MADISON – Today, Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) joined nurses from Meriter-UnityPoint Hospital for a press conference at the State Capitol, standing with them in their fight for fair compensation and leave polices on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic. The nurses are currently in contract negotiations with Meriter-UnityPoint executives and are seeking solutions to a broken system exacerbated by the public health crisis of the past year. The nurses are seeking a boost in incentive pay for extra shifts, additional paid time off to replace time off lost due to COVID-19 illness or quarantine, and input into future crisis response management. Rep. Subeck released the following statement in support of the nurses.
“The nurses at Meriter-UnityPoint have provided compassionate, quality care for our family, friends, and neighbors during this pandemic, stepping-up to fill the void when we could not safely visit our loved ones. Nurses on the frontlines of the pandemic have endured grueling hours, working extra shifts to fill gaps in staffing. They were forced to use their earned paid time off due to exposure to COVID-19 in their workplace.
These nurses need and deserve more than our thanks. They need and deserve paid time off to heal and recover from the trauma of the pandemic and fair compensation for taking on more work in a time of crisis. After all, if our nurses can’t take time to care for themselves and their families, how can they care for us?
Our community relies on Meriter to provide the highest quality health care, and these nurses are integral to that care. A contract that recognizes the sacrifices made by nurses over the past year is good for the hospital, good for their patients, and good for our whole community.”
Representative Lisa Subeck has represented the 78th Assembly District since 2015, and serves as vice-chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus.