McFarland Mental Health Center employees to demonstrate over lack of staff on Wednesday

Image by Nicajo from Pixabay

Employees at McFarland Mental Health Center in Springfield will be holding an informational picket on Wednesday, Nov. 16.

AFSCME Council 31 said in a press release that there was a severe staff shortage at the state-run facility.

Members of the Illinois Nurses Association (INA) and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 will hold an informational picket outside McFarland Mental Health Center tomorrow, November 16th at 2:30 p.m.

According to the press release, AFSCME and INA members say the lack of staff threatens to erode the quality of care for patients at McFarland, poses a safety risk to employees, and is driving out-of-control overtime—including mandatory overtime—that is leading to burnout among workers.

According to INA, there are 50 nurses who work at the Center but there are 11 nursing positions open.  INA nurses are calling on the Illinois to host a job fair and recruit to fill the vacancies.  Nurses have also told management they want the option of working 12.5-hour shifts to reduce burnout and not being mandated to work overtime.  Center management has failed to implement a negotiated agreement on these key issues, according to INA. 

The picket will be at McFarland Mental Health Center, 901 Southwind Dr. starting at 2:30 p.m.