330 Nurses Vote to Unionize at Delco Hospital
This past weekend, more than 330 registered nurses at Delaware County Memorial Hospital voted to join the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals union. The vote, done in a secret ballot election conducted by the NLRB, came to a final tally of 164 to 130 in favor of joining PASNAP.
“DCMH and Crozer managers weren’t listening to us regarding our concerns about staffing and other working conditions. When they decided to sell the health system to a for-profit company, we became very concerned that we would have no voice in the process,” said Angela Neopolitano, a 34-year veteran of Delware County Memorial.
Prospect Medical Holdings Inc. acquired the Crozer-Keystone Health System in January — and DCMH is part of the deal. The new owner is expected to formally take over the system in the May or June and plans to invest $200 million to modernize facilities and expand services. The unionized nurses will now take up the task of creating and finalizing a contract with the company.
The union claims that the hospital “waged a fierce campaign against the effort to organize” and worked with a “costly and nationally known anti-union consulting firm, which worked overtime to cultivate tension and divide the nurses.”
Patty Eakin, a Temple University Hospital emergency room nurse and PASNAP president said: “We’ve seen this playbook before. But these dedicated nurses knew that nothing was going to change unless they stood together. They weren’t going to be bullied into accepting a bad status quo.”
PASNAP already represents 650 nurses at Crozer Chester Medical Center, which is also a member of the Crozer-Keystone Health System. The unionization of nurses may be a trend in the area, as 850 RNs are taking a vote to unionize at Hahnemann University Hospital next week and 450 nurses will vote for a similar measure at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in February.
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