WATCH: Mayo Clinic surgery workers deliver petition about reported staffing issues
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Mayo Clinic St. Mary’s and Methodist Surgery Workers spoke Thursday morning in Rochester about a petition regarding reported staffing issues.
The petition is addressed to Mayo leadership and has been signed by more than half of the department including both current and former surgery workers, which is roughly more than 270 people.
“Continuing to be asked to do more or less eventually leads to an empty tank with nothing left to pour from. We are not machines, and our patients are not products on a conveyor belt,” current Saint Mary’s CST Sam Bright said.
The group says the petition calls for “specific items related to worker and patient safety.” Things like excessive overtime, not enough training and not being able to take breaks during their shifts.
“The fact that an employee is be required an uncapped amount of overtime or risk losing their only source of income seems horribly unfair to me,” former St. Mary’s employee Niki Church said. Church started the petition.
“We ask that the orientation and training processes continue to be re-evaluated and revamped to make sure that we can continue testing employee knowledge,” current Saint Mary’s SPT Jen Santos Norgren said.
Workers detailed their stories while setting a deadline for Mayo Clinic to respond by June 1, requesting a meeting with Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. Gianrico Farrugia.
The group wants to “encourage Mayo Clinic to make positive policy changes for the safety of both their patients and employees,” according to a release.
KTTC reached out to Mayo Clinic for a response and Chief of Surgery Dr. Michael Kendrick sent us back the following statement.
“Mayo Clinic leaders have an unwavering commitment to our staff and to providing high-quality, safe patient care. We encourage our staff to share concerns, especially those related to staff and patient safety. The concerns raised during today’s SEIU news conference have been investigated by our internal leadership team as well as by The Joint Commission. These investigations did not substantiate the union’s claim about unsafe practices.
We continue to work with our staff to identify ways we can further support them. As was acknowledged at the press conference, we have many efforts underway to jointly identify solutions, including regularly exchanging ideas through staff and leadership meetings as well as our safety and staff engagement committees. Though this is a challenging time for the healthcare industry, we remain steadfast and committed to our staff and will continue to identify solutions to current challenges.”
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