A 4-day workweek will make us stronger
An oped piece by Lynn Schmidt in the Pioneer Press Aug. 21 (“It may depend on people getting to know each other again“) talks about our nation’s health. Schmidt talks about the importance of getting to know our neighbors better. I couldn’t agree more! Good neighbors make strong communities, and strong communities make solid citizens.
So, let’s consider a very straightforward way to give us all more time to be neighborly. We should reduce the legal standard for a full-time job from 40 to 32 hours, and the workweek from five days to four. And we should do this with no cut to the workers’ paychecks. Economists will tell us this is feasible, thanks to huge productivity gains already realized from automation and robotics and forthcoming thanks to the commercial application of artificial intelligence. More importantly, educators, psychologists, and medical professionals will all affirm the social benefits of an extra day of leisure each week to spend with family, friends, and neighbors.
Let’s start pushing for a four-day workweek.
John Crea, St. Paul
Be positive about our future. And vote
Election time is coming up, and it is so very easy to get stuck in the negative when we see all the failures of leadership. Example: the criminal justice system in the cities and state, judicial system, and the seniors taxed on Social Security benefits.
Now is the time to be positive about our future.
Needless to say, we need some changes in the situation we find ourselves in. Let’s get some new faces and fresh ideas or the status quo will be the norm or only get worse. Stop this partisanship we are mired in and show support for individuals with new agendas. We have this great opportunity to change the downhill direction we are heading.
We must do better. We can do this with our vote.
G. Mertz, St. Paul
For safety and security of nurses and patients
In response to letter “Now is not the time to strike” (Aug. 21), I would like to clear a few things up.
In 1984 I was a novice nurse who proudly walked the picket line in support of my chosen profession. This strike lasted 38 days, not the 12 weeks stated in the letter.
We gained many things from that strike, and it brought our job to a level of professionalism that had not been realized up to that point. It didn’t open the doors for hospitals to make “cost-saving changes.”
We gained staffing levels that the nurses had some control of, seniority language that helped encourage people to stay at their facility, along with language that gave us job protection and protection from being mandated to work less than our FTE (full time equivalent).
What we are asking for this go-round affects the safety and security of not only ourselves but our patients. Especially now in the environment of increased violence against healthcare workers.
The job of a nurse has gone from being one of service to being one of many professionals who work together to give our patients the best care possible.
It is today as it was in 1984, patients before profits.
Eileen Kopp, Forest Lake
Don’t just idle there
There are so many people that don’t have a clue, still unable to connect the dots of their behavior to the destruction of our planet for human habitation. If you look around, you will see these people sitting in their vehicles with their engines running, burning up gasoline, as they toy with their cell phones.
Car exhaust poisons our air and water, and of course ultimately, us. How did these people miss this most basic lesson?
However, there is a solution to this problem. When you get into your car and start your engine, drive away. When you arrive at your destination, turn your car off.
Greg Nayman, St. Paul
Ongoing debate on vaccines for kids
With advertisements in local papers informing the public that children 6 months and older are now eligible to get a Covid shot, it should be recognized that the perspectives of scientific and medical experts differ greatly on this subject. There is no fixed or final “science” that guarantees any injection to be absolutely safe for your child; rather, there is ongoing debate.
It always comes down to risk versus benefit, whatever the medical intervention is. Dr. John Campbell, respected by persons on all sides of the Covid issue for having integrity and being fair to both camps, has a video on Youtube called “Thai vaccine heart complications,” in which he voices his concerns about the results of a recent study out of Thailand regarding vaccine after-effects on youngsters. This would be well worth listening to before a decision is reached regarding one’s own youngest family members. Dr. Campbell has been a long time pro-vaccine advocate, and has received all the covid shots and boosters himself.
This is just a reminder to diligently do your own research, then do what you believe is right concerning your own children, whose lives are in your hands.
Ginger Beck, Glenwood