PA: PASNAP Nurses overwhelmingly approve strike authorization

  1. Nurses overwhelmingly approve strike authorization

    June 07, 2002
    By TIMOTHY LOGUE
    ltogue@delcotimes.com ASTON

    http://www.delcotimes.com/site/news....id=18171&rfi=6

    By an overwhelming majority yesterday, Crozer-Chester nurses gave their union leaders the authorization to call a strike at a general membership meeting held at St. Timothy's Lutheran Church. By a vote of 474-12, members of the Crozer-Chester Nurses Association gave their negotiators the power to call a strike should negotiations break down once their contract expires June 30. The union represents 680 registered nurses at Crozer-Chester Medical Center.
    "Having a strike is absolutely a last resort," said Bill Cruice, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals. Cruice said the negotiations are focused on several areas, among them: salary, retirement benefits, patients-per-nurse ratios.

    Cruice said Crozer-Chester nurses are seeking ratios similar to those outlined in groundbreaking legislation which recently passed in California. That law established minimum nurse staffing levels.

    Yesterday's vote was an all-day affair in order to accommodate the different work schedules of the membership. While sitting in the church pews, nurses were brought up to date on the negotiations.

    Cruice said the union is seeking a three-year deal.

    "People were fired up," said one nurse. "It's frightening the way it looks now. If the decision to strike had been made today, we'd be out."

    The nurse, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the union was looking for raises in the area of at least 5 percent. "And the ratios are really important. Right now, I have to walk past call lights and patients that are literally moaning to get to someone who can't breathe. It's not just Crozer-Chester. That's the way it is at a lot of hospitals."

    Nurses are planning to wear pro-union stickers in the coming days and start setting up informational pickets by the end of the month. Bargaining sessions are scheduled for June 11, 18 and 25.

    This is the second biggest local in PASNAP (Temple Hospital is largest) sure to be a test case if they go to strike...hospital gives great care. Have seen impact of shortage from visiting/family and my patients. This is the union local that formed PASNAP and who's members are PASNAP directors. will be interesting to watch developments. Stay tuned.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Nov 9, '09
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    June 26, 2002
    By PATTI MENGERS

    pmengers@delcotimes.com
    http://www.delcotimes.com/site/news....id=18171&rfi=6

    UPLAND -- More than 100 registered nurses are expected to rally at noon today in front of Crozer-Chester Medical Center to demonstrate dissatisfaction with lack of progress in negotiations for their contract which expires June 30.
    "We had hoped to be a little further along. The nurse-to-patient ratio is where we're putting a lot of work and effort," said Bobbi McClay, president of the Crozer-Chester Nurses Association.

    The union, which is a division of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, represents about 700 registered nurses at Crozer. On June 7 they voted 474-12 to authorize a strike should they fail to win a new contract by the time the current one expires.

    Yesterday was their latest in a series of bargaining sessions that began in mid-April with Crozer executives.

    Their next bargaining session is set for tomorrow.

    Kathy Scullin, vice president of marketing and public relations for Crozer-Keystone Health System, which owns Crozer-Chester Medical Center, described negotiations as "productive."

    "Our nursing staff is a critical part of our organization and we are hopeful that we can reach a settlement that is good for our nurses and our organization as a whole," said Scullin.

    She declined to elaborate on the terms being discussed.

    The union's lead negotiator, Bill Cruice, director of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, said safe staffing and recruiting and retaining nurses are the key issues.

    "So far the administration of the hospital has said it does not want to agree to ratios. They said if it becomes law they would do it. I think it is short-sighted and I think it is a mistake not to want to agree to it," said Cruice.

    Last week state Sen. Allyson Y. Schwartz, D-Philadelphia, and state Rep. Timothy Solobay, D-Canonsburg, introduced a bill to set nurse-to-patient ratios in Pennsylvania hospitals and provide grants to enhance recruitment and training of new registered nurses which are in short supply across the country.

    The California Nurses Association, whose leaders helped organize the Pennsylvania union in 2000, successfully lobbied for landmark legislation setting nurse-to-patient ratios in California in 1999.

    Cruice said setting nurse-to-patient ratios at Crozer would help draw registered nurses back to the hospital which, like most hospitals, is suffering at least a 10 percent shortage in nurses.

    "There should be another 100 (registered nurses at Crozer)," maintained Cruice, who noted that nurses don't want to work under conditions that compromise quality of care.

    McClay said the nursing shortage is most evident in the medical-surgical units where, at night, nurses each can be responsible for eight to nine patients per shift.

    Union negotiators are proposing no more that five patients per nurse in medical-surgical units and no more than two patients per nurse in critical care.

    Cruice said in addition to limiting the number of patients they can be assigned per shift, Crozer nurses are bargaining for improved working conditions such as the elimination of mandatory overtime.

