Connect with us

Labor & Business

State lawmakers send letter urging Lifespan to do right by frontline hospital workers and support staff

Published

on

If Lifespan is truly committed to investing in their “talented and dedicated employees”, as stated on the company website, then providing hazard pay to our frontline hospital workers and support staff should not be an issue.


Six state legislators today sent a letter to Lifespan President Dr Timothy Babineau urging him to provide hazard pay for all frontline hospital workers and support staff who continue to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. As reported by UpriseRI last week, Lifespan continues to refuse hazard pay for frontline hospital workers during the COVID pandemic, but awarded a one-time “monetary bonus” to managers who “rose to meet the challenges of the last year.”

In their letter, the six state lawmakers, five who are newly elected, write that the “bravery and sacrifice” of the front line hospital workers and support staff “deserves to be rewarded,” adding:

“Lifespan has received over $120 million in federal aid from the CARES Act, none of which has gone to the hospital workers and support staff who are going above and beyond to provide care to our most vulnerable patients. Instead, it is only managers who have been awarded a special monetary bonus through Lifespan’s new “special management compensation” program.”

UNAP Local 5098, the union representing many of these workers, last week said that Dr Babineau should be ashamed of himself, and the Teamsters Local 251 called the company’s actions “disrespectful and a slap in the face to every Teamster that heroically risked their health and safety, and the health and safety of their families coming to work day in and day out to deliver health with care.”

Here is the full letter from the state lawmakers:


Can you help us?

Funding for our reporting relies on the generosity of readers like you. Our independence allows us to write stories that hold RI state and local government officials accountable. All of our stories are free and available to everyone. But your support is essential to keeping Steve and Will on the beat, covering the costs of reporting many stories in a single day. If you are able to, please support Uprise RI. Every contribution, big or small is so valuable to us. You provide the motivation and financial support to keep doing what we do. Thank you.

Become a Patron!
Opens in a new tab - you won't lose you place

Dear President Dr Timothy Babineau:

We write to you asking that all frontline hospital workers and support staff who continue to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic urgently receive hazard pay. Since March, hundreds of frontline hospital workers have been risking their health (and those of their loved ones) in order to provide care for others and keep our hospitals running. Their bravery and sacrifice deserves to be rewarded.

As it stands, Lifespan has received over $120 million in federal aid from the CARES Act, none of which has gone to the hospital workers and support staff who are going above and beyond to provide care to our most vulnerable patients. Instead, it is only managers who have been awarded a special monetary bonus through Lifespan’s new “special management compensation” program. Of course, the hard work of managers during this pandemic has been invaluable, however, it is wrong for Lifespan to continue overlooking the critical work of frontline hospital workers and support staff. Please remember, just a few months ago, in April, the United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP) Local 5098 labor union formally asked for hazard pay but were denied.

If Lifespan is truly committed to investing in their “talented and dedicated employees”, as stated on the company website, then providing hazard pay to our frontline hospital workers and support staff should not be an issue. It is clear that this has been a stressful year for the healthcare industry as COVID has posed several health risks, overextended staff, and forced hospitals to adapt to a “new normal”. Therefore, we respectfully ask you, fellow executive leaders, and Lifespan’s Board of Directors to urgently create a “Hazard Pay Program” for all frontline hospital workers and support staff who continue to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They deserve it.

Sincerely,

Representative-Elect David Morales, District 7
Senator-Elect Jeanine Calkin, District 30
Representative-Elect Brianna Henries, District 64
Senator Sam Bell, District 5
Senator-Elect Tiara Mack, District 6
Senator-Elect Cynthia Mendes, District 18

Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com