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WFNHP Statement on Employer Mandated COVID Vaccinations for Healthcare Workers

August 20, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a largely unmitigated disaster. More than half a million Americans have died as a result of the virus. Through it all, nurses, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, other healthcare professionals, and the various staff that keep our hospitals running have been worked to the bone. Without the efforts of these workers, including the workers who we represent across the state of Wisconsin, many more would have tragically lost their lives. As if healthcare workers weren’t a vital part of society before, the debt they are owed after what they’ve struggled through over the past year and a half is vast.

Despite the service of these workers to the communities in which they live and beyond, the healthcare corporations that they are employed by have not done enough to reciprocate these efforts. At several junctures over the course of the pandemic, employers have refused to offer bonuses for essential workers, failed to provide ample Personal Protective Equipment, failed to provide proper medical equipment, failed to provide proper staffing, and failed to produce appropriately safe working conditions. To sum it up, corporate healthcare employers have failed their workers and the people to whom they provide care. While the frontlines were starved for support, it was the bottom lines that received the reinforcements. This behavior isn’t new on the part of these corporations, but the stark differences between their words and their actions has never been more clear than now.


WFNHP Fall 2020 General Election Endorsements

Hazard pay, paid quarantine leave, and covered medical costs are on your ballot. Vote for the people who have your back. It’s been about 200 days since the Wisconsin legislature passed a bill or held a vote on any legislation. Meanwhile, almost 2,000 Wisconsinites have died from COVID-19. You’ve been overworked every day of this pandemic, and things just keep getting worse. These candidates have affirmed their support for your right to hazard pay, paid leave, and covered medical costs. We urge you to support them because they support you. 


WFNHP Response to the Tragic Shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha, WI Police

Black Lives Matter. We have made statements and demanded justice in the past regarding the merciless killings of Black people. Thankfully, Jacob Blake is still among the living, albeit forever changed. It is crucial in this moment to listen, learn, and lift up the voices of those directly impacted by our unjust systems. Then, we must all act. Rather than making yet another statement, we are sharing the words of several Black-led groups working in the struggle to win justice and basic human rights, as well as suggestions for meaningful actions you can take right now. Support them. Listen to them.  In the labor movement, we call it “collective bargaining” when directly affected people get their say in how their institutions should function. This is a concept we, as a union, should continue to champion in this scenario.


WFNHP puts Ascension Wisconsin on notice that they’re failing our nurses and health professionals – and patients.

We’re putting Ascension on notice that they’re failing our nurses and health professionals – and patients.

On 12/2/20, our union sent a letter to high level corporate executives at Ascension Wisconsin and to the local administration of St. Francis Hospital outlining the ways in which the disrespect of frontline staff and their union have directly contributed to the incredibly difficult working conditions in the hospital. WFNHP respectfully demanded the immediate implementation of a paid leave program for all frontline workers to deal with COVID-19 related illness; hazard pay for all healthcare workers in their employ; and a genuinely collaborative approach to stabilizing the staffing crisis in the hospital. We laid out the timeline of events since the beginning of the pandemic that clearly demonstrate our repeated attempts to protect and respect our nurses and health professionals and the ways in which we attempted to bring about concerning issues related to staffing and quality care between March and November of this year. The results of Ascension’s disregard for their employees’ needs and opinions are deeply felt across the hospital and can be represented with the following stats:

  • Since March, there has been a staggering 38.6% turnover rate in the ICU.
  • Fewer than 30 new hires have been brought into the hospital despite 93 health professionals leaving since March.

Read our letter here.

WFNHP Statement on Black Lives Matter

Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, Local 5000, AFT, AFL, CIO Statement on Black Lives Matter

WFNHP stands in absolute solidarity with our community seeking justice for the countless and senseless deaths of Black people across the world. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are the latest painful symptoms of the underlying condition of systemic racism in America. The institutions in our country that are supposed to protect and serve, deliver justice, and keep us healthy have failed the Black and Brown communities time and again because they were never truly designed to work for those communities.


AFT Members on the Frontlines

AFT nurses, healthcare professionals, public employees, teachers, school staff and many others are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Fall Membership Meeting & Election of Local 5000 Officers

On Friday, November 1, 2019, from 5:00-9:00 PM we will be holding our Annual Fall Membership/Dinner Meeting and Election of Local 5000 Officers at Klemmer's Banquet Center, 10401 W. Oklahoma Ave. in West Allis.

Election: Voting will take place from 5:30-7:30 PM at Klemmer's Banquet Center (Maryland Room). Members can stop by any time during these hours to cast their ballot. You do not have to attend the dinner meeting in order to vote.

Dinner Meeting: For a $5.00 registration fee, members will enjoy a delicious family style dinner including beef pot roast, baked chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables, salad, rolls and coffee, tea or milk to drink. (A cash bar will also be available.)  Pre-registration is required by October 23, 2019.


Best economy ever?

In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest column in the New York Times, she writes that, despite President Trump’s claims that we have the “best economy ever,” his policies are harming working and middle-class Americans, many of whom are struggling just to get by. “Our political and economic systems are so weighted toward the wealthy that opportunity will only come through the power of collective action,” she writes, using “the surest vehicles to increase opportunity for ordinary Americans”—public education, labor unions and voting. Read the full column.

Violence Should Never Be Part of the Job

When healthcare workers show up to work, they shouldn’t have to worry about whether a patient is going to hurt them. Violence should never be a part of the job.

Workplace violence has touched the lives of many of our members. One of them, Patricia "Patt" Moon-Updike, RN, will be testifying before the U. S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Workplace Protections at the hearing entitled "Caring for Our Caregivers: Protecting Health Care and social Service Workers from Workplace Violence" this Wednesday, Febrary 27, 2019, in Washington, D.C., to tell her story. 


Never again

“A majority of American teens say they are worried about a shooting happening at their school. Let that sink in,” AFT President Randi Weingarten writes in her latest column for the New York Times. “Young people are demanding meaningful action beyond ‘thoughts and prayers.’ They know, as do law enforcement officers and educators, that there are effective ways to address gun violence.” Read more about the proven strategies that would enhance school safety and reduce gun violence.