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UNM Hospital workers demand better working conditions

Shelby Wyatt
Source New Mexico

The New Mexico Department of Health says new COVID-19 cases have been trending downward. Still, those on the frontlines are feeling the effects of providing care these last three years. Health care workers at the University of New Mexico are planning a protest Thursday morning to demand better working conditions.

Health care workers at UNM Hospital will be demanding safe staffing, safe working conditions, and fair wages during Thursday’s protest.

Eleanor Chavez represents District 1199 of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees. She said that hospital staff are being overloaded with work and are at risk of moral injury because they can’t deliver the care they were trained to provide.

"These are the workers who were called heroes during COVID. These are the workers who cared for the community. So, they’re not being treated like heroes right now" said Chavez.

Chavez said that the union has been in negotiations with the hospital since last December to no avail, leaving workers feeling angry and demoralized.

Chavez also believes that New Mexico is already in a health care crisis and hopes that after the protest hospital management will start to negotiate at their best ability since she believes they have yet to do so.


Health care worker protest flier

This coverage is made possible by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and KUNM listeners.

Taylor is a reporter with our Poverty and Public Health project. She is a lover of books and a proud dog mom. She's been published in Albuquerque The Magazine several times and enjoys writing about politics and travel.