CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Nurses at a local Hospital in Chattanooga are causing a stir on social media.
They’re hoping to have their voices heard by creating a union at Erlanger Hospital.
A Facebook page, created by Nurse Jeff Holland, encourages other nurses to join with him in support of a union. Holland says without a union -nurses just can’t be heard.
“We didn’t see any other option to have an advocate for us. Kind of like the superman movie where Lois Lane is falling and she says if you got me who’s got you? We’re the patient’s advocate but we need an advocate for us,” says Jeff Holland, LPN at Erlanger.
Holland says some of the things they are fighting for are the return of benefits, different hiring practices, no more “team nursing”, and protection for any employee if they are terminated.
The group has over 300 members so far and they say that having a Nurse Union would mean that Erlanger Hospital couldn’t make any major changes or decisions that would affect them – without consulting the union first.
Holland says with less staffing and the covid-19 pandemic, nurses are burnt out and need a voice.
“With the Covid pandemic, we are so stressed out already. Sometimes you need a day off. They aren’t in a situation mentally to take on 8 patients when that’s twice as many as you should be having anyways,” says Holland.
Nurse Holland has met with two local unions about the start up process and is hoping to receive assistance from National Nurses United.
News 12 reached out to Erlanger and received this statement “Erlanger strives to continuously listen to employees and take seriously any concerns brought forward. We are in an unending journey to improve and make ERlanger Health System the best healthcare system for our patients, our staff and our community.”