Nurses strike back

After six months without a contract, the members of PASNAP nurses’ union plan to strike March 31.

After six months without a contract, the members of PASNAP nurses’ union plan to strike March 31.

Seven years ago, registered nurse Marty Harrison was preparing to strike with the nurses of the Medical College of Pennsylvania East Falls Hospital.

“I came to Temple from MCP, so I’ve been through this before. But it’s going to be much different than it was at MCP. The union is much stronger. We’re in a much stronger position than we were there,” Harrison said.

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Tomorrow at 7 a.m., Harrison will be among the members of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals from Temple University Hospital slated to officially go on strike. PASNAP, the union representing the Temple nurses, gave TUH its 10-day strike notice March 19.

The union nurses have been without a contract since September and first notified TUH of their intent to strike Oct. 2 as a result of unsuccessful contract negotiations.
“They are not going to settle this without a strike. It’s become very clear to us,” Jerry Silberman, staff representative for the Temple nurses, said.

TUH officials assert their final offer is fair and competitive, leaving the Temple nurses still the highest paid in the region, with the average hourly rate for a nurse at $39.80 and an identical healthcare plan to employees at all levels in the health system.

Nurses and union employees have asserted that their dissatisfaction with TUH’s final offer lies in working conditions and patient advocacy, not just wages and benefits.

“Temple’s administrators have clung to their unreasonable demands. These are changes we believe will threaten the patients’ safety,” Maureen May, a registered nurse, said.

Since PASNAP gave its strike notice, TUH has been preparing to keep the hospital operational.

“Temple University Hospital will remain open and will continue to deliver uninterrupted quality care to our patients. We’ve activated our continuing operations plan to ensure that we can deliver that care, and that plan includes all aspects of preparedness and execution to make sure we have all the services and staff in all of the right places to take care of the patients,” Interim CEO of TUH Sandy Gomberg said.

Additionally, Gomberg stressed that all Temple doctors and roughly 3,000 non-union employees will be available during the strike to direct the temporary nursing staff and continue to care for patients.

Silberman had different thoughts about the hospital’s continuing operations plan.

“They are robo-calling every nurse in Eastern [Pennsylvania] and offering them $10,000 a week to work during the strike,” Silberman said.

“I know that Temple is using the economy as an excuse for coming after us, but I really think that it’s not really relevant. They’ve shown that money isn’t really the issue by [being] willing to pay scab nurses $10,000 dollars a week,” Harrison said. “Obviously this isn’t about money. It’s about power. It’s about breaking the union.”

“They’ve taken the position that ‘We’re going to impose on you what we can impose on any employee who isn’t represented [by a union],’” Silverman added. “That’s the definition of union busting, to take that attitude, and they are willing to test our resolve and put patients in the middle.”

TUH Public Relations Director Rebecca Harmon said the hospital would do whatever it needs to do to continue providing quality care to its patients.

“We arranged for fully-qualified and licensed temporary nurses and allied-health professionals only after we received a strike notice from the union – so whatever dollars are being spent are in response to the union’s strike notice,” Harmon said.

Both Harrison and May said they did not want to strike but, like Silberman, felt they were left with no alternative.

“We have no choice in the matter,” Harrison said. “Their offer is completely unacceptable. It was designed to make us go out on strike.”

“Our code of ethics dictates that we advocate for our patients, whether it’s by ourselves or as a collective,” May said.

“We need better than that,” Harrison added. “Our patients need better than that. There’s no going back now, we have to go out and we have to win and we have to win big.”
Gomberg vouched for the qualifications of the temporary nurses and allied-health professionals who would work during the strike, explaining they would go through the same orientation and vetting that any new employee would.

“They’re already preparing for our replacements,” May said. “They’re already here.”

“I would not hesitate to bring my family members to TUH for care should a strike occur,” Harmon said.

While there were no additional formal negotiation attempts over the weekend, state mediator Mark Lamont met with Temple’s chief negotiator Sunday. TUH reiterated its “last, best and final offers.” Lamont said since PASNAP and TUH were so far apart on wage proposals, there was no reason to bring the parties together at this time.

“I think our members are fully united around this. Not to say people aren’t scared. We are scared because we’ve never been on a strike before,” Silberman said.

Although Silberman said there is no way of predicting how long the strike will last, PASNAP has told members to prepare for several weeks.

“For Temple to take us this far and put us out on strike, the amount of money they’ve sunk in this already, it doesn’t make sense for them to only keep us out a couple of days,” Silberman said. “It only makes sense for them to keep us out long enough to suffer. The question is who suffers more. We’re convinced it will be Temple.”

