As a staffing scarcity continues at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, roughly 100 healthcare staff walked out of the Jamaica Plain facility to demand higher pay and dealing circumstances.
“We are coming here to make sure that everyone gets the highest quality of care and make sure patients go back home to their families,” stated Tyler Wells, an working room assistant who helped stage the walkout throughout lunch break Tuesday. “We would like to provide for our families.”
Many of the employees who participated within the hour-long protest are among the many lowest paid on the hospital, incomes as little as $15.45 an hour. The positions embrace private care attendants, unit service techs, dietary staff, and psychological well being staff, amongst others.
The staff who walked out are members of the 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East union, which is looking for to win a $2 increase for all of the positions it represents, an official stated.
A four-year contract that was set to run out final September was prolonged till this February, however the union says hospital officers have stalled in negotiations.
“Our goal has been, and remains, to reach a fair agreement that supports and recognizes the critical work of our staff in providing high-quality care to our patients. We continue to work towards that goal,” stated Laura Barnett, Faulkner’s govt director of human sources.
Many hospital workers who’ve labored at Faulkner for 15 years or extra haven’t seen substantial pay raises all through their tenures, with some nonetheless incomes simply $16 per hour, Wells stated. That has spurred what staff describe as a staffing disaster.
Just 513 Faulkner staff are members of the 1199 SEIU union, down from the 620 that the union noticed pre-pandemic in February 2020, an official stated.
To overcome the staffing challenges, Brigham and Women’s is relying on ‘travelers,’ healthcare workers from exterior of Massachusetts who’re staffed by an out of doors company that pays greater charges, stated Tisha Williams, a Faulkner phlebotomist. She estimates that some exterior workers are making $50 extra per hour than these frequently staffed.
In the background of Tuesday’s protest, building continued on a 5-story, 98,000-square-foot addition that can embrace 78 new inpatient beds, scientific help and ambulatory area. The roughly $250 million enlargement can also be bringing the hospital a brand new parking storage.
“They could be paying us, but they are building buildings and garages while we are suffering,” Williams stated. “There will be more for us to do without any money. How’s it going to get done?”