The nurses say they’re frustrated and fed up with the hospital administration turning a deaf ear to their concerns about working conditions and patient safety at the Northeast DC hospital. “I got into this work because I care,” said Providence nurse Donna Fleming-Cobey at a noontime rally in front of the hospital. “I put my heart into being a nurse every day. I want my patients to get the best possible care. But it seems like the hospital administrators just won’t listen.” Picketing in bright red hospital scrubs, the striking nurses were joined on the line by community, political and religious allies who pledged their support. “We’re Teamsters,” said Local 639 Business Agent Bill Davis, “We don’t cross lines.” Added newly-elected At-Large DC Council member Elissa Silverman, “You were there for me on Election Day and I’m here for you today.” Later that afternoon, several dozen nurses staged a “Ebola Die-In” in front of the White House to dramatize their demands for optimal personal protective equipment for nurses and other caregivers who interact with Ebola patients.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock