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Coronavirus Interview: President Of JMH Health Care Workers Union Discusses Furloughs, Pay Cuts & PP

we begin tonight with fallout that began over the weekend when the CEO of Jackson Health System announced pay cuts and furloughs for some non-clinical employees yeah the timing of it is especially upsetting for some workers who were asked to use their paid leave time to help ease the financial strain the jackson hospital system now faces with the cancellation of revenue-generating elective procedures earlier today CBS 4s Jim DeFede II spoke to Martha Baker she is the head of the union that represents more than 5, 000 Jackson health employees we're gonna need to create more ice use than we have we're gonna need more practitioners to help write orders in those icy OHS we're gonna need more environmental workers in those ICUs we're gonna need more nursing assistants nurses can't take a normal load even when you've got to Don and doff every time that slows you down tremendously and you can't make a mistake you make a mistake you spread the virus so this is I was talking some nurses at Jackson North normally they had five patients they're having three because it's so much work to Don and off take on your your protective gear and take it off and go into rooms and then have to leave and go get an IV leave and go get a dressing change these are things that they're having people that could even just be runners to help you go get things could save time immensely for a nurse and save on precious PPE if I don't have to take it off to go to the supply room then put it back on and get back in my room there's plenty of work I believe for everyone I think you know in this case it looks like management and perhaps you know our CFO is kind of you know high-stress they can understand that about the budget but you know Jackson's in a good place we have 200 million cash on hand we've got a 200 million dollar line of credit every commissioner and I gotta tell you I'm Friday when they heard that they were gonna furlough nurses and doctors I called Joe Ariel the chairman of the board who know nothing of this and he was 100% supportive of us I continued to call through other public health trust members all of whom knew nothing what were you saying I want to hold you there you're saying the chairman of the Public Health trust and the members of the public health trust were not briefed on this plan to to start cutting salaries and furloughing workers and potentially laying off nurses the Public Health trust the people who oversee the hospital weren't informed by migoi ax or the chief financial officer of what was going on that's what I'm told by the Chairman and I believe him we were at a Tuesday we were at a public health trust meeting that was never discussed Friday the letter was sent about 10:00 a.

m.

from nagoya that we were going to begin furloughs now with a lot of detail just a broad message it says we're going to begin furloughs because of the economic crisis that this kovat crisis has caused I think they got it backwards I think we have to put the financial crisis on the back burner and focus on the healthcare crisis this email that Magoo is sent out announcing these cuts came exactly one week to the day after Celie the ICU nurse who worked at Jackson died so you have a hospital that was grieving the loss of a nurse and then gets hit with this notice what's been the reaction just from an emotional standpoint among your nurses doctors and the other health care workers at Jackson when they received this email this is not a team-building exercise that's for sure if we're getting ready to go into the worst fight somebody on the morning news called it pearl harbor and you know whatever catastrophe were looking at 9/11 this crisis is is you know unfathomable to think what it could possibly be I don't know how any leaders at this time could be doing anything but planning for the worse and having all hands on deck and if we can look backwards and say wow it wasn't as bad as we thought hallelujah but on the front end we've got to prepare and for people to be feel like we're just another number that Sully can die and that's okay and then we're going to go on to you know if we're got this three-week law let's send some nurses a newborn ICU home let's send some social workers home we don't really need the people in billing you know let's just send them home and then in three weeks when we need them all back when we're hopping with Kovac patients we'll bring them all back.

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