Nurses at Moses Taylor and First Hospital threaten strike


Nurses at First Hospital in Kingston and Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton recently voted to authorize their bargaining committees to send a 10-day strike notice if necessary.

“We do not want to go on strike, but after three months of negotiations, CHS has rejected every proposal for improvements we’ve put forward,” said Jen Kamla, Operating Room RN at Moses Taylor Hospital. “We are committed to delivering safe, quality care, and wish CHS would work with us to settle a contract that makes our hospital better. It’s frustrating, but we are determined to make sure our hospital can compete and our patients come first.”

Nurses have been committed to making sure hospitals put patient care first, stressing the need to get nurses’ input and invest in the workforce. Without that, hospitals cannot succeed

Registered Nurses at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center ratified a strong new union contract Thursday. The four-year agreement puts in place positive changes to improve bedside care and recruit and retain experienced, skilled nurses.

“It’s a new day for all of us.” said Kim Klinger, who has been a Geisinger Wyoming Valley RN since 2003. “This is a great achievement for nurses, our hospital, and all our patients.”

However, contracts at Wilkes Barre General, Moses Taylor and First Hospital have all expired, and nurses are concerned at the lack of progress. First Hospital, Moses Taylor and Geisinger Wyoming Valley RNs are represented by SEIU Healthcare PA and Wilkes Barre General RNs are represented by PASNAP. While each union contract is separate, nurses’ core concern to tackle the problems that arise from corporate healthcare are the same. In 2016, Community Health Systems (CHS) had a nationwide operating income of over $18 billion.

At this time, a strike is not imminent and no date is set. But the vote means if negotiations continue to be unproductive at those hospitals, nurses are prepared to go on strike.

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