Johanna Slaughter 9

Cornerstone of Recovery Employees Deserve Better Pay

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We, the undersigned, ask for a fairer wage for all employees at Cornerstone of Recovery. Specifically, every hourly paid employee here deserves at least $1 more per hour, added to our paycheck for at least the next year. Cornerstone management sent out an email January 13 explaining the reasons hazard pay has been removed. We do not believe these reasons are adequate. Yes, Covid-19 safety measures have been improved, but at the time of this writing, eleven Cornerstone patients are now quarantined with Covid-19. In one department, three staff members contracted Covid-19 in one week. And although vaccines were made available in Blount County, many staff still remain on the waiting list and are currently not immune to Covid-19. It is clear that the hazards of our work environment have not significantly decreased. It’s also becoming more and more apparent that this pandemic will not be ending in the near future. Increasing Covid-19 cases and deaths, problems with vaccine distribution, and hospitals reaching capacity all signal that this is nowhere near over, and will likely not be fully resolved until the year is over. The top infectious disease doctor in the United States said that we would not reach “normality that is close to where we were before” until the end of 2021. For these reasons, we do not currently feel that we can acquiesce to lower pay now or for the foreseeable future.
As a compromise, we believe it would be fair to end the weekly meals in lieu of a pay raise. My coworkers and I, if given the choice, would not hesitate to choose a pay raise over continued Tuesday meals.

This petition was written and signed by people who care about this facility. We genuinely want what is best for Cornerstone and the patients it serves. And we believe the best way to achieve that is to have well-paid, happy staff who don’t have to worry about how they’re going to pay their bills while at work. The management here are very supportive of all staff and have created a great work environment for us, but that does not substitute financial security. With this petition, we are demonstrating today that we have the courage to change the things we cannot accept.

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