Valerie Rubinsky can be reached at valerie.rubinsky@temple.edu.

122 Comments

  1. A note to Temple Nurses and Health Professionals:

    STAY STRONG. IF WE STAY TOGETHER WE CAN NOT LOOSE!

    A very special thank you to Temple University students who support us and believe that our fight today will be their gain tomorrow.

  2. What about the patients? Didn’t you go to school to become nurses so that you could provide a certain level of care for people? In today’s economic times, do you not have a clue as to how many people are out of work?

    Some message that you’re sending to the students as well as to the community that relies on your dedication. Nice job! I sure hope that I never have an opportunity to be one of your patients.

  3. Just wanted to let you guys know we support you. I have been waiting to get some tests done for the past 3 months (they are scheduled for 3/31/10, 4/1/10, and 4/4/10) and while I am concerned about my health, we will not cross the picket lines.

    We support you and know that what you are facing is not easy. Stand strong, know that your appreciate the stand you’re taking, and know that we’re thinking of you and praying for you.

  4. Nurses have no idea how strikes destroy professionalism and render the strikers even more powerless. Nurses who join unions don’t gain power, they suffer from a loss of professional respect, thus lose the ability to act in their own best interest and in the best interest of their patients.

    Nurses who leave their patients with temps, lose so much respect that patients and physicians previously held of the nurses. Work collaboratively internally and without a union and you will be surprised yet pleased at how people begin to listen to you and at how much respect you gain.

    If nurses only recognized how powerful they are working together as one voice, but not through a paid union, they would focus on internal synchrony as a profession.

  5. That shows true dedication for the wellbeing of the patient; walking out on them. Wealth over health? What if your parents were in that hospital?

    How do they call non-union nurses scabs, when they walk out on the ill? I guess union nurses are scum?

  6. yea blame the hard working nurses not the seven figure administrators who are causing the mess in the first place. good strategy.

  7. Clearly those of you who oppose the strike are clueless and don’t work in a hospital or are perhaps part of the adminstration. Our hospital is proposing that not only should they be able to float any nurse to any unit but they be able to float us to any hospital in our health system. Do you really think that is safe for patient? Hi, i’ve nver worked med surg or never worked at your hospital. DO YOU WANT ME TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR PARENTS! Furthermore if you really think any RN is getting wealthy as a result of a contract you are crazy. Our hospital is also proposing that they should reserve the right to change our start time based on census. Really, you dont need me for my 7-3 shift but want me to work 3p-11p. Who would pick up my daughter from daycare and watch her why I work an off shift? If you think that any strike is strickly about money you are seriously mistaken. Furthermore, why don’t you take a good look at who is really getting rich here. The CEO’s who get million plus bonuses and 34% raises. These people are getting rich off our hard labor and they don’t want to give us a standard of living raise. Please!

    You should be ashamed of yourselves for writing such uneducated trash and not supporting your fellow nurses.

  8. For those of you nurses who oppose the union or the strike…you owe US union nurses for the benefits that you reap in this profession. For when Temple settles this stroke EVERYONE will be watching for the results because it will resonate in other hospitals. Everyone wants to be competitive and be the “Employer of choice”. WE are striking to maintain respectability in our profession, the freedom to advocate for our patients, and the right to fair benefits. Learn from the greedy mistakes that huge bankers and politicians have made and how it has affected us a country….If we don’t stand up for advocacy, then who’s going to pursue the best outcome for the patient???

  9. Temple is trying to break the union pure and simple. The current administration shows a complete lack of respect to the nurses and other professionals effected by this strike. If it weren’t for unions nurses and everyone else would be working in horrible conditions, but because they stand up for us and guide us we are able to demand better conditions for ourselves and every other employee not represented by a union. For those of you who do not support us and think unions should be banished, think back to the working conditions before they existed. GO PASNAP, Temple just made a huge mistake.

  10. WE are going on strike to protect the patients. Prsently temple has inadequate supplies and staffing to provide the best care for there patients. But they pay their CEO’s millions. If my parent was in temple i would transfer them out to another hospital. The scab’s that temple hired are only there for one reason GREED. They go from hospital to hospital work endless shifts for large amts of money. We have to fight for what is right and just. I do not want to go on strike but Temple left us with no choice because they will not even negotiate.

