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Hopkins must care for its workers [Letter]

Johns Hopkins Hospital

Like many at Johns Hopkins Hospital, I have been closely following the contract talks between management and the hospital's 2,000 union caregivers ("Hopkins, union to begin negotiating again," April 23).

Everyone who cares for patients at Johns Hopkins knows how hard our union colleagues work and how essential they are.

That's why it's been troubling to learn that many of them are struggling with low pay — pay that's actually below the federal poverty level in many cases.

Hopkins has made significant contributions to the surrounding community, but there's been a long history of strained relations as well. We have earned accolades for our top-notch care, but this goodwill has been squandered by institutional missteps which justify the mistrust of our neighbors.

As an institution founded to serve the community, we cannot fulfill that mission when our own caregivers are denied good jobs at good wages.

When the hospital's negotiators make their next contract offer, I hope they will remember the original charge of Johns Hopkins himself to make our hospital "a substantial benefit to the community."

Dr. Zackary Berger, Baltimore

The writer is an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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