to you, educate you and your family on doing what is effective.  

Wisconsin hospitals are furloughing RNs and Wisconsin had a $800+ million surplus plus Billions more coming from the Federal Government. Let’s put them to work testing and educating.

A public health strategy puts people back to work helping others and makes our communities safer. It will also provide the structure needed for future outbreaks so there is confidence and trust in our government, leaders, and health care systems.

We need more testing and don’t need protesting against public health. Fund a public health strategy and better support Wisconsin’s healthcare workforce.

Until Covid-19 infection rates come down, we are all safer at home.

#SEIUhcWI, #SaferAtHome, #MoreMaskNow, #HealthcareHeroesAct

 

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First Responders, Healthcare Workers say relief bill doesn’t do enough

Justin Byers, a paramedic in La Crosse, said his biggest concern is what would happen if he or any of his colleagues contracted the novel coronavirus. Tell Your Wisconsin Assembly Person and State Senator to Support a Healthcare Heroes Act!

“If I get sick with COVID-19, I want to make sure I can financially support my family,” Byers said. “Right now, if we get sick, we have to take time out of our PTO but when we take PTO, we don’t get full pay.”

State Rep. Robyn Vining (D – Wauwatosa) was on the healthcare workers’ call. Vining’s office shared a letter signed by 37 state lawmakers calling on legislative leaders to ensure the next relief legislation package supplies PPE, guarantees fully-paid sick leave, provides hazard pay, and provides full healthcare coverage for frontline workers.

This story was written by A. J. Bayatpour, WKOW TV, Channel 27

WATCH AND READ THE ENTIRE STORY HERE

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Calling All Healthcare Workers!

On April 1st, at 5pm, SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin is hosting a live conference call to address issues regarding COVID-19 and answer questions from healthcare workers from Wisconsin. A representative of the Department of Health Services will be present to provide some updates. In order to best represent the state’s healthcare workers, SEIU needs to hear from you.

Please submit your top workplace concerns in regards to COVID-19 on the link below:

COVID-19 Top Concerns

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What we requested from employers.

This is the list of information requested by our Union:

  1. The facility specific infection control and occupational health plan for COVID-19, which should incorporate, at a minimum, the current draft CDC guidance for COVID-19 found at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/controlprevention.html.
  2. A copy of any after action/debriefing report assessing the facility’s response to suspect or known COVID-19 cases.
  3. Copy of site specific comprehensive programs that integrate the CDC COVID-19 guidance, at a minimum. These programs should include drills to practice the strict infection control procedures recommended by CDC, including training and evaluation on PPE donning and doffing.
  4. A copy of the facility’s current written Respiratory Protection Plan, a list of the aerosol generating procedures the facility has identified and a description as to how these are incorporated into the facility’s COVID-19 preparedness planning.  As a part of the current COVID-19 guidance, CDC recommends the use of respiratory protection during all aerosol generating procedures performed on a suspect/known patient/resident.
  5. A copy of the facility’s policy on pay and benefit protection for all workers placed on precautionary removal from their normal work because of possible COVID-19 exposure.

20200321 Protect All Workers

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Protect Health Care Workers, Patients and Communities

2020 4 9 Action for PPE

We are together as a union to ensure our employers keep our patients and ourselves safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your worksite leaders and staff rep have asked for the facility’s COVID-19 plans & policies, and will review them to make sure they’re adequate. As  union healthcare workers, we have the right to make demands if our employers aren’t doing enough for our safety and financial security during this crisis.

We will keep you updated on management’s response and schedule a meeting with them to discuss it. Your worksite leaders will work on a list of questions and demands for the meeting; talk to them if you have questions or ideas!

Please share this message with other members if they did not receive it. Your co-workers are encouraged to signup to receive messages HERE.

We will continue working to best protect patients, families, our communities and each other.

In Solidarity,

Ramon Argandona, President
SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin

 

 

 

Taking Action:

Helpful Covid-19 Resources:

Media:

Furloughed/Laid Off?

20200321 Protect All Workers

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36 WI State Representatives Deserve Applause for Protecting Patient Safety

SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin (SEIUhcWI) Members successfully pushed back against this bad-idea-proposal to reduce Wisconsin CNA training standards by calling and e-mailing  members of the Wisconsin Assembly. SEIUhcWI Members spoke up together to defend patients and professions.

