Temple U. Hospital workers striking

    Hundreds of Temple University Hospital nurses and other healthcare workers remain on strike this morning. Their contract had expired in September and the 1,500 union members rejected Temple’s contract offer on Monday.

    Hundreds of Temple University Hospital nurses and other healthcare workers remain on strike this morning. Their contract had expired in September and the 1,500 union members rejected Temple’s contract offer on Monday.

    Hundreds of striking hospital workers rallied Wednesday outside the hospital on North Broad Street.

    [AMBIENT SOUND OF STRIKERS]: “What do we want? Contracts! When do we want it? Now!”

    The issues for the hospital workers are increased healthcare premiums, patient care, and free speech. Temple nurse Selena Hodge said management is insisting on a contract clause that would prevent workers from criticizing the hospital.

    HODGE: “At our last negotiation, I was told two Monday’s ago, that if I wanted my Constitutional rights, I needed to go someplace else.”

    [AMBIENT SOUND OF CROWD]: “Boooo.”

    Temple nurse Pat Gannon says the so-called “gag-rule” is unacceptable.

    GANNON: “This is absolutely not about money. This is about respect. Respect for this union, how we speak for our patients and how we speak for ourselves.”

    The CEO of Temple University Hospital, Sandy Gomberg, says they’re seeking the non-disparagement clause to prevent the union from attacking the hospital and its business practices.

    Temple has hired about 800 temporary workers to staff the hospital during the strike. Officials say patient care has not suffered.

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