Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Philly Nurses Opt for Pickets Over Patients

At seven o'clock this morning, 1500 RNs and staff employed by Temple University Hospital took to the picket lines after negotiations between their union PASNAP and the hospital broke down.
The key sticking points are the usual, pay increases andhealthcare benefits.

Temple said the hospital will be fully operational during the walk-off. Officials have hired 850 temporary workers to fill the gap.

The hospital said its 400 physicians are continuing to direct patient care, assisted by 3,000 other employees who are not members of PASNAP, and the "fully qualified, licensed and credentialed temporary nurses and allied-health professionals who are replacing striking employees."

Union officials, on the other hand, said rates the hospital is paying to those temporary workers will cost Temple millions that could have instead been used to settle contract disputes.

After the work stoppage began, administrators invited striking employees to return subject to the terms set forth in the hospital's final offer, promising anyone who accepted that they could resume work.

As required by law, PASNAP did provide the hospital with a 10-day strike notice, which gave the hospital time to recruit staff to replace the strikers.

“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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