  11. It seems to me that some of you opposing the strike may be misinformed. If you ask any RN at temple they will tell you that one of the major fights we have is for safe staffing and patient advocacy. Without our voice, floors are not staffed to acuity, just to census. We are not abandoning our patients. We fight everyday to work in the best interests of our patients and their families. The families that I personally work with give us their full support. As far as having to strike, I do not personally know one RN or professional member that would like to go on strike. Due to Temple’s inability to negotiate a fair contract including healthcare, staffing, wages, education to name a few has left us no choice but to strike. And seriously Wealth over Health? Lets examine the administrators who are making six to seven figures a year…. Some of you need to seriously reexamine All the facts before voicing an uneducated opinion…

  12. Hey KLC and Ed:

    Yes we did go to school to help patients, but we need to take care of ourselves too. Temple provides the opportunity for us as nurses to give and care for some of the most neediest patients this country has to offer.

    I am proud that I work at Temple!

    I am thankful for the gateway that Temple provides for me to be able to care for our neighborhood patients!

    But the reality is that I have my own family to provide for as well. Yes I could work other places and make more money, but the reward from helping those in need would be greatly reduced or non existent there. I have already chosen to sacrifice to be able to work at Temple, and do some good in someone’s life who truly needs it. This is about hospital administration trying to force me to leave, to practice elsewhere.

    And that truly is the choice the nurses are facing here. Not whether or not we want a 3% raise, or that our health care costs will double, or that they can force me to work on a unit I am unfamiliar with. The choice is, how much more disrespect will I, and my family accept, before I collect that hard earned, God Blessed license, sitting in the file cabinet in GSB, and take my practice “on down the road” where honesty and respect can be found in the workplace.

  13. It really saddens me that it has come to this. No one wants a strike, but when you believe your best is not good enough, then you have to take the next step. It is not true that strikes destroy professionalism. A nurse does not become less of professional because she stands up for what she believes is right. We are not asking for more than what we believe we are worth. What we don’t want is for the things that the hospital wants to take away from us. Maybe it might sound selfish to those who are unemployed and cannot find a job, but we chose a profession where we believed we could make a difference as well as one where we felt assured we would always have some type of job security. We make no where what physicians make, yet we are the ones at the bedsides tirelessly providing not only physical care, but emotional, psychological, and spiritual support. We are the ones who advocate for the patient. If it was about the money, then I believe many of us would have chosen a more lucrative career. This was not an easy decision to come to by any means. I know many of us cannot afford a strike at this juncture in our lives because of the financial toll it will place on our families, but what is the alternative? How can one provide quality of care when they feel their quality of life is being placed in jeopardy? As you are well aware patients will not go uncared for. True they will not receive the same care that we can and have provided, but they will not be left undone. With everyone standing in solidarity rather than mudslinging, I believe this strike would probably be settled a lot quicker and more amicably.

  14. Those who say that nurses are greedy and shouldn’t strike should work one shift at Temple. We are usually short staffed. Many times I have even cried. I just can’t beleive that this hospital can understaff us and work us to the breaking point and then turn around and call us greedy. It makes me sad and angry. If I wanted to be rich I would not have been a nurse but instead I have chosen to help people for a living. What has this world come to!

  15. why would anyone in this economy want to strike if not for a higher value patient care….Temple wants to break the union ….Stand united it is about the care not the fare…GO UNION

  16. I don’t know about you but we work hard in an institution that claims its number one priority is the care of the patients but yet we work under staffed and lacking the equipment and supplies that we need every day to care for our patients. With management taking advantage of us every day. Leaving us without the proper help (especially at night). The CEO, administration and Sandy Gomberg are not the ones that take care of the patient’s every day WE ARE. Why don’t they offer to take a decrease in their salary? We are human to. Like my fellow nurse said. If you’re not a nurse especially one that works at Temple then you do not understand what we go through on a day to day basis. I’ve seen these “replacements” work they do the minimum. Is that what you call good care? Why do you think they’re here? because of the money. $10,000 a week I don’t even make that in 3 months, and you call us greedy. They don’t realize Temple is not an easy place to work. Haven’t you ever heard the popular saying “if you can survive at Temple you can survive anywhere”. Temple is trying to break our union. What some don’t realize is the union is there for our job security and much more. I’ve seen the union in action. Many of my coworkers still have jobs today because of the union. If one day a mistake or problem should arise and the union did not exist Temple would be able to terminate you without thinking twice. Even if you’ve been loyal to them for years. Do you think its fair when your administrator tells you “if you want constitutional rights go work somewhere else”. Again this is the institution that claims patient care is their number one priority. When they don’t even respect the hard working nurses that take care of the patients. We fight for our patients! We fight for respect! We will stand strong!

