Temple nurses cancel strike

    The union representing Temple Hospital’s nurses and technical staff has called off a strike scheduled for this weekend, but also rejected the hospital’s contract.

    Unionized members of Temple Hospital’s nursing and technical staff have called off a strike that was scheduled to start on Friday. The union says Temple can afford to give the staff more than the hospital offering.

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    The union representing Temple Hospital’s nurses and technical staff has called off a strike scheduled for this weekend. Members voted last night to continue operating temporarily under a contract that expires today. They rejected Temple’s new contract offer because it didn’t give them the family benefits and scheduling conditions they wanted. Jerry Silberman is the staff coordinator for the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals.

    Silberman: A strike may well be necessary to get that done, just not at this moment under these circumstances because we would prefer not to disrupt the care for our patients.

    Union members say Temple’s finances indicate the hospital has no excuse for rejecting the benefits and conditions that nurses want. But hospital CEO Sandy Gomberg says finances are irrelevant.

    Gomberg: This isn’t about whether we lost money or we made money. This is about our organization offering wages and benefits that are fair, that are reasonable and that are competitive in the market.

    Union officials say Temple’s latest offer retracts many of the gains the union has made in recent years, such as tuition discounts for family members. The nursing union says it will again threaten to strike if no deal is reached in the next few weeks. The union must give a ten-day notice if nurses refuse to work.

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