In a decision that surprised no one, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27 ruled against working people and in favor of billionaires and corporate interests in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, holding that requiring fair-share fees in public sector workplaces violates the First Amendment of the Constitution.
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.
Mary Below ~ Aspirus Langlade Hospital Chapter
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."