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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. 


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."


There's been talk among the laboratory technologists at Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories in Milwaukee about creating a career ladder for years, but it never came to fruition until recently.

The medical technologists entered into negotiations at the end of 2016, and they took the time to turn a management proposal into a career ladder program that would lead to what they called a Tech II position that would have more responsibilities and more pay.

"There are people who always do extra, but they don't get any benefit for it," says John Epple, a cytotechnologist and chief steward at WFNHP's Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories Chapter. "Maybe they're just overachievers or just hard workers, but now they can get recognized" for doing more.


Linda Morgan ~ Cumberland Care & Rehab Chapter

Meet our featured member, Linda Morgan, an LPN at Cumberland Care & Rehab. Linda started working at the hospital in Cumberland about 2 1/2 years ago, when the nursing home was still part of the hospital, and stayed after the takeover by Senior Management in January of 2017. Linda says, "Nursing was not my first choice! I previously worked as a full time Paramedic, part time CPR/First-Aid Instructor, and part time Death Investigator. Although I did perform some nursing duties part time at the local hospital ER and County nursing home at the same time."

When asked about her chosen career, Linda said, " I enjoyed a tremendously rewarding career in Emergency Services, appreciated what my knowledge and experience brought to my chosen field, and felt privileged to serve my community. I can honestly say, that in each case, be that holding someone's hand to comfort or performing and applying life-saving techniques and strategies, each case brought me closer to humanity, helped me understand how fragile life can be, and taught me a profound lesson in compassion and caring."


Katie Golab ~ Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories Chapter

Meet our featured member, Katie Golab, a Certified Technologist II in Hematology at Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories. Katie started working at WDL right after she graduated from college in May of 2016. Katie says, "How I became a Medical Laboratory Scientist was a little bit of a journey." She knew she wanted to go into the medical field, but all she really was sure of is that she didn't have the personality or skill set to excel in nursing, or medical school. She thought she wanted to be an x-ray technician, but her college of choice didn't have the major. Her adviser suggested she try Medical Technology. So, she took a one-week course where she learned about the profession, toured a lab, and found out what you could do with that major. Katie immediately fell in love with the profession when she toured the lab at the VA Medical Center and discovered what Medical Technologists do to impact patients' lives, without necessarily having a front line role. It was a perfect fit for Katie.


Tracey Schwerdtfeger ~ Ascension St. Francis Hospital Tech/Service Chapter

Meet our featured member, Tracey Schwerdtfeger. Tracey has been a Patient Care Associate at St. Francis Hospital for two years on the Inpatient Psychiatric unit.

Tracey first went to school for Journalism and Sociology, but things didn’t work out quite as she expected. While she learned about systems and structure in Sociology, she realized that what she really wanted to do was to work more closely with patients. She’s currently working as a nursing assistant while going to school to become a nurse. She feels that working in Psych gives her a better look at how people must deal within the confines of a system. To her, a healthcare professional’s role isn’t just about the healthcare setting; but, also includes having a better understanding of how her patients have to deal with a lot of policies that just aren’t working.


At their meeting on May 4th, the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board's Privatization Task Force heard representatives from Ascension Health, Rogers Memorial Hospital, and Children's Hospital describe their proposal to partner with Milwaukee County to provide services that the Behavioral Health Division (BHD) currently provides. WFNHP recently asked St. Francis administration, if Ascension had plans to fill the need created by the underfunding and downsizing of BHD. That was two days before this proposal became public.

The three healthcare corporations have signed a letter of intent to explore the possibility of assuming the provision of inpatient adult, child and adolescent, and PCS/OBS services. 


On March 15th, WFNHP president, Candice Owley, joined nurse members from Local 5032--the VA Staff Nurses Council--to help with a breakfast program for homeless veterans in the Milwaukee area. The data about homeless veterans is quite shocking. Vets are twice as likely as other Americans to be homeless and about 25% of the homeless in the Milwaukee County area are veterans. The goal of the project is to seek out, engage, and act as a transitional bridge for those veterans who have a diminished personal capacity to access help and have lost touch and trust with the Veterans Resource Network. Kudos to our VA local for indicating they want to have an ongoing relationship with this important project. Read more...


WFNHP member suffers tragic loss--March 22, 2012, Milwaukee-Our heartfelt condolences go out to Bob Hecht, Local 5001 retired nurse member from Milwaukee County, and his family. The body of Bob's son, Tom Hecht, was recovered from the Milwaukee River today. Tom disappeared on Saturday, March 10th, after spending the evening with a large group of friends on Water Street in downtown Milwaukee. Since then, his friends and family have been searching downtown for any sign of him. A police source said the death appears to be accidental and that there were no suspicious circumstances. We ask that you keep the Hecht family in your prayers at this difficult time in their lives.

To post a message to the family, visit Read the Journal Sentinel article.


Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Caitlin Scannell, daughter of Tim and Jelaine Scannell. Caitlin's mom, Jelaine, is a union leader from WFNHP Local 5011 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Seventeen year-old Caitlin lost her life in a tragic car accident along with two fellow classmates on Saturday, February 4th. Caitlin was a junior at Campbellsport High School. She was ranked second in her class academically, was a Wisconsin Covenant student, and a member of the Youth Leadership Program of Fond du Lac. Caitlin touched the lives of all the people she met.

Our officers and members in Sheboygan share in the grief of the Scannell family and all of the families of the young women involved in this tragedy. Caitlin's funeral is being held on Friday, February 9th. The union has sent a basket of flowers, but if anyone would like to send a card to the Scannell family, please contact the union office for the address.