Monday, March 29, 2010

$11,000 per week for One RN: The Appalling Practices of Temple to Break the Union and Our Nurses

On Wednesday, 1,500 nurses and staff in Temple University Health System (TUHS) will go on strike demanding higher quality patient care, the right to free speechreasonable health care costs, cost of living raises and tuition remission for family attending Temple University. The gap between the nurses and TUHS is wide and a strike, potentially a prolonged strike, seems certain. While there are many issues that could be discussed regarding this strike, the most appalling is the money issue.

On this front I want to point to two things: 1) The company HealthSource Global Staffing has been outsourced by TUHS to hire nurses during the strike. HealthSource is offering up to $10,338 per week for RN's. This means that Temple is planning to pay up to $11,000-12,000 per week or more even, for one RN during the strike, which comes to a salary of over $600,000 per year. 2) Temple has hired CEO Edmond Notebaert to an exorbitant multi-million dollar contract to restructure TUHS, with restructuring principally meaning breaking the union.

The point here is that Temple is willing to spend more to break the union than the cost of the contract dispute between PASNAP and TUHS. This fight is about POWER plain and simple. Moreover, Temple receives millions upon millions of tax payer dollars each year, and with this money they pay an anti-union CEO and temp nurses from across the country instead of supporting our Philadelphians--from patients to caregivers. Please come out and support Temple nurses in this important fight (the strike starts Wednesday at 7AM), and demand that our local institutions are responsible and put Philadelphia before their profits and power.

Thanks to the Media Mobilizing Project's  Labor Blog for this article.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Temple Nurses rallied Friday outside of Temple Hospital | City Paper

Friday, March 26th, 2010
posted by Holly Otterbein

graphic by Evan Lopez

Back in November, we told you about a looming strike from Temple Hospital's nurses, and their brethren at the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP). At the time, their contracts had expired a month prior, and their complaints ranged from everything as predictable as wage issues to something a little more astonishing: the "gag clause."

Sez writer Joshua Fernandez:

According to a complaint PASNAP filed with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board Oct. 30, the proposed clause within TUH's contract offer states that no employee will "criticize, ridicule or make any statement which disparages Temple, or any of its affiliates or any of their respective managers or medical staff members."

Many months later, Temple and its nurses haven't come to an agreement, and the March 31 negotiate-or-we'll-strike deadline is … next Wednesday.

So today at noon, nearly 350 nurses, hospital staff and representatives from various Philly labor groups rallied today outside of Temple Hospital to give a taste, if you will, of the coming strike.

Emily Randle, PASNAP's communications and government relations specialist, said the event fostered a "great mood," but ulimately wasn't very successful. "We were there today to ask for negotiations this weekend," she says, "and we're not sure that's going to happen."

Temple to add temps if nurses strike

Monday, March 15, 2010

Friday, March 19 - Join AFL-CIO Pres. Trumka: Demand Good Jobs Now! Make Wall Street Pay!

Join AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Philadelphia Council President Patrick J. Eiding this Friday at Thomas Paine Plaza in downtown Philadelphia to tell big Wall Street banks it's time to pay up for the jobs America needs.

See the event flier below for details!

Wall Street banks helped cause the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and it's time to hold them accountable. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, homes and retirement savings, while the biggest Wall Street banks gave their executives an eye-popping $145 billion in pay and bonuses last year.

The audacity of these bankers, the very same people we bailed out with hundreds of billions of dollars, is shocking. It's time to take it to the streets, and this Friday in Philadelphia we're going to do just that when we demand Wall Street:

# Stop refusing to pay your fair share to create the 11 million jobs America needs.
# Stop fighting financial reform.
# Start lending to your communities, small businesses and others starved for credit.

Join President Trumka, President Eiding and others in Philadelphia this Friday.

To Make Wall Street Pay, we support taxing Big Bank bonuses and transactions by big Wall Street speculators, the people who created the current economic crisis. A tax on financial speculation can discourage unhealthy financial trading while raising money to create jobs and reduce the deficit.

Wall Street must pay for a major jobs plan to extend unemployment insurance benefits, food assistance and health benefits.

Wall Street must pay to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

Wall Street must pay for aid to state and local governments to save critical services and jobs.

Wall Street must pay to increase funding for neglected communities to match people who need jobs with work that needs to be done.

Wall Street must use TARP money to get credit flowing to small businesses for job creation.

Join us this Friday and Make Wall Street Pay.

In solidarity,

Marc Laitin
AFL-CIO Online Mobilization Coordinator

Monday, March 8, 2010

No business as usual at the Art Museum, until the PSOU get their first contract!

Supporters of the Philadelphia Security Officers Union marched around the Art Museum on their way to the Art After 5 performance inside.

PSOU supporters literally stopped the Art After 5 show inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. ...Photos by Jesse W. Brown, Jr.
Click on photos to enlarge

From the Philadelphia Daily News, Saturday, March 6, 2010:

Protesters gather[ed] outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art about 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 5, to call attention to what they say is unfair treatment of art museum guards. The protest was timed to coincide with the museum's popular "Art After 5" program, which drew hundreds of attendees who were in the Great Hall awaiting the start of a program billed as "Japan Night." A banner carried by the protesters asked "What Would Picasso Say?", alluding to the big Picasso exhibit that opened recently and to Picasso's political stands for social justice. A flier passed out by the demonstrators said: "Museum security guards, who guard some of the most valuable art in the world, are calling for job security, respect, family sustaining wages and higher security standards. The Museum and Allied Barton Security Services are going as far as breaking federal law to stop them." The flier encouraged people to contact the museum and ask the museum to play a role in improving conditions for security officers. The guards work for AlliedBarton Security, and the demonstrators want the museum to use its influence to help the guards gain concessions [a first contract -JwJ] from AlliedBarton.

Dynnita Bryant, PSOU officer, addresses the rally at the museum. Photo by Jesse W. Brown, Jr.

Walter Lunsford and Sulaiman Kamara, PSOU officers, celebrating Walter's re-instatement at the rally. Believing Walter had been fired by Allied Barton in retaliation for his union activism, supporters brought public pressure on the museum. Walter was re-instated the next day.   Photo credit:

PSOU supporters included activists from UNITE HERE, PASNAP, AFT, AFSCME, AFGE, Temple SLAP, Swarthmore labor activists, Solidarity, SDS, and IWW, among others.   Photo by Dave Garrett Sarrafian 

Philly Jobs with Justice Executive Director, Gwen Snyder, among the supporters of the PSOU at the museum on Friday. She spoke about how the campaign for a contract is a struggle for jobs with justice.  Photo by Jesse W. Brown, Jr.

From KYW Newsradio, Saturday, March 6, 2010:

Union Supporters Rally Outside Phila. Museum of Art

by KYW’s Jim Melwert

Supporters of unionized labor rallied outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art Friday afternoon to protest what they call unfair labor practices by the company that runs the museum's security.

Security workers at the museum voted to unionize but now labor leaders say management of Allied Barton is dragging its feet, and targeting union supporters, according to Philadelphia Security Officers Union lead coordinator, Fabricio Rodriguez:

"Not only union supporters but union leaders, so folks that hold elected office in their union, we've had two guys fired in the last two weeks, they're both shop stewards and leaders in the union."

Fabricio says both men had strong work records with no blemishes and they were fired without warning.

But AlliedBarton vice president David Buckman questions the election process, and says they've asked the National Labor Relations Board to review the process, as for claims of retribution:

"There's been no effort to discipline or terminate employees as a function of their union affiliation."