Santa Fe County Commission Sides with St. Vincent Nurses in Contract Talks
by Fonda Osborn
Santa Fe County Commissioners Virginia Vigil, Kathy Holian, and Liz Stefanics admonished executives of Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center during a hearing Tuesday, where nurses and technical staff represented by District 1199 of the National Union of Hospital & Health Care Workers (NUHHCW) urged commissioners to hold the hospital accountable for its use of taxpayer dollars.
“Christus has to respect the tradition of unions in our community,” said Commissioner Holian. “Santa Fe is a union town.”
Commission Chairwoman Vigil agreed.
She said that St. Vincent’s is a community hospital, and, as such, it should benefit the community.
“I'm concerned that we no longer have a community hospital whose primary concern is the health of our patients,” Vigil said. “I'm concerned their priority has shifted from a local community hospital to corporate America. Corporate America in the way it has been shown to us through Christus St. Vincent does not work in Santa Fe.”
Meanwhile, Commissioner Stefanics lauded the efforts of St. Vincent nurses to keep Santa Feans healthy.
St. Vincent’s nurses and technical staff have been in contract talks with Christus executives since May.
Recent revelations have put the lie to the claim that St. Vincent’s lacks the resources to protect patient care and safety.
According to tax documents submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Christus St. Vincent executives have been taking money out of the hospital to increase their pay, instead of reinvesting those profits in the patients and staff who helped make those profits possible in the first place.
That is why the hospital’s proposal to eliminate the ability of nurses and hospital staff to continue providing compassionate, community-based care through safe staffing ratios makes no sense.
Similarly, Christus St. Vincent’s proposal to eliminate the federally guaranteed right of nurses and staff to collectively bargain over new working conditions would further jeopardize patient safety.
If the hospital fails to reach agreement with the nurses on a new contract by the end of July, there may be a strike.
District 1199 is affiliated with the American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
The Piercing Truth
This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes