Cook County Commissioners Tour Stroger Hospital to Discuss High Volume of Agency Workers


My name is Tanisha Carter, I work at Stroger Hospital as a housekeeper and earlier this week I had the pleasure of meeting with three Cook County Commissioners to show them how essential our jobs are, and to highlight the ways temporary, non-union agency contracts negatively impact our union strength and ability to provide quality patient care.  

Local 73 is leading the fight for hiring more full-time unionized workers and reducing the volume of temporary agency contracts.  Following the hearing on October 31st (Read about the hearing by clicking here), Commissioner Alma Anaya, Commissioner Bridget Degnen, and Commissioner Anthony Quezada toured four departments that have the highest volume of agency workers in the health system: Environmental Services, Transportation, Dietary, and the Lab. They were able to see how the overuse of agency workers is hurting our workforce and decreasing the quality of patient care. 

I’m grateful for the solidarity and support from Commissioners Anaya, Degnen, and Quezada on this issue. Having elected officials in office that put people over profit matters. I encourage you to contribute to COPE so we can continue to fight alongside elected officials that support working people.

Sign up to be a COPE member by clicking here!

SEIU Local 73 Stewards Rashawn Banks, Tanisha Carter, Michael Lackland, Roy Ray, and Rachana Patel led the tour and discussed the impact that agency contracts have on providing quality patient care. 

Check out some highlights:  

“We need healthcare for the people, not for profit. Millions of dollars are being spent on agency workers instead of filling these positions with full-time, public, county workers.  

 This agency staffing issue is unsustainable and infuriating. We’re taking this feedback back to our colleagues and are committed to holding Stroger accountable.” 
Commissioner Anthony Quezada  

“We need reliable and fully invested workers who see a long-term career in our hospital system. When our employees make a commitment to Stroger, we know they’ll keep patient safety their highest priority. We should likewise make the same commitment to our employees, so I remain committed to pushing the executive teams to align their mission of patient safety by supporting our hospital employees as our highest and best resource.”  
Commissioner Bridget Degnen 

“For years, Stroger provided care to many of my family members who were in need of access to healthcare. This hospital and the Cook County Health (CCH) system truly makes a difference for families of color and low income communities. Without Stroger, we are taking a lifeline away. We will work hard to ensure our employees have what they need to maintain the highest quality of care, and to secure a public health system that closes health disparities in our communities.” 
Commissioner Alma Anaya