Fawcett Memorial nurses protest staff cuts in Port Charlotte, among other union protests nationwide

Reporter: Erika Jackson Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

Recent staffing cuts are impacting more than nurses, health care workers at Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte said Friday.

Employees with HCA-affiliated Fawcett Memorial Hospital are protesting HCA Healthcare corporation’s demands for layoffs and other cuts.

They say the lack of personal protective equipment for staff is still an issue.

The nurses tell us this impacts more than just workers on the front lines.

“In our heart, we suffer and we stress,” Nurse June Phillips said. “But the patient and physically and mentally, they feel it.”

The nurses union protested at 15 HCA hospitals Friday nationwide.

We reached out to HCA and have not heard back yet, while Fawcett Memorial Hospital provided us with a statement Friday night.

Fawcett Memorial Hospital statement

“At a time when hospitals across the country are struggling to survive and many are resorting to furloughs and layoffs, it is surprising and frankly disappointing that unions would demand pay raises for their members and may reject the continuation of a generous pay program that is providing continued paychecks for more the 100,000 colleagues. The goal of HCA Healthcare’s pandemic pay program is to keep our caregivers employed and receiving paychecks at a time when hospitals throughout the country are experiencing significant declines in patient volume and there is not enough work for them. More than 16,000 union members have benefitted from this program, even though it is not part of their contract. The program was initially slated to last until May 16 and has been extended through June 27. We are maintaining our focus on keeping as many of our colleagues employed as we can, despite the lower volumes. Colleagues elsewhere in the organization are forgoing wage increases, and executive leadership, corporate and division colleagues and hospital CEOs, CFO,s CMOs, CNOs, and COOs have taken pay cuts. While the union appears to be focused on pay raises for some, our priority is on all our colleagues and their families.”

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