On April 12, 2018 more than 1700 registered nurses ratified a new union contract with Penn State Hershey Medical Center that makes the hospital the region’s employer of choice for nurses in addition to the provider of choice for patients.
The agreement includes substantial wage increases, benefit improvements, and new initiatives to address staffing needs.
“Our top priority in these negotiations was to make sure we retain the dedicated nurses we have at Hershey, and that our patients will always receive the high quality care for which our hospital is known,” said Russy Jean, RN, Women’s Health Unit. “This contract makes sure none of our nurses are lured to other hospitals by better pay or benefits.”
Highlights of the new contract include:
- Market-leading wages
- Additional health insurance options and limits on annual increases to rein in out-of-pocket costs
- The creation of new weekend-only positions to allow other nurses to work fewer weekends
- Ensuring RNs have a strong voice in patient care.
- A new Workplace Violence and Prevention RN task force
Registered nurses began the contract negotiation process in January, committed to addressing core concerns with a unified voice and collaborating with management to achieve the best outcome for the future of their hospital.
“Our nurses were united across the hospital to make this a first-class contract to match the first-class care we provide, and the result clearly shows that when nurses have a strong, collective voice, we can make great progress for ourselves, our patients and our hospital.” said Lori Kreider, RN, Medical Intensive Care Unit.