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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 speech, reasonable health care costs, cost of living raises and tuition remission for family members 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, where restructuring principally means breaking the union.
The point here is that Temple is willing to spend more to break the union than the cost of settling 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, but they want support at 12PM), and demand that our local institutions are responsible and put Philadelphia before their profits and power.
The mainstream press across Philadelphia is turning commuters against transit workers. Instead of practicing journalism and explaining to the public why transit workers have gone on strike, they have instead given a platform to one side of the contract negotiations and helped the Mayor pit working people across the city against the drivers and engineers who get us to work everyday.