(May 17th, 2016, Chicago) –– At our prayer vigil at Loretto Hospital, former nurses, CNAs, and front line hospital workers who were fired or forced to resign by management, joined with faith and community leaders – as well as with current employees – to demand an end to Loretto’s appalling hostile workplace culture and repeated issues of disrespect and retaliation against our workers.
A former registered nurse, Sha-Sha Carter, who served several years, spoke passionately about how her and an entire unit of black nursing staff were unfairly fired by management without due cause or by proper procedures. Pastor Walter Turner led a delegation of leaders to deliver an open letter to Loretto Hospital’s management – see the letter pasted below.
At Community Prayer Vigil: Pastor Walter Turner Calls Out Loretto Hospital’s Hostile Workplace
Sha-Sha Carter, RN, Who Was Unfairly Fired from Loretto Hospital, Speaks About Her Hostile Workplace
An Open Letter to Management: Our Community Urgently Needs Loretto Hospital to Change Its Hostile Workplace Culture
May 17, 2016
Dr. Sonia Mehta
CEO and Chief Medical Officer Loretto Hospital
645 S Central Ave,
Chicago, IL 60644
Our Austin community relies on Loretto Hospital for vital healthcare and emergency services, but also as an institution that brings jobs, economic stability and resources that supports working families. It is absolutely vital that Loretto Hospital is a thriving, growing and innovative healthcare facility that is welcoming to patients and families as well as workers who give quality care.
But to Austin community and faith leaders it is clear that Loretto has become a very hostile work environment for many low-wage staff. These workers have relayed concerns that they feel disrespected, marginalized, and intimidated by management.
Both current and former Loretto employees have come forward to talk about some troubling incidents of racial insensitivity, a lack of willingness by management to listen and engage with front line workers, and a host of reports of workers who have been fired or who are simply leaving the hospital at a disturbing rate. How can Loretto Hospital function, not to mention prosper, when workers are fleeing for the door at a steady pace because of the workplace culture?
We are sounding the alarm and urging management to recognize that there is a problem at Loretto and ask management to put forward a comprehensive plan that empowers workers and gives them a real voice on the job. Management should invite all staff to help be problem-solvers to address the workplace culture, and setup on-going communication and various committees to make sure that the hospital is making progress on these issues.
It is not easy to come forward and publicly address these uncomfortable issues. But based on the reports and information coming out of Loretto, that workers are being treated poorly, this issue has become too grave to ignore or deflect.
Loretto serves some of the toughest and most poverty-stricken neighborhoods in Chicago. It is, and must continue to be, a resource and a leader that hires workers from our community, pays them a fair wage, and treats them with the decency, respect and professionalism that any worker deserves. That is clearly not currently happening at Loretto and must urgently change.
We strongly encourage the management and the board of Loretto Hospital to take our concerns and this letter seriously and work cooperatively with staff to change the hostile work environment.