Raw footage for HSA Strike 1975. The strike began on October 27th, 1975, and lasted for 18 days—the longest and largest doctors' strike in the US. The strike was organized by the Housestaff Association (HSA), a union of residents and interns. They were protesting against the working conditions and poor facilities at Cook County Hospital, Chicago's only public hospital which mostly served the city's poor and uninsured. This tape features interviews with a number of people, including four doctors who were arrested for their involvement in the strike. It also includes some footage of the strike and rally itself.
00:00Copy video clip URL Color bars. This footage is related to tapes 16510 and 16511.
00:47Copy video clip URL Static.
01:03Copy video clip URL Video cuts in mid-speech of a man talking about the fact that there are no translators at Cook County Hospital. He notes the Housestaff thinks we can’t last too much longer and the association should take what it can get now. He says it will feel good to get back to work, but he’s disappointed. He notes that significant things were won in the negotiations with the governor’s commission, but a lot was not won too. Hopefully, he adds, there won’t be too many layoffs as a result. He suspects there will be, though. “I’m skeptical. Most people are.”
03:19Copy video clip URL B-roll of a mimeograph running off printed copies.
03:50Copy video clip URL B-roll of a woman at the HSA meeting.
04:03Copy video clip URL Static.
04:18Copy video clip URL Interview with a woman who says today’s meeting settled on a contract that gains a principle. She says their strike tried to benefit the people who are sick and need attention, not their own needs as doctors. She adds they received “damn little, but we got the right to negotiate over the quality that is delivered to patients.” She says they gained assurance that the hospital will deliver better quality in life and death situations. They gained a bit on small services that will help them as doctors do a better job, quicker results on lab tests and that sort of thing, but she says they got little to nothing with regard to improvements in facilities such as x-rays, equipment for rapid test to diagnose. She says they got a promise for a system to translate for Spanish-speaking patients.
08:08Copy video clip URL Static. The tape fast forwards.
08:34Copy video clip URL In mid-speech with a man who finishes talking.
08:51Copy video clip URL B-roll of people sitting and listening to an HSA meeting.
09:28Copy video clip URL In mid-speech, a man says the only way to succeed is to get as many people involved as possible: patients, community, doctors, the HSA, the INA, 11-11, and 46 (unions). The question, he says, is do we have the guts to do this? He claims the answer proved to be no, because we have to take care of our careers, professions, and in the long ruin we’re going to move on, but the people who stay are the ones who are going to get shafted. He says the reason the courts came down was because our fight was a group of workers fighting for better conditions for our patients, not for ourselves. This hasn’t existed before in the city or in the profession. The courts don’t want a president set where workers control the work, he says, because they fear that then teachers will want to control universities, factory workers will want to control the assembly line. YHe states that from the very beginning, we had no way of winning in court.
11:56Copy video clip URL Fast forward the tape.
12:02Copy video clip URL Interview with a man who says fights with the administration is a problem all service employees seem to have.
12:12Copy video clip URL Cut to b-roll of two women arguing. One is a cleaning woman with the HSA, the other is a secretary with the governor’s commission. The cleaning woman argues that all the commission people do is sit at a desk and push a pencil.
15:35Copy video clip URL Static. Tape rewinds.
15:52Copy video clip URL B-roll of two men.
16:15Copy video clip URL Interview with a group of four men, doctors who are in prison for their part in the strike/rally. They are talking about how poor people get to the hospital. They say that if you can’t afford to go to a doctor regularly then you end up in the hospital with an emergency, but at Cook County Hospital, people were not given adequate care because the hospital was not kept up to date.
17:33Copy video clip URL Tape rewinds.
17:43Copy video clip URL Repeat of the footage with the four doctors. The men add that underprivileged people only come to Cook County Hospital after a medical emergency has occurred. They say other people who have doctors can get preventative care so they don’t need to go to a hospital. It’s a class problem, they say, and our system intentionally keeps people down. At Cook County, they are dealing with social-related health issues, the effects of drug abuse, that other hospitals don’t have to deal with. They’ve developed a small group that aims to fight this condition so the poor aren’t kept helpless.
24:40Copy video clip URL One of the men says he’s always been working in hospitals since he was a teenager. Now he’s a doctor. Seeing racism and sexism changed his perspective. He prefers to be a fighter, working with communities. The root of our community’s disease, he says, is the system we live under.
26:36Copy video clip URL Another man says a news lady asked him if he was surprised to hear that some of the protesting doctors were in jail. He says that he thinks the doctors are right for what they did, because somebody needs to stand up for those underprivileged who need care.
27:57Copy video clip URL Freeze frame.
28:08Copy video clip URL Three men are interviewed talking about the doctors who were arrested. One says he’s sure they’ll be released soon. He says its good they’re here (in jail) because they draw a lot of press and publicity. B-roll of the prison, of their cell.
30:51Copy video clip URL Interview with a young inmate who says some guards will lock you up early, before you can finish watching the news.
31:20Copy video clip URL Tape rewinds. Continued b-roll of the prison.
31:43Copy video clip URL Tape rewinds. Interview with inmates who say they get visitors on Sundays. B-roll of the cells.
32:33Copy video clip URL B-roll of inmates playing ping pong.
34:53Copy video clip URL Tape rewinds.
35:03Copy video clip URL B-roll of prison activity, inmates milling about.
35:21Copy video clip URL Change of location. B-roll of Doctor Kevin Garrity, one of the doctors arrested during the strike, opens a meeting at Cook County Hospital. He notes he and his colleagues felt they were provoked into the job action that got them arrested. The events of last week show what that intent was. We can’t deny the reality at hand, he says. There are forces in operation trying to eliminate the services that people of Cook County need. A doctor doesn’t cure patients, a whole team cures them. We need to fight for the health care system.
38:20Copy video clip URL B-roll of the audience listening to speakers. A man addressing them says he recommends the “he said, she said” blaming that’s been going on stop and everyone unite to form a plan to get the kind of funding necessary to get Cook County Hospital in shape.
39:34Copy video clip URL Representative Robert Mann addresses the audience. He says that the one hospital for the poor, Cook County Hospital, in such a wealthy state ought to be able to provide adequate care to patients and pay its staff appropriately.
42:04Copy video clip URL Tape rewinds. Labor leader Ed Sadlowski of the United Steelworkers of America is the next speaker. He says that people in the American labor movement are not making a lot of money. He says that “a dastardly act” was perpetrated against Dr. Quentin Young. As a result they and their unemployed comrades are utilizing hospitals like Cook County more and more. The way he sees the issues, people weren’t getting involved the way they needed to. Doctors and laborers are no different, he says. Something very great can come from what’s been going on, and he says doctors need to think of themselves as trade unionists so that we can improve on good medical care for everyone.
46:50Copy video clip URL Representative Elizabeth Hinds speaks. She talks about the Lawndale Peoples Planning Action Committee. She says Cook County must remain an accredited institution and hopes the doctors and administration can come to an agreement soon.
48:27Copy video clip URL A man is in mid-speech saying that unless this issue is resolved soon, experienced staff will leave, and the selection committee needs to make sure this doesn’t happen.
49:41Copy video clip URL Fast forward tape. A man says he submitted his resignation a few days ago. The tape suddenly fast forwards.
51:04Copy video clip URL END