Pricey Weasels | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Pricey Weasels




To the Editor:

Ben Joravsky got the gist of what I said right, but he severely misquoted me ("Nursing Grudges," Neighborhood News, February 13). I believe that what I said is that "Nurses--as a group--we're all a bunch of codependent enablers, and trying to organize nurses is like trying to herd cats. Instead of standing up and demanding what is required to do our jobs, we passively wait for big daddy management to make it all better by grudgingly providing us with a portion of what we need." The disappointing results of our vote for collective bargaining unit recognition of nurses at Children's Memorial Hospital is totally consistent with what I said.

Other issues that I have with Joravsky's article include: Many--but not all--of the nurses of Children's Memorial Hospital had to reapply for their positions. However, while Paul Macuga's assertion that only ten nurses have been laid off in the past two years is semantically correct, it is an obvious obfuscation to hide the many nurses who were not "rehired" during the reapplication process. Or that were "discouraged" into becoming part of the loss due to attrition.

And while Macuga cries poverty, I am left to wonder in which budget management found the $300-plus per billable hour for the notorious, cold-blooded, union-busting weasels of Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson. Did our management expand the research budget that provides rats to our labs to include weasels? Or will Seyfarth's bill add to the operating loss for this current fiscal year?

Also, the editor who gave Joravsky's article its title and subhead, while making a cute pun, severely misrepresents the position of the nurses of Children's Memorial Hospital involved in the Illinois Nurses Association organizing drive: we were not "nursing grudges," nor were we "disgruntled." We were, and continue to be, nurses who are first and foremost concerned with providing the highest quality nursing care to our patients and who tried to take a stand to prevent our management from balancing the books on the backs of those who provide the services that make our hospital "an international leader," and at the expense of quality nursing care.

Paul Baumann


PS: I apologize for any implied insult to warm-blooded, quadruped, fur-bearing, and productive weasels and lab rats everywhere.

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