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Community Outrage Causes Ascension to Declare a "Pause" in Closing St. Joe's Inpatient Units

April 19, 2018

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.

Yesterday, in response to pressure from the community and political leaders, Ascension announced they would put the proposed elimination of inpatient services at St. Joe’s on hold. We can be proud that we were part of making this happen, along with other great community activists and politicians, including Congresswoman Gwen Moore.

Unfortunately, it is still true that the workers at St. Joe’s have no contract and no voice in these decisions that affect their lives. Every worker at St. Joe’s and in the Ascension system deserves better--they deserve a union. 

We know this fight is not over because, in Ascension’s own words, it is just a “pause.” But, we have a great and growing coalition that will continue the work to make sure patients come before profits, and to put the needs of the community before corporations.

We will continue to gather signatures on a petition of support:

There will be open meetings to hear from the community and workers on Tuesday, April 24th from 6:30–8:30pm, and Sunday, April 29th from 5:30–7:30pm at Parklawn Assembly of God Church, 3725 N. Sherman Blvd. in Milwaukee. If you know anyone who works at or gets their care at St. Joe’s, please tell them about these meetings. 

Remember to stay connected to make sure you’re informed and active in efforts to preserve quality care and quality jobs at St. Francis and in Milwaukee.


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