The registered nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children worked the night before from 7 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. By the time she left the hospital to go home, it was almost 8 a.m.
When she got home, she gave her sick dog some medication. Then she had a cup of tea, which she didn’t finish, fell asleep for two hours and woke up in time to attend an informational picket in front of the hospital.
It was all so she could join her colleagues in demanding better benefits.
“Luckily, I’m not working today and it just happened that way. There are people that will come back and work tonight,” MacDonald said. “There are people coming out on their lunch break. This is important to us.”
MacDonald’s fellow nurses and healthcare workers at St. Mary’s are asking for a better benefits package that will cut down their costs. Right now, MacDonald said, many of her colleagues can’t even afford to see the doctor.
“People skip going to the doctors themselves so they can take their child to the doctor,” MacDonald said. “That shouldn’t ever be, especially here.”
MacDonald said, many healthcare workers end up leaving the hospital to find jobs with more benefits. That leaves the current workers who want to stay to do much of the work.
“The staff is exhausted because we need to hold onto staff members instead of constantly having to train new ones and have them leave,” she said. “They’re getting burned out.”
MacDonald, who is on the negotiating team, hopes that the hospital administration will see their difficulties and work with them.
“We love St. Mary’s, It’s a great place,” MacDonald said.