CHICAGO – Howard Brown Health Clinic workers will be on strike for two days, walking the picket line at three of the 10 clinics around Chicago.
This is the second strike in a year.
Howard Brown clinics offer health care focused on the needs of the LGBTQ+ community and anyone underinsured or uninsured.
Workers say the clinics are understaffed, creating a turnover of skilled health professionals. Now, they say they’re being asked to spend less time with patients.
Josseline Almengor has worked as a bilingual health educator for three years. She says conditions have worsened over the last year.
“Our patients’ time has diminished to 20 minutes from 40 minutes. For things like pap smears and other procedures. We cannot do this work in 20 minutes. This is unethical and unsafe for our patients,” she said.
They’re asking the public to boycott the Brown Elephant resale shops, which fund the clinics, to send a message to the healthcare administrators.
Glenn Short works at a Brown Elephant store.
“We actually do not get health care benefits. They keep Brown Elephant workers at three or four days a week so that we work just under full time. So, even though all of our work is going towards helping uninsured patients, and underinsured patients, that’s also me. I’m also a patient who goes to Howard Brown because I can’t afford much else,” said Short.
Brown Elephant at 3020 N. Lincoln Ave. was closed for the day, but the clinics remain open.
Picketers say they don’t want to stand in the way of anyone needing health care. That’s why their strike is for two days while they continue to negotiate a contract.