Last summer nursing home staff at several unionized Connecticut Healthbridge facilities went on strike. We covered the story of alleged abuse by some of the workers here at Conservative Daily News. According to police reports some of the striking workers vandalized patient records and changed arm bands on patients to cause confusion for the replacement staff.
This week a federal judge has ordered the striking staff reinstated. The ruling comes despite objections of Lorraine Mulligan a registered nurse who was hired to evaluate the impact on patient care and felt rehiring these workers might put patients health in jeopardy.
From the Free Beacon: “The nature and severity of the … incidents … put the safety, health, and well-being of the residents of those facilities in immediate jeopardy,” she said. “A court order requiring the reinstatement of any of them or additionally those who had knowledge of sabotage and failed to act would expose the residents to immediate danger and put them at risk of suffering serious harm or death.”
As reported in July, Connecticut state police are conducting a criminal investigation into the vandalism though no charges have been filed and the company has filed a separate federal lawsuit alleging that the union engaged in intimidation tactics.
CT Post: Union spokeswoman Deborah Chernoff called the labor relations board decision “a very big deal and something that doesn’t happen very often. It’s a complete confirmation and vindication of everything we’ve been saying all along.”
She said the union plans to meet with all the striking workers Wednesday and start taking steps to get them all back to work.
CT Post: Healthbridge spokeswoman Lisa Crutchfield stated the company will appeal the injunction referring back to the summer’s vandalism: “The acts of criminality committed against our residents by some of those going out on strike on July placed our residents in serious jeopardy, and we find it unfathomable that these individuals would be returned to care for our residents before those responsible are identified and prosecuted.”
She said the acts of sabotage are the subject of an ongoing investigation by Connecticut’s chief state’s attorney.
Employees are looking forward to the prospect of returning to work but there may be some question how long the homes will remain open. When the HealthBridge lawyers argued against the injunction they said all of the unionized nursing homes were losing money. In light of the continued reduced reimbursements coming to Medicaid and Medicare through the Affordable Care Act it is expected that the nursing homes will continue to struggle.
So, this last week we’ve seen a young adult talking about her ‘first time’, an ad filled with sexual innuendo and references; followed by younger children with sad little faces and drawn mouths singing wanly about the wanton destruction of the country due to their parents’ foolish votes for republicans and now this:
MoveOn.org has teamed up with Michael Moore to produce a new pro Obama advertisement. Filmed in a supposed ‘nursing home’ the ad features scripted octo- and nonagenarians who tell us just what they’re going to do if Mitt Romney ‘steals’ the election. The commercial is vile and foul mouthed, not representative of the seniors most of us know and respect as the Greatest Generation.
Can this election get any further in the gutter? I don’t think so. NOTE: This is the PG version. The ad is being promoted without the bleeps.
UPDATE: It has been pointed out that these are actors, probably paid, probably in heavy make up and probably following a script. That could surely be so. But it still gives me the heebie jeebies. tw
Did someone in two separate Connecticut nursing homes purposely endangered patients? Reported in the Hartford Courant, Danbury and Newington police records indicate workers switched or removed patient name tags and interfered with medical records of patient just before the staff went on strike. Additionally, less dangerous forms of sabotage were discovered by the nursing home directors including hidden equipment needed for patient care.
Due to privacy regulations closed circuit cameras are not allowed in the areas where the vandalism occurred.
“Based on the fact that there was unrestricted, unsupervised access to the entire building by every employee who worked the evening and midnight shift between July 2 and July 3 and that there are no cameras to provide any footage of the areas [where] the items went missing, there is a very low probability of identifying any suspects or witnesses,” the Newington police complaint said.
According to the Courant article, “Several union members in Newington were so disbelieving of the accusations that they speculated that the managers staged the sabotage to make the union look bad.
On the picket line Wednesday, Tanya Beckford said that if any of her co-workers did do the things described in the police reports, “that would not be cool at all. In the end, it’s about the residents.””
Our frail elderly, once the backbone of this country, should always be treated with respect. It is inconceivable that someone entrusted with the care of these, the most vulnerable in our society, would abuse this privilege.
For more information read the complete article at Courant.