The action, starting on August 23rd, is in response to hospital management’s unfair labor practices and contract proposals that could affect patient care.
BEAVER, PA – Registered nurses at Heritage Valley Beaver voted today to reject management’s latest contract proposal and prepare for a three-day unfair labor practice strike starting on Tuesday, August 23.
The vote followed additional bargaining sessions after a one-day strike on July 19. In addition to nurses not yet reaching a contract, the upcoming strike is also in response to unfair labor practices from hospital management, documented in charges filed by the union on July 22.
“We strive to be advocates for our patients and for our community,” said Molly Romigh, RN and union chapter president. “That’s why we’re standing up for quality jobs and for nurse staffing levels that make sense for the nurses providing the care. We’d rather settle a fair contract than go out on strike again, but our hospital management is not willing to negotiate and compromise with nurses on the concerns that we are raising, and instead are committing unfair labor practices.”
“Our hospital is profitable, but they aren’t valuing the nurses and listening to our concerns. We are the ones who help make sure our hospital succeeds in its mission of delivering the best patient care,” said Michelle Burris, RN and member of the negotiating committee. “I’m a HVHS — Beaver RN and a member of this community; my family, my friends and I use our hospital, and nurses are uniting together to make sure we maintain the high standards that our community expects.”
The health system is proposing major increases in costs to nurses’ own healthcare despite making a profit of more than $12 Million in 2015, and are trying to increase the number of patients that nurses care for in certain units.
“Management is telling us that our nurse-to-patient ratios are more favorable than some other hospitals. Rather than trying to increase the number of patients that a nurse cares for, better staffing is something to be proud of and it’s what we need to provide the highest quality care everyday” said Nicole Clendennen, RN and member of the negotiating committee. “The highest quality care is our top priority, and it should be for management also.”
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is the state’s largest and fastest-growing union of nurses and health care workers, uniting nearly 45,000 nurses, professional and technical employees, direct care workers, and service employees in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home and community-based services, and State facilities across the Commonwealth. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members are committed to improving the lives of health care workers and ensuring quality care and healthy communities for all Pennsylvanians.