We apologize for the quality of our audio. We're getting settled with our respective home studios during quarantine, and we are eternally thankful to Jay for his superlative editing skills and patience. We'll get better! Don't forget to give us some stars and subscribe! We hope you are all staying safe, sane, and healthy. Want to talk about it? Send a note to [email protected]!
Follow The Better Left Cast on Twitter Follow the Better Left Cast on Facebook Follow the Better Left Cast on Instagram
Mike is a psychiatric social worker at Western State Hospital, and President of AFSCME 28/WFSIE, the union representing approximately 45,000 state employees and public service workers across the state of Washington. That includes employees of state agencies, state colleges and universities, social services providers, state park employees, and correction officers, to name a few.
While all of these public service jobs have been impacted by the unprecedented impact of this global pandemic, COVID-19 has created an untenable pressure on the frontline healthcare workers at facilities like Eastern and Western State hospitals, Harborview Medical Center, and the University of Washington Medical Center.
In this episode, we check in with our friend Mike and unpack the reports we've heard from the frontline workers, the ever-present struggle with hospital administration to get the necessary PPE -protective gear used by hospital staff to reduce exposure and risk of infection for both patient and the people providing vital healthcare services.
In the midst of this crisis, at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak and in the United States, Mike speaks to what's going on and what the team at Washington State Federation of State Employees is doing to advocate on behalf of the incredible work on the frontlines, like #Courageous Duty Pay for front-line workers (SIGN THE PETITION!), and advocating for better screening and prioritized COVID-19 testing for front line staff.
We also speak with our dear friend Michael Ferguson, an account manager for a company that provides lighting and technical services for large-venue public events. 200 employees were laid off as a result of the impact of COVID-19, and he speaks to the difficulty of the situation, and what he and other leaders from his field are doing to help- like raising $70,000 in support of Washington State Stage and Tech workers in an emergency fund.
Guests: Mike Yestramski Jr and Michael Ferguson
Editing: Jay Smith
Show Notes: Troy Hewitt
Intro Artist: Hemijinks Title: Nice Ray License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ Adaptation: Reduced length to fit intro, adjusted audio levels Promoted by: https://www.tribeofnoise.com/viewMusic.php?fileID=17690 Outro Artist: Ed Navarro Dee Title: Atacama License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Adaptation: adjusted audio levels Promoted by:https://www.tribeofnoise.com/viewMusic.php?fileID=61477