Denver Health Accused of Union-Busting: Take Action

Despite serving on the frontlines of the pandemic, health care workers in Denver say their union is being busted.

Since March, local health professionals have navigated a pandemic that highlighted pay disparities between top executives receiving hefty bonuses and frontline workers. The crisis has also exposed grievances from hospital staffers, who unionized in May. Denver Health Workers United asked for more hazard pay, protective equipment, and better working conditions to help them stay safe while helping the public stay safe.

“I joined Denver Health Workers United because I believe many workers like me are certainly underpaid for the work that we provide,” said Sara Jungels, a certified nursing assistant. “On January first, my base pay of $14.35 will not meet the city of Denver’s minimum wage increase. And I’m not alone in this.”

Denver Health Workers United is not allowed to collectively bargain because it is a state entity, according to the union. Hospital CEO Robin Wittenstein said all employees will make Denver’s minimum wage requirements next year.

Katie Bakes, who runs the hospital’s “at-risk” intervention program, said executives have retaliated against her for recruiting union members. Others have accused hospital brass of union-busting after Wittenstein sent a letter to staffers in May that appeared to discourage signing up with the union.

Another report says Denver Health retaliated against staff who spoke out about COVID-19 and systemic racism.

How can you help?

Call Denver Health at (303) 436-6000 and politely ask to leave a message for CEO Robin Wittenstein.

Are you on Twitter? Tweet at Denver Health and let them know what you think of union-busting. Their Twitter account is @DenverHealthMed

Are you on Facebook? Leave a comment on Denver Health’s page.

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