After months of negotiations that have failed to yield any meaningful progress, registered nurses, mental health technicians and other workers represented by SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania at Community Health Systems (CHS) run First Hospital in Kingston, and Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton, held a one-day strike at both hospitals on Wednesday, April 25th.
Negotiations for the registered nurses have stalled on important issues with low staffing, floating of nurses between units, on-call protocols, training and safety.
President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder joined the healthcare workers on the picket lines, at Moses Taylor and First Hospitals respectively, in northeast Pennsylvania. They were proud to stand with union sisters and brothers fighting for quality healthcare for their patients and safe staffing in their facilities. The events of the day remind us that when working people stand together we all do better.
Mental Health Technicians and other workers at First Hospital also went on strike on the 25th to protest the company’s illegal implementation of its final contract offer. The current contracts for all three groups of workers expired last year, and no deals have been struck despite having more than a dozen negotiation sessions.
CHS is a Tennessee-based, for-profit healthcare company that has purchased several Northeast Pennsylvania hospitals in recent years. “A chief concern among the hospital workers participating in the strike is staffing, and the practice of “pulling”, where managers will reassign an employee from his or her normal unit, to a different area of the hospital, frequently one they are unfamiliar with and has different kinds of patients than they are accustomed to”, stated the union in a press release.
SEIU Healthcare will hold two events for community solidarity on Wednesday, April 25:
Rallies at 12:00 PM at both Moses Taylor Hospital, Scranton and First Hospital, Kingston
Candlelight Vigil for Patients at 6:00PM at Courthouse Square, Scranton.