Thursday, June 5, 2014

Civil rights leaders, clergy members and elected officials join state mental health workers to rally for "Safety, Rights and Raises"


June 4, 2014 


Contact: Sarah Bufkin, NC NAACP Communications Coordinator - 404.285.3413

 Kevin Yancey, UE150 Chief Steward, state DHHS worker - 919.519.3391 



Rally and Speak-Out

Tomorrow, Thursday, June 5

2 p.m.

Central Regional Hospital

300 Veazey Rd, Butner, NC 


BUTNER, NC - State Department of Health and Human Services workers at Central Regional Hospital will be rallying and speaking out tomorrow, Thursday, June 5 in Butner, NC, to a group of local and state NAACP leaders, local clergy, union members and state elected officials about a series of long-standing concerns that have injured many workers and created high turn-over rates. 


"My wife and I both sleep most nights every week in a recreational vehicle truck parked near the hospital because we are forced to work so much overtime, including several days of consecutive 16-hour shifts. We can not get proper sleep if we take time to drive home. We are committed to safety, quality care and adequate rest, and our only option is to sleep in this RV", stated Joseph Sterling, healthcare technician and UE150 member.  


Nearly twenty workers filed a group complaint, organized by UE local 150, N.C. Public Service Workers Union, on May 7 with the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration seeking redress for injuries that resulted from understaffing, severe forced overtime, lack of proper training and input to safety policies. The union workers have a drafted a list of solutions - which was delivered to D.H.H.S. Secretary Aldona Wos and C.R.H. Director Mike Hennike in March - and yet they have not seen any response or action taken. 


"State workers and union supporters are part of the Forward Together Moral Movement. We stand together," stated Rev. William Barber II, President of the NC NAACP. "Our greatest moral values remind us that, according to Deuteronomy 24:14: 'You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns. You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the Lord, and you be guilty of sin.'"


The civil rights, clergy, union and elected officials plan to gather testimony from workers and meet with Director Mike Hennike to address the issues that plague many of the D.H.H.S. facilities across the state. 


Representative Verla Insko, Representative Nathan Baskerville and Senator Floyd McKissick all plan to attend the event. Reverend Curtis Gatewood, N.C. N.A.A.C.P. Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) Coalition Coordinator, Timothy Daye, President of Vance County N.A.A.C.P., and members of the Granville County N.A.A.C.P. all plan to attend the event, along with Reverend Jimmie Hawkins, Covenant Presbyterian Church in Durham, and Pastor Trice from Union Chapel Baptist Church in Butner. 


The press is invited to interview workers and civil rights, clergy and elected officials that are participating in this event. 



WHAT:        N.A.A.C.P. leaders, local clergy, union and state representatives visit Central 

                     Regional Hospital to investigate safety, understaffing and other worker and patient 



WHEN:        Tomorrow, Thursday, June 5 at 2 p.m.


WHERE:      Central Regional Hospital, 

                      300 Veazey Rd., Butner, N.C. 






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