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February 19, 2017

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June 30, 2010

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To puppyluv, since health care workers are the most overworked, underpaid, underappreciated people I know and have the most responsibility, I wish you the best. If I ruled the world, movie stars, sports figures, and rockers would be the ones making $15 to $20 an hour (like my best friends, one who is a paramedic and the other a nurse who has worked in just about every health care system in town) and nurses would be paid what they are worth...priceless, in my opinion. And your job handling patients and families while sick, in pain, and upset qualifies for a medal. Good luck and God bless. Maybe some day the powers that be will realize the people who have others' lives in their hands everyday should be afforded all the respect and compensation they are due.

(Suggest removal) 6/30/10 at 8:53 p.m.

Thanks, maybevegas, for your clearly thought-out position. I respect it. I am a conservative, liberalistic-Republican. and also understand, painfully, economics. As I said, my hard-working husband, regardless of his disability, showed up and excelled every day at his private-sector technology-related job, then came home and home-schooled our autistic son so he had a parent at home at all times. He was PRIVATE SECTOR, awesome at what he did, and lost his job anyway. Even with that, I was one of the employees who would have gladly forwent my raise, if it meant that others could stay employed. We were not given that choice. We, the boots on the ground, were not allowed to reopen an existing contract, even though we asked to. We are not in Dr. Sands' position to do so and we all respect the hell out of him for what he did regarding his own raise. We are among those suffering for irresponsible fiscal policies at all levels of government. And regardless of the fact that the health district is union, the first I've ever worked with in my 25-year public health career, I don't actually tow union party line. And, no, most stories these days don't end with any sort of raise. They end like my husband's...who collects NO government benefits, NO unemployment, and even today is trying to find work. My son, though eligible, collects NO government payouts or help of any kind because we don't want to be a burden on society. We are trying to be as self-sufficient as possible. This includes caring for his dying mother who has burned through her retirement fighting cancer. My mother was an immigrant, legally of course, from Holland (I'm my first sibling born int he U.S.-dad was military) and we know all too well the devastation socialism aunt cannot even receive simple treatment for restless leg syndrome because it's just not that important in Holland. My cousins pay 65% income tax there...seriously, we don't want that here.

My point was simply this: success and living a good quality of life is the American dream. One I hold dearly. It is every person's right to seek the most gainful employment possible and get paid for what they do at a reasonable level. Where I have a problem is when newspapers and media outlets try to foment class-envy and discontent. Then we can be mad at each other instead of telling the government to get out of our lives and let free-enterprise and the American dream run free again. So when the contract opens next year, we will have a choice to make. If it means no raise, even loss of income, because the economy stinks then so be it. But until then, I will try to keep my family afloat like the rest of us. I am ETERNALLY GRATEFUL to have work and to work under a person who has a conscience and cares about the public we serve. I am also grateful that there are people out there, like you, willing to have honest, courteous discourse on these issues.

(Suggest removal) 6/30/10 at 4:03 p.m.

I have mixed feelings about articles like this. As a conservative, I think we need to take a close look at everything "government" does. But as an employee of the Health District, the sole wage earner in my family, taking care of two kids, one with autism, and a disabled husband who worked anyway but was laid off, I get a little tired of the vitriol people feel is O.K. to spew because we have a contract that gives us a cost of living raise. Believe me, when the economy tanked, myself and many of my colleagues asked if it came down to layoffs or foregoing our COLAs, could we forego the raise. We were told, "wait and see," because we had lost soooo many people through attrition that they might be able to cover it. It did. So we get our 3% COLAs. For me, that's about $150 a month. And thanks, X-Doc, for pointing out that many of us have our lives threatened on a daily basis for doing our jobs. People are stressed, businesses are stressed, people who find out they have an STD or unwanted pregnancy are stressed, but not a single one of us went into Public Health to become rich. We did it because we care about people. And still do, even though I am sure that I will be attacked for even posting this.

(Suggest removal) 6/30/10 at 12:48 p.m.

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