Nurses, dietitians, pharmacists and social workers at Howard University Hospital – members of the DC Nurses Association – on Friday announced they’ll hold a one-day strike beginning 7:30 AM Monday morning, April 11, to demand a fair contract and safe staffing to protect patients.At issue are pay cuts and staffing issues. “It really comes down to treating us with dignity and respect,” said RN Jeanette Ethridge. “They are understaffing in the hospital, and they are taking from us as costs continue to rise.” Howard University in 2020 turned hospital management over to corporate giant Adventist Health, which posted over $100 million in profits last year, while DCNA nurses say staffing issues have gotten worse.
Of particular concern are more experienced nurses, some of whom have dedicated themselves to Howard University Hospital students and the community for decades, but whose pay is undermined by the hospital’s proposals. DCNA represents over 300 nurses, dietitians, pharmacists and social workers at HUH. “These hard-working people are not equations, they are human beings,” said Graylan Hagler, Senior Minister at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ. “We know healthcare workers are heroes. Howard University should treat them like heroes.” Howard University walked away from the bargaining table last month and has ignored requests to return. photo: DCNA rally January 13; photo by Chris Garlock/Union City