The long term expense was not worth the short term cost
We understand and respect that people have choices in the current highly competitive job market. However,
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Something extremely shitty happened in Wisconsin over the weekend and I’m not talking about Aaron Rodgers’ performance against my beautiful Italian son Jimmy G.
An Outagamie County judge ruled on Friday that a group of healthcare workers are not allowed to leave their job at one hospital for better working conditions and pay at a second hospital because it would be unfair to the first one.
On Thursday lawyers for ThedaCare — a non-profit health system with seven hospitals in the state — asked a judge to block seven of its employees in the radiology and cardiovascular department from beginning new jobs at Ascension Northeast Wisconsin until replacement workers could be found. Circuit Court Judge Mark McGinnis granted that request effectively telling the workers — at will workers without a contract to be clear — that they are not free to go.
ThedaCare accused Ascension of “poaching” their stroke care workers (sorry but lol at “stroke care”) but an attorney for the latter David Muth said the workers simply applied for open job listings and were then hired. You know exactly how the system we have is intended to operate.
The Post Crescent reports:
Timothy Breister, an Appleton resident and one of the seven employees involved in the systems’ dispute, submitted a letter to McGinnis Friday before the hearing describing his experience.
One of his colleagues received an offer from Ascension that was attractive “not just in pay but also a better work/life balance,” which caused others on his team to apply, Breister wrote.
After approaching ThedaCare with the chance to match the offers they’d been given, Breister wrote that they were told “the long term expense to ThedaCare was not worth the short term cost,” and no counter-offer would be made.
No counter-offer would be made!
This is obviously fucked on its face before you even get to the part where there is apparently money to pay for lawyers to force the workers to stay instead of simply counter-offering them better wages.
On top of that there’s also been some crying about the effect on the health of the community being pushed by ThedaCare management. A letter reportedly sent by ThedaCare president and CEO Imran Andrabi ($317,492 salary) essentially lays a guilt trip on the employees for their personal irresponsibility and indifference to patients:
“We understand and respect that people have choices in the current highly competitive job market. However,”
While I’m sure that losing a bulk of a specialized team will indeed impact the hospital’s ability to operate there seems to be a pretty obvious solution to that problem at hand which is to pay them what they are worth!
This appeal to the empathy of healthcare workers in the letter there is a common tactic to pressure them into longer hours and poorer working conditions in facilities around the country. You wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to your patients if you left for another job would you? Why would you do that to the people you care for? Same thing happens to teachers and other jobs where one of the main requirements is giving a shit about people.
Around one in five healthcare workers have in fact left their jobs since the start of the pandemic nonetheless and considering the PTSD-like conditions many of them have experienced — and their continued tireless care for patients who stubbornly refuse to take a very simple life-saving vaccine — it’s not hard to understand why.
Another hearing on the case is set for Monday morning so here’s hoping the judge comes to his senses.* Although this decision seems to be based on no actual legal reasoning (something we’re seeing at the Supreme Court lately as well!) it’s not hard to imagine something like this setting a horrible precedent for healthcare and other “essential” workers during the still very much ongoing pandemic. Don’t want to work at the Covid-ravaged school anymore? Too bad get the fuck back in the hole.
*McGinnis was in the news a few years ago for sentencing a poor black defendant in his court to six months in jail for rolling his eyes at him. The man served 42 days before it was overturned on appeal. Around that same time an outside observer was brought in to witness how McGinnis behaved in truancy court. The observer compiled a list of grievances which noted the judge called the students stupid and regularly did other offensive shit like “talking down to parents and attorneys, sending students to shelter care without notifying their parents and giving students excessive amounts of community service hours.”
There are certainly a lot worse judges out there to be clear. Judges like Donna Scott Davenport of Rutherford County in Tennessee. Here’s a little sample quote from her honor to give you a taste of what she’s like.
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