If They Are Going To Treat You Like You Work At A Carwash, Why Not Act Like It?

If They Are Going To Treat
You Like You Work At A Carwash, Why Not Act Like It?


Leonard Zwelling

         This appears above the fold in the NY Times Business section on Labor Day. How appropriate!


         Steven Greenhouse reports on how some workers at a local
carwash in Santa Fe, New Mexico were being abused by their supervisor. They
would show up for work as scheduled at 8:15, but not be allowed to clock in
until things got busy at 11. They received no workmen’s compensation, nor
vacation days. They were humiliated, even in front of customers. Safety
considerations in the work place were not considered essential.

         The workers of the Squeaky Clean organized with the help of
the Somos Un Pueblo Unido. They did not form a union, but rather what is called
a workers committee, a group that is far from a labor union, but the rights of
which are still protected under the New Deal Era National Labor Relations Act.
Retaliation and retribution are not allowed against such a committee or its
members when the committee is involved with “a concerted activity to improve
their wages and conditions, even when they are not trying to unionize.”

         The faculty of MD Anderson, especially the clinical faculty,
should consider forming such a committee, especially if it is done through the
Faculty Senate.

         I believe that the conditions under which the physicians of
MD Anderson are being asked to care for the very sick are not up to the
standards of a world-class patient care facility. The waiting rooms are packed
and the waits long. Schedules are over booked and templates are hemorrhaging
with double and triple scheduling. These patient patients are sick people
needing a lot of care and consideration—and time. The clinics cannot be run
like an assembly line with a patient seen every 15 minutes so as to maximize
revenue for the green eye shade crowd in the mid-campus ocean liner.

         Can you think in the cramped quarters in which you have to
dictate your notes or chart your findings?

         Do you ever get a break for lunch and, if you do, where do
you eat that is close to the clinic?

         Do you really think an electronic medical record is likely
to ease the pain of the secretarial burden of care foisted on the faculty?

         Do the nurses run the clinics the way you want them to or do
they run you and your schedule the way they have been told to?

the hell is in charge here anyway?

         I suggest that the leaders of the Faculty Senate pursue the
formation of a workers committee with the NLRB. Just because the football
players of Northwestern were not able to form a union, doesn’t mean the State
workers of Texas cannot form a work site organization with which to deal with
the leaders of MD Anderson in areas of clinical care about which the faculty
knows far more than the leaders, or the nurses and clinical administrators.

         I have advocated for a work slow down for some time to get
the leadership to pay attention to the plight of the faculty. Clearly the
Chancellor hears you even if The Ronald and his crew do not. Dr. Shine objected
to my characterization of the last group surrounding the President as henchmen.
But I shall repeat myself as that is what I believe Dmitrovsky, Buchholz,
Leach, Fontaine and Burke have become (or always were).

         If you are happy with your work conditions, please ignore
this and ignore me. If you are not, check out the piece in the NY Times. Very illuminating.

yes. There’s a deal on tire cleaning and bone marrow aspirations today.

1 thought on “If They Are Going To Treat You Like You Work At A Carwash, Why Not Act Like It?”

  1. Very true. And its not just physicians that share this reality. Some nurses at MD anderson in the hospital building have told me that they are lucky if they can get a bite during their 12 hour shifts, and that it is usually the same with most of hospital side nursing staff as well. They feel overworked and burnt out like a factory assembly line worker that the average RN lasts only 2 years at acute hospital side of nursing.

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