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Wisconsin healthcare union: Workers are afraid

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals represents a variety of healthcare employees across Milwaukee.

They say equipment is in short supply.

“Housekeepers are being sent in to clean COVID patients rooms without proper PPE," WFNHP Executive Director Jamie Lucas said. "Nurses are already starting to store their masks in paper bags, so that they can reuse them.”

Some of their members worry if they catch COVID-19 and don’t have sick time, they won’t get paid.

“Not all employers have come on board with granting that time as paid time without the employee having to use their own bank of hours,” WFNHP President Jeff Weber said.

Employment law attorney Nola Hitchcock cross says there is a state whistle blower protection law to protect healthcare workers reporting an unsafe environment.

“If the healthcare workers are in an unsafe position they are not able to provide help to the patients as well," Hitchcock Cross. "For example if there is a healthcare worker who is infected, that’s a problem for patients as well.”

But it’s not all bad in the healthcare field. Monica Koch, a nurse at Ascension Franklin, set up a GoFundMe to feed every shift using donations, with food purchased from local businesses.

“Many of the nurses that I work with, sometimes it’s hard to find time to eat in just a regular shift without a pandemic going on," Koch said. But you know, we have our basic needs.”

Click here for a link to the fundraiser.

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