Winooski, VT — Democratic candidate for governor James Ehlers sent a letter in support of nurses to the UVM Medical Center Administration bargaining team in advance of their contract expiring on July 9th. Throughout the contract negotiation, nurses have been advocating to receive fair pay, safe staffing and reasonable working conditions. The letter (below and pictured) urges the UVMMC Administration to offer a fair and reasonable contract to avert the noticed strike for the good of workers as well as patients:
July 6, 2018
To the UVMMC Administration Bargaining Team:
I write you today to urge you to come to a fair contract resolution with our nurses immediately. This is in the best interests of our hard-working nurses who deserve safe staffing and fair compensation and in the interests of patients who rely on UVM Medical Center for needed and at times life-saving medical care. The nurses have made reasonable requests that they be put in a position to safely treat patients and that their compensation be adjusted so that they are no longer among the lowest-paid in the country when adjusted for cost of living.
According to State Auditor Doug Hoffer, the UVMMC CEO’s pay went up 650% between 1997 and 2015, while RN pay only rose 17% in that same timeframe. This shows that the priorities of the hospital are out of sync with the priorities of the community. Additionally, nurses are understaffed to meet a growing patient population. It is essential that you take care of nurses as well as you do the leadership team, as true leadership means putting the needs of the team ahead of one’s own.
The bargaining team must respect these reasonable concerns and come to the table with a sincere effort to offer a fair contract that respects nurses’ basic rights and patient needs. The community supports our nurses and is behind them completely; we are looking to the UVMMC administration to ensure a fair contract is delivered before July 9th.
Democratic Candidate for Governor