With air quality rapidly worsening on the East coast of the U.S. as a result of the Canadian wildfires, Rutgers resident physicians and fellows made the decision to cancel our informational pickets today, in order to safeguard our health and that of our fellow workers and community members.
Our events today were meant to put pressure on Rutgers to support us as we, like so many workers, stretch ourselves beyond our limits within a U.S. healthcare system that puts profits before people. So it is all the more painful to have to cancel because of an extreme climate event caused by the same billionaires and power structures that prevent healthcare workers and patients around the world from living lives that are healthy, whole, and free. Especially at an employer like Rutgers, with a history of investing in fossil fuels, we are clear that climate justice is central to every other struggle for justice and liberation, because this is the only planet that we have.
We couldn’t hold our info pickets today, but Rutgers is not off the hook–and this latest climate event only underscores how urgent all of our fights truly are. We will keep up the pressure for a fair contract with a living wage, and core benefits like transportation and mental health care, so that we can attend to our own wellbeing as we care for our patients. We’ll keep fighting until all Rutgers workers have fair contracts, and until people everywhere have clean air, food in their stomachs, and the care they need. Stay tuned.