City Mayor Joins Growing Outcry of Support for Unjust Firing of Affinity Nurse
Second candlelight vigil protest set for Friday
Affinity Medical Center RNs, along with a growing number of concerned community members, will be holding a second candlelight vigil Friday evening to protest the unjust termination of Ann Wayt, a highly respected orthopedic RN who has worked at the facility for 24 years. Prior to the vigil, nurses and supporters will march in the Beat McKinley parade scheduled for 7 p.m. and then return to the hospital for the candlelight vigil at 8 p.m.
Ms. Wayt never received any type of discipline throughout her 24 years at the hospital. NNOC/NNU, the union which represents Affinity RNs, has filed an unfair labor practice charge citing retaliation for her union activism and expects the labor board to issue a ruling at the end of next month. Nurses say that the termination is an attempt to silence and intimidate that won’t succeed.
“I am a strong supporter of NNOC because I have a duty to be a patient advocate,” said Brenda Dallacheisa, an RN who works in the mental health unit at the hospital. “Affinity RNs cannot and will not be silenced. I stand by my sister Ann and all of my coworkers for our right to be able to speak up on behalf of our patients.”
What: Candlelight Vigil in Support of Ann Wayt
When/Where: Friday October 26, 2012
7:00 p.m.—Meet for parade on Oak St. behind the YMCA
8:00 p.m.—Vigil at Affinity Medical Center 875 8th Street, Northeast Massillon, OH 44648 on the Amherst Rd. side of the hospital.
Support for Ann can be seen both inside the hospital, where RNs throughout the facility can be seen wearing orange ribbons and buttons that say “I stand with Ann for RN rights,” and on yards around the city adorned with “Affinity Medical Center Respect RN Rights” lawn signs.
“I know Ann Wayt personally and I know her to be an outstanding nurse,” said Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry in a written statement of support. “It is my hope there may be a resolution whereby Ann may return to Affinity. I realize how hard my colleagues in the nursing profession work, and how dedicated they are to patient safety. I sincerely wish you all the best in your first contract negotiations. Successful completion of these negotiations will benefit the entire community.”
In 2008, Ann was the recipient of the Affinity Medical Center Nurse Excellence Award and was the Cameos of Caring recipient for the University of Akron College of Nursing. Since that time, Ann has continued to receive excellent evaluations for her skills and commitment to high-quality patient care for the patients at Affinity.
Affinity RNs voted to join the National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United at the end of August in a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency.
The impetus for the organizing, cited by the nurses, is a stronger voice to make improvements in patient care, such as better, safer RN-to-patient staffing ratios. RNs in the critical care unit can have up to three patients, above the recommended one or two patients, and seven to eight on the medical floors, where studies cite five as optimal.
Dates for bargaining are being set up, information requests have been sent to the hospital, and the nurses have chosen a facility bargaining council and a negotiating team.
Overall, NNU now represents 185,000 members in all 50 states and is the largest professional organization for direct-care registered nurses in the nation.