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UAB nurses gather outside hospital, asking for better working conditions

Staff clocked in following protest and discussion with hospital leaders.
Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 7:55 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2021 at 6:08 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A large group of nurses and UAB staff gathered outside of UAB hospital Monday night.

The nurses told WBRC they want better working conditions, including equal pay.

The staff temporarily refused to clock in as part of a protest over what they call unfair working conditions.

They told WBRC’s Cassie Fambro they have an issue with pay discrepancies compared to other states, but also being overworked and understaffed.

Another issue they say is the federal money being allocated by the state for travel nurses which is $12.3 million in total, meaning they could make more than the nurses currently at UAB.

The President of the Alabama Nurses Association, Dr. Lindsey Harris, was at the demonstration. Harris said, “I’d love to see for nurses in the state of Alabama, first of all, to come up to the average eight percent of what the surrounding states pay. It’s easy for a nurse to go across state lines and still come back to their families and make that eight percent difference.”

According to UAB Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Terri Poe: ”The COVID pandemic and recent Delta variant surge have stressed the healthcare system and put tremendous pressure on our staff – including nurses on the front lines. We are aware of our nurses’ concerns and are working to address them while adjusting operations to provide the highest quality care to our patients who need us. We encourage a dialogue with our employees – particularly in difficult times like these. Our community can help us support our nurses and all our employees by wearing masks and getting vaccinated to curb the pandemic that continues to put pressure on those who have been working to serve our state.”

UPDATED RESPONSE: “After discussing their concerns with hospital leadership this evening, emergency department staff joined their colleagues to care for patients; this important dialogue will continue.”

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