After 14 Months, Hospital and Nurses End Bitter Dispute

Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Delaware County has finally come to an agreement with its 550 nurses.

PinkBlue (Shutterstock)

PinkBlue (Shutterstock)

After 14 months of bitter rhetoric, a two-day strike and harsh criticism from the National Labor Relations BoardCrozer-Chester Medical Center has come to a contract agreement with its 550 nurses.

So ends one of the most bitter contract disputes in recent memory.

Perhaps the most interesting incident was when the hospital allegedly scheduled three very noisy helicopter landing trainings during a rally by the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP). While the union claimed it was a ploy to drown out the speakers, the hospital said it was just bad timing.

The Delco Daily Times offers specifics on the new deal:

In the new agreement, wages will range from $33 per hour for first-year nurse to $55 per hour for those nurses with 28 years of experience, according to the union. The mid-range, an RN with 10 years will earn about $43 per hour.

This year, the union said, nurses with either advance on the experience-based wage scale or receive a 1 percent lump-sum bonus if they are not due a step raise. In the second year of the pact, nurses will receive a step raise or a 1 percent rate increase, whichever is greater; in the third year, a step raise or 1.5 percent increase in the base rate; and in the fourth year, a step raise or a 2 percent increase in the base rate.

The Philadelphia Business Journal reported in May that the NLRB had some harsh criticism for the hospital. The organization said Crozer-Chester improperly told union members that they weren’t allowed to protest outside the facility, and that the company did not properly disclose information about the staffing company used to hire workers during the strike.