UNM Hospitals

Hannah Colton/KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/21, 8a: Keeping our communities and public spaces clean is life-saving work as we fight viral spread. On this week's call-in show, we'll hear from those essential workers about the conditions they face during the pandemic. Do you work in sanitation or on a hospital cleaning crew? Do you clean homes or other businesses for a living? Are you a home health care worker? We want to hear from you about how things are going. Or do you have a special story or gratitude shoutout for someone who cleans the spaces you inhabit? Email LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show.

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The streets are quieter. Restaurants and bars are empty. But the trash is still picked up each week, homes are still getting cleaned and hospitals are still sanitized for safety. On episode 63, we honor the bravery of domestic cleaners, hospital janitors, sanitation workers and home health workers. They're front-line workers who need more than just thanks—they need fair pay and proper protection during the pandemic.

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Hospital workers around the U.S. have been speaking up about concerns over working conditions and the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE). Former UNM Hospital nurse Hunter Marshall says he was threatened with discipline after speaking to the media about staff concerns at the hospital. So he decided to resign, he says, and look for another hospital to work in during the pandemic. Your New Mexico Government spoke with a nurse, a union representatives and doctors at UNMH about PPE and workers' rights to speak out.

Megan Kamerick / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 4/23, 8a: More health care workers in New Mexico are testing positive for COVID-19 as the state approaches an expected peak in cases later this spring. Hospitals are laying off workers as the ban on elective surgeries and other procedures slams their bottom lines. On this week’s call-in show, we’ll hear about how prepared the state’s health care system is for a surge of coronavirus patients. Are workers getting the protective equipment they need? How would hospitals handle potential shortages of intensive care beds and ventilators? To join in the conversation, email letstalks@kunm.org or call in live during the show on Thursday morning.

Courtesy of Sharon Argenbright

Negotiations continue between UNM Hospitals (UNMH) and the union that represents about 4500 of its nurses, aides, housekeepers and other workers. The union is holding out for better compensation in their new contract, which is meant to begin July 1st.