Several hundred Jackson employees, patients and community members rallied outside the Miami-Dade County Commission meeting this morning urging elected officials to hold a special hearing on the recent announcement of 1,100 layoffs at Jackson.

And our voices were heard! In an official letter to President Martha Baker, RN, Chairman Joe Martinez granted our union’s request and said a public hearing on the layoffs would be set in the near future.

“We are standing up for our patients and we must fight this fight,” Baker said during the rally as the crowds cheered. “We need the community to stand with us. The County Commission needs to hear from you about the dangers of these cuts. It’s all of our responsibility to make sure Jackson is fixed for the future.”

Baker said 1,100 layoffs – the largest in Jackson’s history – would result in the death of our public hospital. “We will not tolerate that!” she said.

Wearing purple “Save Jackson” t-shirts, the crowds cheered, held up signs, blew whistles, chanted “No More Cuts” and signed a 4-foot-high petition calling for a public hearing.

Dr. Dave Woolsey, an Attending Physician in the ER, said Migoya’s claims that layoffs would not harm patient care were untrue. Woolsey said in the past few years, access to patient care has dwindled with the closing of clinics and longer wait times for doctor visits. When he tells an ER patient to see a doctor for follow-up care, the wait time is long. “It’s harder to access care and we are driving patients away,” he said. “You have to wait months and months to get seen by a doctor, if you’re lucky.”

Member Ann Edwards, RN, has worked at Jackson for 14 years and said she came out to the rally to support her fellow employees. She said they are already short-staffed in her unit due to the furloughs and she can’t imagine what it will be like if there were more layoffs. “These cuts are just going to make it worse,” she said. “Our patients are going to be hurting.”

Please be sure to attend the upcoming public hearing on Jackson’s layoffs. We will update you with more details as soon as the date is announced. Thanks to everyone who came out this morning and stood up for Jackson!

News Coverage:
Click Here to Read The Miami Herald story
Click Here to Read WSVN’s coverage
Click Here to Read NBC 6

Scroll Down For More Pictures!

Vice President Sam Ruiz, RN, rallies the crowd with a megaphone

Member Ava Luces, RN, holds up a “We are the 99%” sign

President Martha Baker, RN, stands among the crowds and led the chant “No More Layoffs!”

“This is not about the employees,” President Martha Baker, RN, said. “This is about the patients left behind.”

President Martha Baker, RN, said it was up to the community to save Jackson!