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Stacey White and Vaughn Benton

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Stacey White, a Speech Therapist, and Vaughn Benton, a Pharmacy Manager, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to talk about their work as bargaining committee members for 1199 Service Employees International Union- Florida negotiating a new contract with HCA Healthcare. White and Benton talked about the staffing crisis and the failings of the current operations at hospitals run by HCA.

Members of 1199SEIU Florida just ratified a new contract with the HCA hospitals in South Florida. The new contract covers 19 hospitals and over 10,000 workers. White and Vaughn talked about the many months of difficult, intense bargaining involved. The new contract was a step in the right direction for issues like staffing and retention, and it came with some unprecedented wins.

Short-staffing and understaffing have become a widespread crisis in many of America’s healthcare facilities. The lack of proper pay and protections for workers led to a high turnover rate and retention problems. White and Vaughn said that turnover and retention issues just made the short-staffing crisis worse at HCA hospitals. This created a cycle of dangerous workplaces for patients and caregivers alike. 

The pair said HCA hospitals don’t have a funding issue, as they are one of the largest and most profitable healthcare companies in the world. They can afford to respect, protect, pay and staff their hospitals properly with their billions in profits, White and Vaughn added. They also talked about the conditions they both deal with in their individual fields and many of the shortcomings they’ve noticed in workplace conditions. They believe the care and retention issues have just worsened by state officials and lobbyists who favor big business.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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