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Worker's Rights

Butler Hospital workers picket for patient safety and to protect good jobs

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“We are standing up for patient safety and protecting our good union jobs so that we can protect the high quality of care, staying true to the mission of the Hospital,” said Colleen McGovern, a Mental Health Worker at Butler.


Workers at Butler Hospital, a Care New England (CNE) facility, were joined by allies as they picketed on on Elmgrove Avenue in Providence to address the patient safety concerns of frontline staff and to call on the hospital to stop violating labor law.

The union, SEIU 1199, says that Butler Hospital has been committing ‘unfair labor practices’ by attempting to deny new workers good union jobs and denying existing workers access to benefits they have earned. For months Butler management has been ignoring the patient safety concerns of frontline staff. Moreover, Butler management has been denying benefits to its workforce in defiance of the collective bargaining agreement.

“I plan to commit my life’s work and experience to the patients at Butler Hospital,” said Ashley Oullette a Registered Nurse at Butler. “When frontline staff don’t have a seat at the tables where management is making decisions on how we provide services to advocate for patients and safety, our hospital is a less safe place.”

Given Butler’s recent announcement of a $4.7M profit for Fiscal Year 2019, management at Butler/CNE should not be denying workers the benefits they have earned. Picketing workers also called on Butler/CNE to stop their attempt to lower job standards for new employees. Good union jobs with high standards results in less staff turnover which in turn leads to better quality care for patients.

“We are standing up for patient safety and protecting our good union jobs so that we can protect the high quality of care, staying true to the mission of the Hospital,” said Colleen McGovern, a Mental Health Worker at Butler.


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The picketers were joined by the Grinch and… a goat.

[From a press release]


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