When I started at Yale Medicine as a temp, I dreamed of a full-time position that would give my family the stability we needed. Instead, I was offered a Yale-New Haven Hospital job with inferior benefits. I took the job because I needed to support my family, but when I transitioned to the University after the 2016 contract fight, it changed my life. I was able to give birth to my second child without high co-pays, deductibles, and premiums.
But last year, my coworkers and I in Orthopedics trained temp workers who we later realized would be our replacements. Yale reopened the clinic in a new location and hired the temps through a subsidiary company called Medical Practice Management, which is owned by the University. The temps were even hired to MPM positions by Yale hiring managers. Although my union contract protected me from being laid off, I was forced to relocate and worry that if the University keeps expanding MPM, I’ll eventually lose my job. I’m also upset on behalf of the temp workers I worked alongside. Instead of being on a path towards Local 34 positions, they were hired with no pensions and high healthcare premiums.
During this pandemic, it has become clear that all workers deserve a union. An institution as successful and wealthy as Yale University should offer everyone living wages, access to affordable healthcare, and a path to a dignified retirement. MPM should not be an excuse to diminish a union standard; this hurts other workers and puts our jobs at risk. We need to fight for our jobs, and fight to bring more people in to our union.