    "Although it's not their preference, come July 2, the nurses have voted overwhelmingly to strike. Although that's not something they want to do, it underscores how they feel about these issues," said Cruice.
    The Daily Times 2002
  4. by   oramar
    I can't wait till PASNAP comes for pgh city hospitals.
  5. by   NRSKarenRN
    Nursing unions just don't "come". Information is requested by nursing staff from the unions re forming a union and how this union could help provide better working conditions versus another union. That's how PASNAP came to Butler Hospital.
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    posted on thu, jun. 27, 2002

    nurses to vote on pact with crozer-chester
    by kevin dale
    inquirer suburban staff
    http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/n...al/3554117.htm

    upland - about 700 registered nurses at crozer-chester medical center will vote monday on a proposed contract agreement with the hospital.

    union officials, seeking pay hikes and reduced nurse-to-patient ratios, have said the nurses will go on strike tuesday morning if the contract is rejected.

    kathy scullin, vice president of marketing and public relations for the hospital's parent chain, crozer-keystone health system, would not discuss how a strike might affect the hospital's operations.

    "our priority is the care of patients and access to care in our community, and it would be irresponsible for us not to make preparations in the event there is a work stoppage," scullin said.

    a strike would not affect the hospital's licensed practical nurses, who are represented by a separate union.

    the hospital has the only 24-hour trauma center in delaware county, and its emergency room treats nearly 50,000 patients a year.

    the union wants an unspecified increase in pay and pension benefits for its 698 crozer-chester members. registered nurses get paid an average of $26 an hour, said bill cruice, director of the union, the pennsylvania association of staff nurses and allied professionals.

    while nurses and union officials say a boost in wages and pension benefits would help attract new nurses and retain veterans, they say their top priority is reducing nurse-to-patient ratios.

    about 100 nurses rallied yesterday afternoon for about an hour in the baking sun.

    the nurses - some taking a break in their scrubs, and others with children in tow - talked about the need for more help.

    "it would not be unusual to have four nurses for 38 patients on nights" in the medical-surgical department, said nurse ed dubin, who has worked at the hospital for 10 years.

    the union says it thinks lower ratios will make the 450-bed teaching hospital more attractive to nurses looking for work, and make it more likely that nurses on staff will stay.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    contact kevin dale at 610-313-8214 or kdale@phillynews.com
  7. by   oramar
    I am sure that sooner or later they will be summoned.
  8. by   NRSKarenRN
    Crozer nurses ratify contract

    By ERIK SCHWARTZ and PATTI MENGERS, Of the Times Staff July 02, 2002
    http://www.delcotimes.com/site/news....id=18171&rfi=8

    Unionized nurses at Crozer-Chester Medical Center approved a new contract yesterday. Members of the Crozer-Chester Nurses Association, voted 314-234 to ratify a three-year agreement, according to Bobbi McClay, union president.
    The union, a division of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, represents about 700 registered nurses at the Upland hospital. The contract does not include mandatory staffing ratios that the union had requested, but it does establish a joint labor-management committee to study the issue, especially in units that understaffed, McClay said.

    Earlier in the day, Bill Cruice, director of the state organization, said the tentative agreement negotiated with Crozer-Keytone Health System executives was a start in addressing the changes nurses feel they need, especially in the face of a widespread labor shortage in their field. "I think there are some significant changes that are for the better in this contract," he said.

    With an average base salary of $54,000, Crozer nurses had been seeking a limit to the number of patients assigned to them per shift. The union proposed reducing to 5-to-1 the ratio of patients to nurses in medical and surgical units and 2-to-1 in critical care.

    McClay said the nursing shortage is most evident in the medical-surgical units where, at night, nurses each can be responsible for eight to nine patients per shift. Some nurses have reported to have as many as 13 patients per shift, she said.

    Cruice estimated that last week that Crozer needed about 100 more nurses to achieve a safe staffing level. He said that setting a nurse-to-patient ratio would help ensure patient safety and attract nurses to Crozer.

    Crozer nurses had been represented by the Pennsylvania State Education Association Health Care Division from 1993 until 2000 when they voted with nurses at 16 other hospitals in the state to form the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurse and Allied Professionals.

    For about 20 years before affiliating with the PSEA Health Care Division, Crozer nurses had been members of the Pennsylvania Nurses Association.

    This would be the state group's first contract at Crozer-Chester. On June 7, Crozer-Chester nurses voted 474-12 to authorize a strike should they fail to win a new contract by the time the current one expired.

    The Daily Times 2002
    -------------------

    Posted on Wed, Jul. 03, 2002
    Phila. Inquirer
    Nurses at Crozer ratify contract
    http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/n...ty/3592099.htm

    UPLAND - Nurses at Crozer-Chester Medical Center voted 313-234 to ratify a contract late Monday night, averting a strike that had been set for yesterday morning.

    Hospital management did not write lower, mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios into the 35-month contract. Nurses and officials of the nearly 700-member Crozer-Chester Nurses Association, who said the hospital was facing a nursing shortage partly because of high patient loads, had said the decreased ratios were their top priority. A joint committee will be formed with management to make recommendations to improve staffing levels.

    The contract gives nurses wage and pension increases, and expanded summer vacation days. Wages for nurses with one year of experience begin at $25 per hour and increase to $37.54 per hour for nurses at the top of the wage scale. In two years, the range will be $27.22 to $41.38 per hour.

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