The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 31 has reached a new low in its smear campaign against West Suburban Medical Center, Resurrection Health Care, its physicians, nurses and all of the people who work to provide the highest quality and compassionate care for our patients. The current union activities, by spreading half-truths and innuendos, are hoping to force Resurrection Health Care to unionize its employees, without the benefit of choice, via a secret ballot.

I have been a practicing physician at West Suburban Medical Center for more than 30 years, and my family and friends have and continue to use the hospital for their health care needs. We, the physicians, nurses and employees, are committed to continue to provide the best care for all of our patients and hope that the community will continue to support us during these trying times.

Malcolm Deam
Physician, West Sub

West Suburban Medical Center is under attack by the AFSCME local 31 union. I have been an intensive care unit nurse at West Suburban Medical Center for 22 years. I’m growing increasingly disturbed and outraged by the negative propaganda being distributed in my community from AFSCME. For six years, this union has tried to recruit nurses from West Sub and our sister Resurrection hospitals. They have not succeeded for two reasons. Number one, we did not seek AFSCME to represent us. Number two, the practices of AFSCME are unethical and therefore not an organization most of the nurses at West Sub want to be associated with.

West Sub has served the community for more than a century. We are committed to quality, evidence-based care. We have excellent nurse-to-patient ratios. The administration is available and fair. We have no need to unionize. Yet, we have a union pursuing us. We have a right not to join this union. If we were to form a union, it is our choice to pick who we want to represent us. Attacking West Sub out of frustration only confirms what most of the nurses realized six years ago. AFSCME is about making AFSCME more powerful. This union is not about improving health care for any community.
AFSCME is not even a nursing union.

No matter what tactics AFSCME resorts to, they will not succeed. The truth is more powerful. The will of the nurses at West Sub to stand up to AFSCME intimidation is much stronger. This is the reality of some unions that is not discussed in the media.

Patty Cormack
Registered nurse, West Sub

Many of us in the community have recently received mailings from a union calling into question the quality of medical care provided to patients of West Suburban Medical Center. Statements are made without context or frame of reference, and no constructive ideas are given, only negatives. These comments come from a union that has been hoping to solicit support from workers at West Sub for the past six years. To date, the majority of employees have not chosen to pursue such representation.

It appears that the union is hoping to cast West Sub in a bad light in the community. By assailing the quality of medical care, it insults the work and reputations of the many people who provide that care. Physicians, nurses, therapists, aides and many other associates are dedicated to providing exemplary patient care, and have chosen to come to and remain at West Sub. We believe in quality and will continue to embrace it at West Sub, despite the union’s ill-advised claims to the contrary.

Kevin Cullinane
President, West Sub medical staff

AFSCME has waged a six-year political campaign seeking to tarnish the reputation of the care provided to patients at West Suburban Medical Center, in the “name” of improving quality care. I ask readers to consider that the sole purpose of this is political and based on half-truths and misleading information. I know this because AFSCME does not provide care at West Sub, I do.

The physicians, nurses, therapists, administrative staff, ancillary staff and others know about the equality of care being provided. Ask them about the daily activities and countless hours that go into the process of continually striving to uphold and improve the excellent care being provided to patients. I, like many of my physician colleagues, choose to live and practice in this community. I chose to train at West Sub, and chose to return and practice there for more than 15 years. I have been intimately involved in the many oversight committees that continuously review the care being provided to patients at West Sub. I chose to have my family members have their care provided by West Sub physicians. I, not some outside agency with a political agenda, know about the care that is provided by my physician colleagues at West Sub. Consider the source and consider the true reason behind the innuendo.

Consider why, after six years of this campaign, the employees have chosen not to join AFSCME. If one wants information on how to wage a political campaign aimed at bolstering a union, ask AFSCME. If one wants information about providing quality care to patients, ask a physician, nurse or other member of the health care team at West Sub for reliable information. Do not be misled by a slick campaign cloaked under the guise of improving quality of care.

Consider the source.

Thomas Bielanski
Physician, West Sub

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