Western Connecticut Healthcare Network

Med Techs & Therapists at Danbury, New Milford Hospitals Celebrate First Contract

Danbury - Medical technicians and clinicians at Danbury and New Milford Hospitals yesterday voted overwhelmingly to ratify a first-ever contract following more than a year of negotiations with their employer. The union of approximately 260 surgical and radiologic technologists, licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and respiratory therapists cast ballots 10 to one in favor of the tentative agreement reached with management.
 

Tech Professionals at Danbury Hospital Recommit to Putting "Patients Before Profits"

Danbury - Surgical and radiologic technologists, licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and respiratory therapists at Danbury and New Milford Hospitals yesterday voted to retain their union representation and resume contract negotiations with their employer. The decertification election was scheduled two weeks earlier following a petition to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by a minority of employees within the group of approximately 260 caregivers.
 

Labor History Lesson: The Alberta Nurses' Strike

Dr. Martin Luther King famously said in 1965 during the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Time and again working people have demonstrated this to be true by engaging in struggle today for progress won tomorrow. AFT Connecticut Secretary-Treasurer Ed Leavy shared the story of a victory by Canadian health professionals 27 years in the making in his October "Vocational Instructor" labor history column:
 

Spotlight: Hospital Radiologic Technologists

It is often said that doctors can't prescribe a cure if they don't know what the ailment is. In acute care settings a correct diagnosis frequently relies on the important work of radiologic technologists -- or "rad techs." During the annual recognition of these vital hands-on healers, we are spotlighting union members who produce the medical imagery allowing physicians to "discover the inside story" of their patients.
 
Click here for commentary on the value of rad techs.
 

Danbury Hospital Leadership Indicted on Charges of "Restraining, Coercing" Caregivers

Danbury - Service, maintenance, environmental workers and nursing assistants at Danbury and New Milford Hospitals are reacting to a complaint issued in response to charges their employer violated federal labor laws. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Thursday scheduled hearings over illegal practices conducted by Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) managers and consultants against the group of approximately 800 employees. The board's complaint cites violations that were part of a coordinated campaign by the non-profit's top executives to subvert their healthcare workers' legal rights to form a union.
 

Hospital Board Member Challenged for "Putting Squeeze" on Caregivers

New Orleans - The responsibility of a Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) board member for wasting patient care dollars was today raised at the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA)'s national meeting. Leaflets calling attention to IIABA Vice Chair Spencer Houldin's role in ongoing labor disputes at Danbury and New Milford Hospitals were distributed at the association's fall leadership conference. AFT President Randi Weingarten was joined by AFT Connecticut Vice President Shellye Davis in distributing the information and discussing the issue with industry chiefs from across the country.
 

Comments on Hospital Executives and Lobbyists' Call for Special Legislative Session

John Brady, RN, executive vice-president of AFT Connecticut, made the following remarks in response to comments by health network officials at today’s Republican legislative leaders' Capitol news briefing:
 

US Gov't: Danbury, New Milford Hospital Management Interfered with "Employee Free Choice"

Danbury - Healthcare professionals at Danbury and New Milford Hospitals are reacting to the recommendation yesterday by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to invalidate the results of their June 19 union election. In her report, Hearing Officer Jo Anne Howlett cites evidence to sustain charges of unlawful interference with employees' free choice by management of the non-profit network that operates both facilities. The report is based on testimony provided in July by impacted workers who recounted illegal, anti-union conduct by managers and outside consultants retained by the Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN).
 

Overwhelming Majority of Healthcare Workers Urge Negotiations

Danbury - Healthcare professionals on Friday called on the president of Danbury and New Milford Hospitals to commence negotiations over decisions impacting care for their patients and working conditions for themselves. A group representing approximately 800 service, environmental, maintenance and other patient care providers at both facilities at a 'town hall'-style meeting presented their 'mission statement' to President Daniel DeBarba.
 

Caregivers "Taken Away from the Bedside" by "Union-Busters"

Danbury - Service, environmental, maintenance and other vital patient care providers at Danbury and New Milford Hospitals are taking additional steps to hold the network operating both facilities accountable under the law. An employee last week anonymously filed a "whistleblower" complaint under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). The action followed patient medical information breaches by outside consultants retained by the Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) to thwart both facilities' healthcare workers' legally protected efforts to form a union. 
 
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