Letter to the editor: UVM Medical Center putting dollars before safety
I went to the Sunday morning service at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington. Afterward two nurses presented their case for a possible strike at UVM Medical Center that they felt was necessary. I was interested in what they had to say so I stayed to listen. Half listening from the back of the sanctuary I heard them say that their work environment was no longer safe for them. That caught my attention. It was not the words they said but the tone in their voices.
After the presentation I ask them one question. “How much money would you need to secure the number of nurses and supporting staff for creating a safer environment.” One quoted $25 million!
Another fact that is interesting is the non-profit asset fund or fund balance from Form 990. At the end of the year 2017 the fund for UVM Medical Center was $800 million, between the years of 2014 and 2017 this fund increased by $223 million.
From a paper provided for their presentation these are their basic issues: to provide safe care for patients the nurses and support staff need updated staffing plans, nurse wages and people increase in nurse staffing, and support staff wage increases to recruit and retain the people needed.
Also from this sheet, studies and experiences show a correlation between poor staffing levels and higher rates of patient infections, bedsores, medication errors, slips and falls, and worker injuries.
Profits or salaries for the president and CEO in a non-profit organization! Millions of dollars!
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