(CNN) At least 1,500 nurses at two hospitals in the Philadelphia area are on the verge of striking, according to a spokesperson with the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP).
Nurses at Einstein Medical Center and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, both of which are in Philadelphia, have not reached agreements on new contracts with their parent health groups, according to a November 5 PASNAP release.
Einstein Healthcare Network owns Einstein Medical Center, while St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children is owned by Drexel University College of Medical at Tower Health.
The nurses are primarily striking because they feel they have been “pushed to the brink by unsafe staffing that seriously undermines patient safety,” according to the release.
PASNAP-represented nurses have also officially given 10-day strike notices to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Bucks County and Mercy Fitzgerald Medical Center in Delaware County, but both are on the cusp of reaching agreements, the PASNAP spokesperson said.
If the two hospitals reach agreements, it will prevent an additional 1,000 nurses from potentially going on strike.
“The frontline nurses at four Philadelphia-area hospitals have taken steps toward a strike to protect their patients and themselves on the cusp of a second deadly wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the release said. “The nurses are seeking a commitment to safe minimum staffing levels from each of the four hospitals.”
Maria Plano, a registered nurse at St. Christopher’s who is also the vice president of the hospital’s Nurses United union, told CNN Wednesday that at her hospital, staffing is “the number one issue.
“We’re in an era of healthcare being run by hedge fund groups,” she said. “They don’t care about where or how long they run as long as they make them profitable. They’re not invested in these hospitals.” Read from source….