Healthcare is Seeing No Relief Yet

by | Feb 24, 2022 | Healthcare, SEIU

Chaos continues to be the name of the (not-fun) game for healthcare workers. While ongoing questions about vaccine mandates swirl, workers still find themselves under fire from combative patients who’ve absorbed Covid misinformation. Is prioritizing healthcare worker safety possible during a pandemic alongside dire staffing shortages?

No easy answers exist here, only a stage set for ongoing conflict between hospital systems and unions, even after this pandemic (one day) comes to an end:

  • Nurses criticized what they’re calling a reactive stance to the crisis, and multiple unions requested the formation of an Independent Presidential Federal Covid-19 Committee to add more rules for protecting workers on the frontlines.
  • At the state level, healthcare unions (particularly in Washington state, which saw some of the earliest U.S. outbreaks) are also pushing for more staffing requirements to guard against future health crises. Washington state lawmakers seek to hammer out legislation against the messy union-vs-hospital backdrop.
  • The industry’s staffing crisis shows no sign of improvement with hospitals putting workers on leave after they refuse the vaccine (as the healthcare worker mandates begin to take effect). Traveling nurses continue to cash in on opportunities for higher pay amid this staffing crunch, and U.S. hospitals are increasing the number of foreign nurses amid their ranks to stay afloat.
  • Covid-19 mandates remain controversial with at least 16 states filing suit to halt vaccine requirements for healthcare workers.

Related to healthcare (but not necessarily Covid-19), some first responders in Illinois want to decertify their SEIU-affiliated local. These workers (including firefighters) claim that union leaders are playing dirty while blocking the effort and continuing to force union dues upon first responders.

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