Workers’ Correspondence

I am one of 150 employees of the Home Care Network of Chicago’s Rush Hospital who were literally sold March 23 to Patient Care, a giant for-profit home-care company with 6,000 employees nationwide.

Workers in the homecare network include registered nurses, physical and occupational therapists and home health care aides. We provide the medically necessary follow-up care after someone is hospitalized. The skilled services we provide include physical therapy, chemotherapy or cardiac assessments. The goal of this Medicare certified service is to prevent re-hospitalization.

After the sale of the not-for-profit Rush Hospital’s home care network to the for-profit company was announced, we were shocked to learn that the deal included a provision barring us from transferring to other positions in the hospital’s medical center. The hospital had agreed not to rehire any of us, its soon-to-be-former employees, for two years, and even then only as a new hire.

We had been “sold” to Patient Care!

Rush Hospital nurses have never been unionized, but we are not taking this lying down. Talks are underway with local union representatives and community organizations. Watch this column for updates.

– Elizabeth Peace, R.N. (pww@pww.org)

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