We kept what we had, earned more of what we deserve, and beat back bad proposals—TOGETHER! Now, you get to VOTE!
On October 2nd, 2018, your St. Francis Bargaining Team reached a Tentative Contract Agreement with Ascension management. This concluded weeks of proposal exchanges and discussion regarding wages, staffing, PTO, healthcare and much more! The Bargaining Team is strongly recommending members vote to ratify the agreement, and there will be an in-depth presentation at the ratification vote. The Ratification Vote will be held on October 11th, 2018 in the 8th floor Auditorium from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Union leaders and staff will be there to answer questions from members so everyone has a full understanding of what they are voting on.
Today's Supreme Court decision, the Janus ruling, impacts unions and union members across the country, but it means something unique to us in Wisconsin. We have endured attacks on our rights as working people over the last several years. Unfortunately, our union sisters and brothers across the country are now getting a taste of what we have faced. However, we have never stopped fighting for what our members and patients deserve--no matter what--and today will not weaken our resolve.
“This is a very bad ruling, but living in a state that for years has been attacking workers’ rights, we have learned that we can be a strong and effective union when we stick together and join with the community to stand up for working families. In spite of relentless attacks, nurses and healthcare workers in Wisconsin continue to join together in our union, because they know the future is better when workers have unions,” said WFNHP President, Candice Owley.
Four WFNHP RN’s—Libby Gabriel, Kitty Schroeder, Jorja Doherty and Pat Geiger--were among more than two dozen AFT nurses and health professional members who traveled to the Virgin Islands last week on a humanitarian mission to perform vision and hearing screenings for all the public school students on the islands.
The effort was part of AFT's comprehensive recovery assistance that it has been providing since hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the islands last September. The volunteer nurses were hosted by members of the St. Thomas-St. John Federation of Teachers and the St. Croix Federation of Teachers.
Kitty Schroeder, a registered nurse at the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, pictured performing a hearing test, shared her experience stating,
On April 11th we notified our members of our Union’s great concern regarding Ascension’s proposal to eliminate medical and surgical inpatient units at St. Joe’s Hospital and, more broadly, rumors of other cuts. Because of our concerns, we held meetings with Mayor Barrett and other elected officials, and also joined in the creation of a broad based coalition led by some amazing northside community organizations along with Citizen Action of Wisconsin. Nate Gilliam, our organizer, was also part of a meeting with St. Joe’s administration where the planned changes were aggressively challenged.
We knew that by joining together with the community to stand up and preserve quality jobs and health services we would be stronger and have a greater chance to fight back against negative changes from Ascension. Our coalition--Save St. Joe’s--immediately put up an online petition, and now has a dedicated website. There is no question we got their attention.
Meet our featured member, Mary Below. Mary is a Speech Pathologist at Aspirus Langlade Hospital (ALH) in Antigo, Wisconsin. She has worked at the hospital for 23 years. Mary was born and raised in Antigo and has always felt pride in her job and her ability to help her friends, neighbors, and their families. Mary says, "I was a non-traditional student, as I quit college at 20 to get married. I went back to school and finished to become a Speech Patologist."
Speaking honestly, Mary said she never thought she would need a union to protect her job; but, many years ago, seeing the challenges she and her co-workers faced in the workplace quickly changed her mind. She immediately became a staunch supporter and has been a union member for most of her career at ALH. Mary said, "Corporate healthcare does not truly care about their employees, and having a union to protect our rights is vital."
All 11 Chapters of WFNHP Local 5000 held their election of officers in March 2018. The WFNHP Election Committee has counted the ballots and certified the results. These officers will lead their union for the next two years.
The new leadership teams include nurses and health professional leaders from across the state and from a variety of backgrounds. The elected leaders’ unique experiences are sure to enhance the work of our union and its vision of being recognized as a dynamic leader in ensuring the health of our community and the rights and living standards of our members and all healthcare workers in Wisconsin.