M Jerry for high training standards

In this photo, Marjorie Jerry, a CNA from Beloit notes, “We need to address the CNA shortage in Wisconsin to provide the care and attention that our residents deserve. My coworkers and I got into this field because we care about what we do, but we’ve seen a lot of people leave the field for higher-paying jobs. The solution to the CNA shortage is to have well-trained CNAs who are paid a living wage, not to keep wages low and decrease the quality of training we receive.”

MADISON, WI – On Wednesday, January 15, 36 members of the Wisconsin Assembly stood up to corporate special interests and voted to preserve Gov. Evers’ veto of a bill to reduce training standards for Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs) by over 35% to the minimum allowed by Federal law. This left the override attempt short of the 2/3 majority required for the bill to become law.

SEIU WI State Council President Brenda Frary and SEIU Healthcare WI President Ramon Argandona made the following joint statement:

AB76 was pushed by corporate special interests as a backdoor way to keep pay low for CNAs in Wisconsin. Instead of addressing the chronically low pay of CNAs, these interests wanted to endanger patients by reducing crucial job training to equal the lowest standards in the country. This is part of a broader campaign to eliminate licensing of professionals throughout the economy in order to have less qualified workers compete with better trained workers to drive pay down.

Gov. Evers’ saw the bill for what it was and vetoed it. Today enough legislators voted against this corporate agenda to sustain that veto. As employees of a healthcare facility, we know the work that CNAs do everyday to help our patients have the best possible outcome. Instead of reducing training to keep pay low, CNAs deserve a living wage. We applaud the 36 courageous lawmakers who stood up for patients and caregivers.

 

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UW Health Nurses Forming a Union

“If there’s no [legal] duty to bargain over a topic in a collective bargaining relationship, or if there’s no duty to bargain anything, there can still be a union that represents the employees, and the employer, if it wishes to, can meet and confer with the representative of the union over topics they mutually wish to discuss,” says Peter Davis, a staff attorney and formerly general counsel for the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC).

UWHC Why Unionize cover

 Message to UWHCA Board

  Why We’re Building
Our Union / FAQ

2/27/20 WKOW TV Channel 27

2/27/20 WORT 89.9 FM

1/30/20 Up North News*

1/30/20 Wisconsin Examiner

1/29/20 WKOW TV Channel 27

1/29/20 WISC TV Channel 3000

1/28/20 Wisconsin Examiner

1/24/20 Capitol Times

12/20/19 Beckers Hospital Review

 12/19/19 Wisconsin Examiner

12/19/19 Wisconsin State Journal

12/19/19 The Isthmus Newspaper

12/19/19 Wisconsin Public Radio

12/19/19 WORT 89.9 Radio

12/19/19 WISC TV Channel 3000

12/19/19 WKOW TV 27

If You Have Questions or to
Join with UW Health Nurses
Get Connected HERE

What We’re Doing

After signing up a powerful majority of nurses at UWHCA, a group of nurse leaders attended the December 19th UWHCA Board of Directors meeting to present our demands:

1. Voluntarily recognize our union and return to productive and positive collaboration with nurses that made UWHC the kind of remarkable hospital system Wisconsin citizens deserve.

2. Meet and confer with us regarding staffing and scheduling concerns, with the highest priority being placed on setting safe and appropriate nurse/patient ratios for every nursing unit.

3. Restore the just-cause standard and Weingarten rights for all to re-establish an environment in which nurses are able to function as fearless patient advocates and trusted leaders of the health care delivery team.

UWHC Why Unionize bottom

  #UnionsForAll           #UWHealthNursesUnited

  For more information, contact: UWHCNurses4union@gmail.com

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SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin Union Member Worksite Leaders are stepping up to enforce their union contracts and help build a united workplace!

2019 GundersenMeriter WSL Training Collage

Union members at Meriter Hospital, like Joe, Pat and Allison here, and Gundersen Health System are attending trainings to become Worksite Leaders. These SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin Union Member Worksite Leaders are stepping up to enforce their union contracts and help build a united workplace!

Interested in becoming an SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin Worksite Leader too? Contact your SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin Staff Representative. Checkout SEIU’s steward manual here:  https://www.seiu.org/cards/the-complete-stewards-manual

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