Archive for April, 2010

When Ascension Blocks Benefits, Is It Cause for Celebration?

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Unemployment benefits are meant to provide help to those who have become unemployed through no fault of their own, such as layoffs. Not only do these benefits help the individual, they also help the community because payments to unemployed workers put additional funds into the economy.

Ascension Genesys has been fighting unemployment benefits for former employees in the Flint, Michigan area – a region that is in dire need of economic help.

Genesys has also apparently been celebrating when these workers’ unemployment claims are denied. Managers have been sending each other electronic messages each time a claim is denied. One such message sent last month read, “Good job – we won the employment hearing for [name redacted].”

Another message sent from one manager to another read, “We won the [name redacted] hearing! You are 100%. Thanks for all your help!”

During the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, it is disturbing to see management at a faith-based hospital so readily rejoice and congratulate its managers for denying unemployment claims and blocking benefits. You can take action to send a letter to Genesys and its parent company, Ascension Healthclick here to send them a letter asking them to stop hurting Flint’s workers and Flint’s economy.

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When Did "Pray" Become a 4-Letter Word?

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Michael Moore has posted another update on the situation at Genesys. The blog post on his website reads:

“Our Teamster local put up a billboard to ask for the community’s help. We have seen such an outpouring of love and support in Flint, in Michigan and across the country – it has really been amazing.

The billboard asked the community to pray for the workers and pray for the patients who will be hurt by all the cuts.

Mysteriously, the billboard was taken down after just three days. We were told that not only can we not use the words “Ascension” or “Genesys” on the billboard, we could not use the word “pray” either… You can read the rest of the post here.

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Ascension: Violating Our Trust

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Ascension Health recently settled with nurses at St. John Hospital in Detroit for over $13.5 million.  The nurses sued Ascension’s St. John Hospital and other area hospitals for violating anti-trust laws by conspiring over a five-year period to keep nurses’ wages artificially low.

If Ascension conspires to pay as little as possible to nurses – the hard-working women and men who care for ill patients at bedsides night and day – what else might they be capable of?  So it’s no surprise that they’re trying to cut patient care and retiree health care at Genesys Medical Center.

If you don’t think this outrageous behavior is appropriate for the largest Catholic hospital chain in the country, you can take action to send them a letter by clicking here.  The licensed nurses, techs, EMTs and paramedics in Flint need your support!

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United Auto Workers, MNA Support Genesys Workers

Friday, April 9th, 2010

The United Auto Workers and Michigan Nurses Association have joined Genesys health care workers and Teamsters Local 332 at the bargaining table to show their support. You can watch the news video here.

Duane Zuckschwerdt, director of UAW Region 1-C said, “We want to make sure we support our brothers and sisters … and we want to make sure there’s good quality health care being provided.”

The UAW has some 40,000 to 50,000 retirees living in the area and Zuckschwerdt said he has fielded several questions and concerns about the Genesys contract situation from active and retired members.

“Many of them have their delivery of health care through Genesys and they’re very upset with what’s going on.”

You can watch the video here and read more here.

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Ascension Billboard Disappears

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

As part of their fight to uphold quality patient care and retiree health care at Ascension’s Genesys hospital, the licensed nurses and technical workers, who are represented by Teamsters Local 332, put up this billboard to ask members of the Flint community for their support.

After being up for three days, the billboard was taken down. Did Ascension have a hand in this? Were they unhappy about health care workers exercising their First Amendment rights? It’s a mystery…or is it?

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Michael Moore Supports Workers at Genesys

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore has heard about Ascension Genesys’ plans to cut retiree health care for its workers, to demote LPNs and eliminate paramedics and EMTs, and other cuts that will hurt the Flint community and its workers.

Mr. Moore was born in Flint and cares deeply about our community. We don’t think these actions are right, and neither does he. Not only did he send a message to his almost 700,000 followers on Twitter, he posted one LPN’s story on his website.

Mr. Moore joins a growing group of people like you, all over the country, who are outraged by Ascension’s behavior.  Thank you Michael Moore, for your support!

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