Union leaders and activists made the following public remarks regarding 10-day notice delivered to Hartford HealthCare executives in response to the chain’s ongoing unfair labor practices:
“Our union members did not come to this decision lightly,” said Heather Howlett, CA, president of WCMH United Employees. “It followed long months of negotiations and numerous inadequate proposals from Hartford HealthCare (HHC)’s lawyers. It’s time for these industry leaders to value safe patient care by respecting those who keep their facilities running,” added Howlett, a clinical assistant at Windham Community Memorial Hospital (WCMH).
“The members of our union have spoken; we need to hold Hartford HealthCare accountable for the way they treat us,” said Crystal Badeau, PCT, vice president of WCMH United Employees. “While we hope to avoid a strike and reach a mutual resolution, we are prepared to withhold our labor if provoked,” added Badeau, a patient care technician at WCMH.
“Our union represents the foundational employees at WCMH,” said Chris Colonair, secretary of WCMH United Employees. “We are the glue that holds this hospital together; the support system to provide the quality care our community needs and deserves. It is time we are recognized for the work we do,” added Colonair, a paramedic at WCMH.
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WCMH United Employees, AFT Local 5099, represents approximately 200 allied health, technical, environmental services, dietary, plant operations, registration and financial services professionals at the Hartford HealthCare (HHC)-owned Windham Community Memorial Hospital (WCMH) in Windham, its partner medical facilities, and satellite offices. The local union is a leading force for assuring quality, affordable care for their community and demanding a health system for the nation that puts patients before profits.