850 Hahnemann Hospital Nurses Vote to Unionize
For the second time in the past week, hundreds of nurses at a Philadelphia-area hospital have voted to unionize.
This time it was 850 nurses at Hahnemann University Hosptial who voted to join the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP.) Nurses complained of poor working conditions, subpar equipment, ineffective scheduling and inadequate staffing, the union said. Now they’ll work with management on a contract.
“We wanted to get back to the foundations of nursing,” said Mike Winn, a registered nurse in the emergency department. “It should be about patients, not profits or shareholders. We were tired of having management’s decisions limit our ability to give the best care.”
The vote comes just days after 330 registered nurses at Delaware County Memorial Hospital (DCHM) voted to join PASNAP.
The Hahnemann vote was 516 to 117, an 82 percent majority. That’s much higher than the DCHM vote, which saw just a 55 percent majority.
“What’s happening right now is remarkable and inspiring,” Bill Cruice, executive director of PASNAP said in a statement. “Now more than ever, nurses and health professionals are seeing what’s happening in their industry and they’re recognizing that they need a strong, unified voice. This new wave of organizing has been about nurses standing up against an approach to healthcare that prioritizes profits over patients. That was true at DCMH, and it’s true at Hahnemann and St. Christopher’s.”
Kristelle Brotman, an RN in labor and delivery said in a statement that management tried hard to stop the union’s formation.
“Managers spent the entire time before the vote telling us the reasons why we shouldn’t have a union,” she said. “They never took the time to actually address our issues or how to fix them.”
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