My friend, Jennifer Auby Rosenblad stopped by my shop today and told me about pay cuts that began hurting state employed nurses on this Island almost 2 years ago and asked me if I could help.
She explained when other state employees were given furlough days and able to work their second jobs, nurses were given none. They reported to work as usual but with a 5% pay cut. Some things just aren’t fair. But keep reading, it gets even worse.
In addition, Jennifer told me they were promised a return to their previous wages after two years. Now, word is there will be a continuation of 5% pay cuts, no cost of living supplement and increases of insurance premiums. What is even sadder is that our nurses at Maui Memorial Medical Center are already paid a wage far below what is considered average. State nurses must pay for their insurance while nurses at Kaiser, Queens and Straub hospitals all provide 90-100% coverage for their nurses and their families. She said she fears nurses on Maui will no longer have any reason to stay on Maui and will begin leaving in droves.
Since striking would harm the patients, it is not an option. Instead, a sign waving campaign to raise awareness and public support is slated for next week Monday and Thursday. The nurses are asking for exemption from this latest round of cuts and asking for the public’s help to write letters to Governor Abercrombie on their behalf. Upon hearing of this inequity in wages for such a dedicated and unselfish employment sector, I was happy to donate my time & provide all materials below my cost, to help Jennifer and all the other State employed nurses to fight for fair wages!