Message to therapists, Sept. 2, 2022
We appreciate so many of you have already made the decision to care for patients during the strike. About 45 percent are doing so. As the third week of NUHW’s strike concludes, we’re writing to ask those who remain out on strike to come back to your patients. We know that your colleagues and patients would be grateful to have everyone back and delivering much-needed care.
Anyone who is on strike is welcome to return to work. Choosing to return to patient care is not about picking a side in bargaining, it is about doing what is best for you and your families and for our patients.
You know our view: This strike is an unfortunate and unnecessary tactic that is only exacerbating an already existing crisis – one in which our country is facing national staffing shortages while we continue to see increased demands for mental health care. It certainly wasn’t necessary to affect bargaining: We demonstrated significant movement in our contract proposals prior to the strike, right up to the days before the strike began:
- On Friday, August 12, before the strike, we improved our offer on wages, increased indirect patient care time to 18%, and improved the definition of a new appointment. All this was a good faith effort aimed at preventing a strike, but NUHW responded with minor, insignificant moves.
- Our last proposal, on Saturday August 13 made even more movement yet was rejected outright and the union said we would not be hearing back, and instead chose to go on strike.
For those still participating in the strike, we respect your right to use your voice. At the same time, we urge you to do so at the bargaining table, so we can reach a fair and equitable agreement that is good for you and our patients.
We still believe we can reach agreement if the union leadership would return to the table, share our proposals with you, respond to our proposals substantively, and demonstrate some real movement.
In the meantime, we are continuing to use every available resource to ensure that we are meeting our members’ mental health needs, as well as the state requirements regarding access to care.