Today's Date: February 21, 2024
A City Boy Discovers Nature's Playground: New Book Inspires Children to Connect with the Great Outdoors   •   Green Plains to Participate in Bank of America 2024 Global Agriculture and Materials Conference   •   Why is skin disease often misdiagnosed and untreated in Black patients?   •   Helping Canadian creative businesses and organizations achieve financial success on the world stage   •   Ziegler Prices Financing For The United Methodist Retirement Homes   •   National Geographic Documentary Films Acquires Sundance Film Festival Award-Winner SUGARCANE   •   Avangrid Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2023 Financial Results Available on Company’s Website   •   Perdoceo Education Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2023 Results   •   Energy Recovery Announces CFO Transition   •   Californians for Financial Education Campaign Applauds New Legislation Requiring Personal Finance Education for All Students   •   Independent Women's Voice Testifies Before Alabama Legislature in Support of HB 111 & SB 92 to Establish Legal Definitions o   •   Sallie Mae CFO to Speak at 2024 RBC Capital Markets Global Financial Institutions Conference   •   Black Health Matters Winter Health Summit and Expo Returns to Atlanta   •   Lake Babine Nation and Canada sign agreement to support community vision for governance, capacity development, and infrastructur   •   Pinterest to Participate at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference   •   Semrush Holdings, Inc. to Participate in Upcoming Investor Conferences   •   Annual Arts in Hong Kong Event to Kick-off in March Offering a Variety of Arts Experiences Along Iconic Victoria Harbour   •   Orbia Announces Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2023 Financial Results   •   PG&E Identifies More than 20 Climate-Tech Solutions Aimed at Achieving a Clean Energy Future   •   Government of Canada and Mushkegowuk Council successfully complete feasibility assessment and take a major step toward officiall
Bookmark and Share

Mass. NOW Wants Hospital Head Out

BOSTON  -- The state's largest healthcare workers union and the Massachusetts chapter of the National Organization for Women released a joint statement today calling on the board of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to fire CEO Paul Levy when it convenes its annual meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston on Thursday, September 23rd. 

The statement by Mass. NOW State Director Christina Knowles and 1199SEIU Executive Vice President Veronica Turnerfollows remarks by Attorney General Martha Coakley who said the board should rethink Levy's ability to continue leading the hospital.  The official statement from Knowles and Turner reads:

"If the BIDMC board fails to take further action at its September 23rd annual meeting – specifically by asking for the resignation of CEO Paul Levy – then it is aiding and abetting Levy in his creation of a hostile and inequitable work environment for women at the hospital.  

If the BIDMC board does not fire Paul Levy, they are indicating that a single executive is more important than the legacy and working environment of the hospital itself.  In a state where 86% of nurse aides and 94% of nurses are women, the Attorney General is correct that the board must seriously question whether Paul Levy is still fit to lead Beth Israel Deaconess. 

It is time for the board to take a stand against the environment of inequity that has been created within the hospital by the prior inaction of the board chairs and by the actions of its CEO.  If any other worker had inflicted similar damage to the institution or its work environment, they would be fired.  As the annual meeting approaches, the BIDMC board needs to remember that its first duty to taxpayers and patients is protecting the hospital, not its chief executive." 

Christina Knowles, State Director, Mass. NOW

Veronica Turner, Executive Vice President, 1199SEIU

Additional background and patterns of inequity at BIDMC

Attorney General Martha Coakley issued a report last week that revealed facts confirming that some board members had knowingly sat on their hands since 2003 while Levy engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate employee.  During that time, the report shows that the employee's salary doubled as she became the "only non-physician, director level employee, to receive a performance bonus for all four years from 2005-2008."

The report found no reason to believe the employee was not qualified for her positions.  However, it explained that her hiring, promotions, and pay increases "will always be subject to the perception they may have been influenced as much by the personal relationship with Levy as by her own professional performance."

Also according to the AG report, "The personal relationship between the CEO and the Employee... endangered the reputation of the institution and its management."

The report explains that, "...it is now clear the entire Board should have been informed and taken action years before the lodging of the Complaint."

During this period, BIDMC had as few as three women members amongst the Board of 15.  BIDMC currently counts only one woman among the chiefs of its 14 major clinical departments. 

Two women chiefs have left under Levy's tenure, and one – a thirty year veteran stripped of her title while on sabbatical – has filed a gender discrimination lawsuit naming both Levy and BIDMC.  That lawsuit by Dr. Carol Warfield alleges that she was forced to endure "sexist rants and demeaning conduct… and the insistence on the part of the Hospital's CEO [Levy] that she tolerate such misconduct as part of the price of being Chief."

The hospital has expended significant resources to defend Levy, fighting unsuccessfully against Warfield's right to sue for discrimination all the way to Massachusetts' highest court in an attempt to deny her and other employees their civil rights and the full protection of anti-discrimination laws.

Against Levy's objections, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) both backed Warfield's right – and that of other employees at BIDMC – to full legal protection against discrimination.

Levy first hired the subordinate employee with whom he had his "inappropriate relationship" in February 2002 as a direct report and special assistant.  By May of 2002, Levy had laid off 600 other workers, many of whom were women working in frontline or blue collar positions.  Low-wage departments like dietary and housekeeping were cut to the bone.  Meanwhile, many of the remaining workers went without a living wage, or endured cuts to healthcare and other benefits.

After losing up to $28 million dollars in a botched hospital real estate deal, Levy said another 600 positions had to be cut inFebruary 2009, but did not acknowledge the real estate losses as the real reason for the hospital's fiscal crisis.  Having leveraged fears of further layoffs to impose wage and benefit cuts, Levy took credit for saving the jobs of workers within the lower-wage departments which he had both eviscerated in 2002 and endangered again through real estate gambles. 

As these workers suffered, the board chairs did nothing despite knowing of Levy's "inappropriate relationship" with the subordinate employee, and despite the AG's finding that "...no decision regarding the Employee was immune from [Levy's] influence."

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since its founding in 1966, NOW's goal has been to take action to bring about equality for all women. NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society.

Representing more than 35,000 healthcare workers throughout Massachusetts, and 370,000 workers in MassachusettsNew YorkMarylandNew JerseyFlorida, and Washington, D.C., 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. Our mission is to achieve affordable, high quality healthcare for all.  1199SEIU is part of the 2.1 million member Service Employees International Union.



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News