Management told us this week that they recognize that their counter to our initial bargaining proposals needs to exceed what they had initially planned. They said they didn’t yet have a reply to our initial proposals because they needed to seek approval for additional funds. We remain hopeful that they will do what it takes for recruitment and retention.

The pandemic has exacerbated the staffing crisis to a breaking point. Experienced employees have burned out and left healthcare, and new people won’t come to work with us because the pay is not attracting them. That’s why there are 522 travelers among us who are paid double and triple what we are, while we, who are dedicated to this community, orient and supervise them. We need immediate interim raises for every one of us, and then we need to shift the resources from the traveler contracts to our contracts. The raises that we are proposing will keep us here, and they will recruit new people to work with us. We need to build a better future for healthcare, and every day, coworkers are deciding whether or not they will be a part of that future. Time is running out to ensure they stay with us.