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MIDWEEK UPDATES: Patients Support Nurses & The Wisconsin GOP’s explosive move

March 10, 2011

WISCONSIN GOP: “TO HELL WITH WORKERS”:  Wednesday, March 9: Excerpt from Associated Press: “MADISON, Wis. Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate have voted to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers after discovering a way to bypass the chamber’s missing Democrats.


The night they locked the people out. Photo: NY Times

All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker’s so-called “budget repair bill” — a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall. The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday split from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, and a special conference committee of state lawmakers approved that bill a short time later. The move set up a vote in the Senate, which voted mere moments later.”

Here is what Democratic Senator Mark Miller had to say, “Tonight, 18 Senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people. Tomorrow we will join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government.” The move by the GOP members of the Senate seems to show that their real intent has been to strip away bargaining rights. Public employee unions had already made major concessions on the financial issues. The photo above from the NY Times captures the GOP agenda pretty well. Shut the people out.

See video coverage: The Violation, The Reaction


Nurses: They work for all of us. Photo: Washington Post


The lockout at the Washington Hospital Center is over and the National Nurses United (NNU) nurses returned to work today. See previous post. However, the battle is far from over.  The nurses have been working without a contract for many months. Nor has the WHC/MedStar management rescinded its plan to impose draconian cuts that would hurt both nurses and patients.

Washington Hospital Center Patients form Support Group: As a long-time Washington Hospital Center patient, I am working with past and present patients to do what we can to support the nurses that have helped us survive and heal.  Patients for Nurses is in the process of writing a letter urging the WHC administration to bargain in good faith for a contract that enhances rather than harms its stellar nursing staff, so vital to the care of its patients.  You can see the letter at by going to the PFN page on this blog.

If you know of patients who may want to sign on the our letter please have them email their contact information to:

Nurses on the Radio: Tonight (Thursday) evenings LSB Show with Ernesto Diaz will feature two NNU nurses and the situation at WHC. The show airs on WPFW-FM, 89.3, on at 7:00 p.m.  This is a Washington DC area station. But you can also listen to the show live on the web at this link.

Nurses do it for patients -- Us too! Photo:


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Warren Davis permalink
    March 11, 2011 10:30 am

    We received the following comment on the situation in Wisconsin via email from one of our readers, Warren Davis, who asked us to post it.

    A sad day it is. (The Wisconsin Legislature’s passage of Scott Walker’s union busting measure.)

    What we have been witnessing in Wisconsin the past 3 weeks is democracy in action. Hard working american people of all trades fighting to keep the rights that they already fought for and won some 50 years ago through a democratic process called collective bargaining,only to have a dictatorial style governor take away their rights.

    Gov.Walker and those like him are exactly what’s wrong with this country. He’s also a liar and has been exposed for what his real agenda was from the very beginning. I could go on and on, but I’ll end for now by saying he may have won the battle, but I guarantee you he will lose the war before it’s all over. Democracy will prevail,and Walker’s political career is virtually over!

    • Henry S. Cole, Ph.D. permalink*
      March 11, 2011 10:33 am

      The battle is the same everywhere: The power of the elite’s versus the democracy for the people.


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