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Sharpe Hospital Employees Voice Pay, Safety Concerns to State Representatives
Written by Nicole Porter
Last updated on December 21, 2012 @ 7:58PM
Created on December 21, 2012 @ 6:59PM
 
Some employees in Lewis County met with their government representatives Friday morning to voice concerns about some working conditions. Sharpe Hospital employees came up with three main problems that they'd like to see fixed so their work days go better.
 
The three biggest concerns are mandatory overtime, pay and safety. The employees said they're working so many extra hours because they are short staffed and they want to see some help coming through the doors as soon as possible.

Sharpe Hospital in Weston is a 150 bed acute care psychiatric hospital that operates under the direction of the state Division of Health and Human Resources. The employees of the hospital are considered state employees. About 50 of them  told Senator Doug Facemire and Delegate Peggy Donaldson Smith that their wages are too low and they're required to work overtime hours every week to make up for the short staffing. Some of the healthcare workers make less than $20,000 a year.
 
Right now, the staff is about 50 people short, so it's not unusual that some of the nurses work three 16 hour days in a row. The nurses said the patients notice this and that violence has gone up.
 
Senator Facemire was astonished at all of these concerns and said it needs fixed. He plans to meet with the DHHR and other government officials to make sure they recognize the problem and then he will meet with Sharpe employees next month on the progress.

Most agreed that getting more employees and receiving better pay would help some of the problems.

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