Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, nurses have recently gone on strike. They are now in their second week of striking, with 1,500 nurses and allied health professionals not working. Those striking are union members of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals. According to this article, these healthcare professionals have been without a contract since September 2009. The issues surrounding the strike concern working conditions, patient advocacy, wages and benefits.
Temple has assured the public there are temporary workers to fill in for the nurses and other allied health professionals. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer article, a recent study examined strikes in New York hospital over two decades. This study found patient care suffers when nurses go on strike. Responding to this study, a striking Temple nurse agreed there has to be problems when temp nurses take over, if only because there are so many new employees at once.
How do you feel about the idea of striking and how it relates to patient care? Is this something you would consider? Are you a member of a healthcare union? Share your thoughts.