Petition is successful with 948 signatures
To: Peter Brown, DVM and President of the Cara Corporation
Support the staff at All Creatures Animal Hospital
Thank you for your support! The team at ACAH is currently in contract negotiations with CARA.
The Cara Corporation is fighting our right to organize by hiring a notorious union-busting law firm, wasting valuable resources that could be spent ensuring the best care possible for your pets. These actions are disrespectful to us and our vision, and also to YOU, the pet parent. Please show the ACAH staff how important we are to you and to our community. Your signature will strengthen our resolve, giving us a strong foundation on which to stand and fight together for what is important.
Why is this important?
To the All Creatures Animal Hospital (ACAH) community of pet parents, rescue organizations, and those who value the role of the local veterinarian in their community,
We are veterinary support staff at ACAH. But we are also all pet parents and members of the community. When we walk through the door of our local veterinary hospital seeking care for our furry, feathered, and scaled family members, we also want to see familiar faces who we know we can trust. We feel relief knowing dedicated veterinary staff are only a phone call away when our pets are in need, no matter the species. We understand and appreciate that work requires skills and knowledge and we all want to be assured that the most qualified individuals are caring for our pets.
The veterinary profession is rewarding and challenging. For many of us, this is our dream career. We are here because we love helping animals, and providing support to the people who love and care for them. Unfortunately, our profession has long been plagued with burn-out, compassion fatigue, and other systemic issues. The average length of time a veterinary support staff member stays in the field is only 3-5 years. These receptionists, kennel staff, veterinary assistants, and licensed veterinary technicians have valuable on-the-job training and/or traditional education. Many of these highly skilled and educated individuals are forced to choose between their own mental and physical health and doing the job they love. The ongoing loss of such knowledge, and the constant retraining of new staff, leads to a decline in the quality of patient care and a further increase in burn-out for those who remain. We are working to change this trend.
We know that patient care is at its best when devoted and skilled individuals are at the forefront, and that can only happen when we are supported by industry leadership with the tools we need to be successful, including:
- Fair pay and compensation
- Decent and affordable healthcare
- Adequate sick leave and paid time off to care for ourselves and our families
- Mental health support
- Assurances that our own beloved pets will receive quality care
- Sustainable staffing and scheduling
- Improved staff retention programs
- Robust safety measures to protect staff from workplace hazards (including safe COVID protocols)
Since the purchase of our beloved hospital, ACAH, by the Cara Corporation in May of 2020, these resources have been cut, threatened, or simply not provided at all. The corporation promised these things and more (most of which we had before the purchase, under our previous ownership). The intention was for ACAH to continue to provide high quality care to its patients as well as open opportunities for employee growth and even better patient care. We are devastated that this has become our reality instead.
As the staff of ACAH, we are the bridge between the Cara Corporation and our patients. We are fighting for our rights and to continue our ability to give the high quality care you and your pets deserve. In addition to staff support, we were promised that the Cara Corporation shared the values that we hold dear. The staff and our patients were never supposed to become just numbers: those we serve were to remain the highest priority. After many attempts to discuss our concerns with the Cara Corporation were ignored, we have decided to partner with the National Veterinary Professionals Union and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to organize our hospital so that the Cara Corporation will be required to negotiate over these issues.
Our goal in this fight is to retain our autonomy, to maintain our vision of animal healthcare, and to care for the health of our families. Unionizing will give us the right to be involved in policy, ensuring that conditions remain fair to all involved and that patient care - not just profit - is central to the hospital’s mission. Our goal is to feel safe and heard and to have a stable environment where we can give you - our clients and our patients - everything we have. We will protect our patients and their care from becoming the bottom line. We will retain our authenticity. We will stop the disintegration of our caring staff.
The Cara Corporation rejected our request to voluntarily recognize our union and we will soon be holding a union election (with the National Labor Relations Board) secure our union and solidarity to fight for each other. The Cara Corporation is fighting our right to organize by hiring a notorious union-busting law firm, wasting valuable resources that could be spent ensuring the best care possible for your pets. These actions are disrespectful to us and our vision, and also to YOU, the pet parent. Please show the ACAH staff how important we are to you and to our community. Your signature will strengthen our resolve, giving us a strong foundation on which to stand and fight together for what is important. All Creatures Animal Hospital is not a place, it is its people, and the clients and patients we serve are our hearts. Thank you for your support.