Registered nurses at correctional facilities across Pennsylvania stood up for safety and security in our communities and against outsourcing of health care jobs on November 16th at informational pickets outside ten state prisons.
Despite the constant rain, more than 100 nurses led dozens of allies from other unions and the community at State Correctional Institutions at Albion, Camp Hill, Coal, Graterford, Greene, Greensburg, Houtzdale, Mercer, Retreat and Rockview. The pickets were organized after the state announced in September that it planned to seek bids from subcontractors to fill DOC nursing jobs.
“The safety and security of our citizens is a basic government service. Sadly, the plan to outsource health care work at our state prisons puts our entire population at risk, inside and outside these walls,” said Shawn Baer, a registered nurse at the State Correctional Institution at Greensburg. “As nurses, we do more than just provide health care. We are an important part of the security team. We can’t pass off this important work to a private company.”
As our pickets got underway, State Rep. Mike Fleck held a news conference in Harrisburg to introduce House Bill 1985, which would stop the outsourcing plan. State Sen. David G. Argall is proposing similar legislation in the Senate. Watch their press conference: