2000-05-13 / Columnists

From The G-Man

Local 1199 Delegate Speaks Out

Hey people! A few weeks ago I wrote a column that focused on situations that had taken place at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. As outlined earlier, some of the reports came from the very people who work there. Those who were patients at some point conveyed information as well. Since that article, I had been informed that many at the hospital were not at all pleased with the column. The management wasn’t exactly doing cartwheels either. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Don’t shoot the messenger.

A friend of mine, who happens to work for the hospital, approached me about the column, and we had a very civil and informative discussion about the circumstances surrounding SJEH. He is an honorable man, so I trust that what he told me, in confidence, was indeed valid. Afterwards, I told him that the best thing he could do would be to submit a statement, from his fellow workers, about what is happening at the hospital. I am happy to say that they have accepted my offer, and the SJEH 1199 delegates would like to submit the following to you.

Dear G-man:

We, the delegate body of 1199 working at St. John’s Episcopal, South Shore, wish to communicate the following issues to you. For two years we have consistently brought plans of work to administration to improve the financial status of our hospital; including town hall meetings, meetings with political officials, cost cutting techniques, offered solutions to reduce overtime and provide adequate scheduling of staff to avoid overtime. We also enlightened administration of all the areas that we did not want to see patient and quality of care compromised.

Through all of our endeavors, we have been met with opposition. Kurron Co. of America, which includes Corbett Price-C.E.O., A. Katz and Ronald Weitz, are preventing us from moving forward. Prior to the departure of Mrs. Simmons-C.E.O., on March, 7, 2000, we were amicably working on similar agendas. Since her departure, Kurron Co. of America has cut off all forms communication with the delegate body, the workers and the committees designed to save St. John’s; which were all spin-offs from special task force committees of the crisis team.

The community we serve needs to know that we, the workers, stand committed to continue to provide above board medical care!

Sincerely,

Delegate body 1199 of SJEH

I would like to thank the 1199 delegates for their letter, and I’m sure it will present a better perspective of the problems facing SJEH to many of the Rockaway residents. If the hospital administration is turning a deaf ear to your solutions, then they are indeed to blame. Unfortunately, since

the workers happen to be the most visible and accessible representatives of the hospital, they end up taking all of the blame and criticism. In some cases it may be warranted because there will always be good and bad workers. However, I’m sure that in this particular situation, Kurron Co. of America should be held accountable for any major concerns facing the institution. So, for those of you with gripes about the hospital, you should remember this one thing. A fish rots from the head down.

I want to take this opportunity to invite Kurron Co., of America to offer a response to these charges. The delegates stand strong in their assessment of what is ailing SJEH, and it would appear that you have some explaining to do to the residents of the community. Yeah, I know you guys may be pissed at me for writing the column in the first place, and you may not even want to respond. Well, that wouldn’t be a good idea, unless you want to look like a bunch of fat cat executives who don’t give a damn about the hospital or the community. After that last line, I’ll bet you really like me now.

I hope that you will accept my offer. If you choose to decline, that’s cool, but at least open up lines of communication between you, the 1199 delegate body and anyone else who may be crucial in negotiating resolutions. There is too much at stake for the residents who truly need SJEH in their community.

There is no reason why senseless bickering over wages, contracts and power plays should take precedence over the health and well being of those in need; especially if people are willing to meet you halfway.

I know I’m going to get in trouble for what I’m about to say, but I’ll take my chances. I like to go where most reporters, columnists, journalists, jundits and talk show hosts fear to tread. What a bunch of media punks! Ready or not, here it comes. So, the mayor and police commissioner were diagnosed with prostate cancer, huh? Well, to quote the Dana Carvey character, the Church Lady, "Well, isn’t that special!" Oh, c’mon! Admit it. Some of you, and even the most loyal staff members of Giuliani and Safir, have to be asking one major question. Did The Creator serve justice to them for the roles they played in the Diallo and Dorismond incidents? Many people that I have spoke to, white and Black, seem to think so. You can try to rationalize it all you want, but the bottom line is, this is no coincidence. What are the odds of something like this happening? My personal belief is that universal forces are at work. If you believe that what goes around comes around, or God don’t like ugly, you’ve had to, even if for a moment, look at this situation as having supernatural overtones. Also, keep in mind that West Africans and Haitians have a powerful link to religion, spirituality and the supernatural. I’m not saying they put "roots" or voodoo on these guys, but one has to wonder. Why them, why now and who will have to pay next?

It’s just a little something to think about, if you haven’t already.

See you next week!


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