A class-action suit filed in federal court sets out serious allegations that student loan servicer Navient has misled borrowers in public service professions from accessing a loan forgiveness program to boost its own profits. The landmark complaint, which seeks millions in damages and class-wide injunctive relief, details a spate of systematic misrepresentations, untruths and misdirection pedaled by Navient to stop borrowers from enrolling in Public Service Loan Forgiveness, a 10-year payoff plan administered by rival servicer FedLoan.
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.
Milwaukee, WI-- The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (WFNHP), is saddened and disturbed at the loss of life and the conditions the for-profit Florida company, Armor, created in Milwaukee County's jail. Unfortunately, there were plenty of warnings that tragedy could strike and lives would be needlessly lost under Armor's direction.
On June 15th the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals (WFNHP) and Citizen Action of Wisconsin launched a 60-day drive to create an organizing cooperative dedicated to fighting to make healthcare a fundamental human right.
WFNHP President Candice Owley on ‘Healthcare for All Co-op:”
"Our fight for quality, affordable healthcare didn’t begin with Obamacare and it won’t end with any version of Trumpcare. We’ve partnered with Citizen Action to create an alternative, a ‘Healthcare for All’ Co-op. This partnership brings together the voices of doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals and patients to transform our healthcare system. We know from the work our members do inside our communities that individuals want their voices to be heard, not shut out. Lawmakers should work together with those most severely affected by healthcare reform, to help fix what’s broken but also maintain the benefits the ACA has afforded has them. Working behind closed doors in Washington is not the answer. Together, we can build a better healthcare system—one that is centered on providing high-quality care, not on turning profits. Every responsible legislator in the country who shares the vision of affordable healthcare should join our movement.”
Congratulations to the Food Service, Housekeeping and Linen workers at St. Francis Hospital! On March 31st members unanimously ratified their first contract with their new employer, TouchPoint. The great turnout and 100% 'YES' vote was a huge show of support for the bargaining team who fought hard to get the best benefits, wages and working conditions possible. See contract summary here.
When We Stand Together...We WIN!
On Thursday, March 24th, WFNHP leaders attended one of the only Milwaukee County Mental Health Board meetings open to public comment. Members testified about their concerns for the safety of the patients and staff at the Behavioral Health Division (BHD), and the lack of adequate resources and staff in all County health programs that care for the critically ill.
Milwaukee, WI--Nurses who work at the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health complex will hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon, May 21st, at the Milwaukee County Courthouse to call upon County Executive Chris Abele to take immediate action to fill the dozens of nurse vacancies in the Behavioral Health Department (BHD). The direct care nurses will describe the growing staffing crisis which is putting both patients and staff at risk. They will present a list of immediate actions that could be taken to correct the staffing crisis.
In a recent editorial, former County Supervisor Lynne De Bruin, stated support of newly introduced legislation that would dramatically change control of mental health services in Milwaukee County. While I share her frustration on challenges to create a quality community based system of care, the solution she supports is not only wrong, but her rationale is flawed. I served on many of the same committees as she did and worked closely with the transitions of the same County programs and services and have a very different view.