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News ::
Hospital Workers Rally at CareGroup HQ
12 Apr 2001
Hospital Workers Call on CareGroup to Stop Interfering in Future of N.E. Baptist Hospital, Union Members Question Loyalty of Baptist CEO Robbins
Clinical and Facility Engineers from New England Baptist Hospital submitted hundreds of petitions on Tuesday to CareGroup, Inc. calling for the huge hospital system to stop interfering in contract negotiations at Baptists Hospital. Baptist Hospital is a member of the six hospital health care chain, CareGroup, Inc.

The Baptist engineers were supported by a spirited solidarity rally in front of CareGroup’s headquarters. A small delegation of the hospital engineers, union representatives and community leaders left the rally to present the petitions to CareGroup CEO Dr. James Reinertsen and convey the workers’ frustrations. Because Reinertsen was “unavailable,” the delegation met briefly with CareGroup Employee Relations Specialist Will Espanola.

Earlier in the day, the union distributed a leaflet with evidence from federal tax forms showing that Baptist Hospital President Dr. Alan Robbins is no longer even paid by the hospital he runs. The leaflet accused Dr. Robbins of abandoning his loyalty to Baptist Hospital to help the corporate team at CareGroup milk Baptist to pay for its disastrous decisions of the past.

Rally organizer Dick Monks condemned CareGroup’s involvement in the contentious negotiations that have stretched on for more than a year. “CareGroup is wasting more health care dollars through its stalling of a new agreement than what it would cost to reach a fair settlement,” Monks said. He also questioned top management’s motives, “Why are they afraid of making reasonable improvements in wages and benefits? It’s a sad day when the people that run the Baptist Hospital no longer have the best interests its patients and employees at heart.”

Other speakers at the rally included City Councillor Mickey Roache, State Representative Jarrett Barrios, Interfaith worker’s committee leader Dr. Jonathan Fine, Boston Central Labor Council VP Barbara Servis, AFL-CIO Director Sandra Felder, and SEIU’s Rand Wilson.

Baptist clinical engineer Mike Jasko ended the rally by saying, “It is time for CareGroup to accept the fact that the day when it could dictate virtually every aspect of our working lives is in the past. It's time to negotiate, to bargain in good faith and to move into the future.”

The Clinical and Facility Engineers at Baptist Hospital are represented by the Area Trades Council, a coalition of unions composed of the Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 877, Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 103, Carpenters Union (NERCC) Local 51, Plumbers and Gasfitters (UA) Local 12 and Painters & Allied Trades Council District 35.

Copies of the union leaflets may be obtained by contacting Rand Wilson at (617) 442-4100 ext. 201.
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