Letters: I’ve chosen my candidate for council; Nurses want a fair contract (Opinion) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letters: I’ve chosen my candidate for council; Nurses want a fair contract (Opinion)

Candidate Robbins is my choice for city council

Dear Editor:

The Council Zoom Forum was an opportunity to hear candidate responses. The candidate who was, articulate, straight forward, knowledgeable, and impressive as he discussed topics and issues I cared deeply about, was Scott Robbins. He was not afraid to “tell it like it is.”

On the issue of the City’s (Measure S) to raise the sales tax by a full 1%, two candidates said they would support this tax. Reminder: Twice the city has attempted 1/2% sales tax measures and both were rejected by voters.

Scott opposes this tax, and wants the City to prioritize monies in the General Fund for essential services, without raising taxes. He said the Council must put locals first, and presented several examples of how that could be done, without hiring consultants or imposing taxes or fees that impact locals more than tourists.

He supported Measure T to phase out vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods, rallied support to reopen Fire Station 2 and hire seven firefighters, and thinks the current plan for the Loop Road is wrong for our City.

I will not be supporting candidates who fit in “too comfortably” with the status quo Council, making the same poor decisions we see time and time again, that are not in the best interest of the locals. 

As we have seen in the past, people are elected because of name recognition or affiliations with special interests groups. Scott proudly said he is not endorsed by the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, and neither of the two Chambers. He said he wants to be endorsed by the residents who are the “heart and sole of this community.” That is the type of candidate who will be looking out for my interests.

I will be voting for Scott Robbins for city council.

Andrea Olsen, South Lake Tahoe

We nurses deserve a fair contract from Barton

Dear Editor:

As Barton nurses, we are at the forefront of the battle to beat COVID-19, and pandemic or not, we always strive to give the best care we can to our patients. We need our community’s support.

Almost three years ago, Barton Hospital’s managerial apathy to the ongoing concerns of Barton’s nurses regarding safety, working conditions, and employee retention compelled us to join the California Nurses Association. Barton immediately hired an expensive union-busting law firm and, as of today, has been successful in denying us the contract we deserve.

We have remained dedicated to our patients despite inadequate personal protective equipment, shortages of needed supplies, and constantly changing protocols. We have put ourselves and our families at serious risk of contracting a disease that has killed more than 900 healthcare workers thus far in the United States. 

While the hospital has relied heavily on the loyalty, ingenuity, bravery, and flexibility of its nurses during this pandemic, Barton’s management seems to feel that we are only worthy of empty talk describing us as “heroes.” 

If Barton and their lawyers choose to force an unsuitable contract upon us, they will have chosen to exploit our commitment to our patients and to our profession. All we ask for is a fair agreement that recognizes our contributions and allows us to continue contributing to the hospital and our community’s safety and well-being. 

Barton’s nurses — not the Board of Directors, executive officers or corporate lawyers–will provide care to you and your family. Please stand with us and demand that Barton Memorial Hospital do the right thing for its union nurses and negotiate a fair contract now.

Dorothy Dean of Stateline submitted the letter that was also signed by dozens of other Barton nurses

Keeping patients safe is a team effort

Running a hospital takes a large team of professionals all pulling together, often under tremendous stress. We often recognize our caregivers who have direct contact with patients. But behind every clinician is a team of people making sure she or he can do their job well and safely.

These behind-the-scenes teams include the people who are purchasing supplies, cleaning patient rooms, ensuring equipment and facilities are working properly, delivering food safely to patients and staff and administratively managing all the requirements to run a health system. The contribution from all of these team members helps achieve the overall mission of delivering safe, high-quality care to our community.

I would like to highlight one team in particular who, since March has made sure that every day our hospital is stocked and equipped with enough critical personal protective equipment for all patients and staff. Our supply chain team members are just some of the unsung heroes who continue to work unrecognized.

While every hospital in the country is putting forth effort to procure PPE and supplies during a national shortage, this team of 18 dedicated individuals have gone above and beyond. A task force was formed early on in the pandemic to track all available PPE, how quickly it is being used on a daily basis, and the amount needed in stock to ensure our clinicians are protected. In addition, this team has been able to meet all CDC guidelines as well as infection control protocols developed by experts both at Barton and in the field.

Since the pandemic began, Barton has spent more than $1.5 million on PPE and equipment specific to meeting the needs of keeping staff safe while caring for patients who may have COVID-19. Because of this investment, there has not been a single day where the hospital did not have personal protective equipment based on CDC guidelines resulting in an environment where patients can receive appropriate care and staff can deliver this care without additional worry.

We’re fortunate to have a team of professionals working at Barton who put their commitment and the safety of their fellow co-workers before their own self-interest. Your contribution to keeping all of us and the community safe is greatly appreciated.

On behalf of all of our staff and physicians, thank you to Barton’s supply chain team.

Dr. Matthew Wonnacott, chief medical officer, Barton Health

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