  17. Temple administration would have us believe that the hospital is financially at risk, yet they are prepared to spend more on mercenary labor in a month than the cost of settling a 3 year contract with us. Our administartors tell us that our compensation need only be “average”. Do they want “average”care? We, the experienced staff, wish to provide the best possible care, and do it every day against some very tough odds. By the way, the administration bristles when about their financial compensation. Please tell me why a hospital always begging for more tax dollars, caring for the largest group of at risk, uninsured patients, can afford to provide some of the best executive salaries in the region. We are a non profit system, yet I feel the hubris of Wall Street ( remember the ride those execs just gave us!) when I listen to some of our leadership. If the “Gag” clause desired by the Temple was in effect now, I could say none of the above publicly without risking termination. A final point, contract negotiations are give and take.Temple put the final offer on the table last Fall and has no interest continuing to talk to us until we accept more than half their current proposal.

  18. Should the allied health professionals of Temple allow the recession to dicatate the way in which we provide patient care? Should we allow the current economy to be used as an excuse to keep up from speaking out, when we’ve exhausted all other avenues within the walls of the institution? The meager wage increases and affordable healthcare we’ve asked for is just one small part of this fight. We’ve given the institution ample opportunity to bargain fairly with us, but the crux of the matter is this, Temple’s administration wants to destroy our union!!!! This is evidenced by their willingness to pay scab nurses, clinical dieticans, respiratory therapist, physical therapist, physician assistants, OR techs, lab techs, x-ray techs, phlebotomists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, dosemitrists, and many other disciplines. The cost that they would absorb for paying these scabs for two weeks, they could have settled a fair contract with monies paid over three years, as oppossed to two weeks!!!! Clearly they have the resources to resolve our financial issues, but they choose not to. Temple’s allied health professionals have not abandoned our patients, Temple’s administration has.

  19. I am sitting at home tonite in tears. This strike will financially devestate my family. We were already teatering on the edge after Temple abruptly withdrew the tuition benefit without notice in March. I have two children in college. If this strike was just about the money, I would not have voted to strike. I would have taken what they offered and been glad that I didn’t have to worry about a strike. But this strike, at least for me, is not about the money. I can’t stand by and let Temple break our union, because our union protects nurses and patients. Hospitals, like any other business, just look at the bottom line. They do the math and figure that more patients per nurse means more money. They don’t care that patient care is not finished, they do not care if patients are at risk because the nurse simply cannot handle another admission. I am proud to be a nurse, but discouraged in my profession. I am a RN but also a nurse practitioner student. If it was about the money, I would have left the nursing profession long ago. We go to college for years so that we can work nights, weekends, and holidays and be exposed to HIV, hepatitis, and countless other diseases. Tomorrow when I pick up that picket sign and walk, without pay, understand that I do it so that I can have a voice, so that I can do my job knowing I can do what I was taught in nursing 101, be a patient advocate. I don’t want to strike, but I will not work where I can not be a voice for myself, my profession, and my patients.

  20. PASNAP Rocks! See you all at the picket lines. Stay strong and stand proud! We know we are fighting on the strength of our patients and families. We love our profession and deserve our benefits! Our patients support us because they know what we do and how we care – as well as understand we are striking for better conditions for them. TAP and TUHNA members, we are setting the stage for all hospitals watching. We will show them how real professionals stand up for better working conditions.

  21. To strike is unprofessional?…please……this strike is all about professionalism. We are the skilled, dedicated and compassionate caregivers that are bedside 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, weekends, nights, holidays and even in 24 inches of snow. The administrators driving this strike make high 6 figure and even 7 figure salaries but never spend a minute with patients yet make the decisions about how we should care for our patients. This decision has not come lightly and is all about our professional integrity as caregivers and patient advocates. We work very hard for our wages and benefits and yes times are tough, but does that mean we should give away previously negotiated benefits or settle for less pay than we have earned. NO, of course not, but we are certainly willing to negotiate fairly unlike our employer.

  22. I love being a nurse! If the administration thinks we have such an easy overpaid job, then why aren’t they bedside nurses themselves?

  23. TO ED AND KLC:

    Apparently you have never worked at Temple or anywhere near North Philadelphia. We work in the poorest section of the city, with the highest morbity and mortality in Philadelphia. THIS community deserves people who will stand up for them and the care they deserve, because often they are not taken into account when people like you and politicians, and hospital adminstrators make decisions about helathcare. WE ARE THE VOICE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NONE!! Most of our temple nurses have been at the hospital for an AVERAGE of 10-15 years. and have at least 20-30 years of nursing experience within the community. We work for an organization that continuously charges the poorest, non-insured people the highest for health care. I have kicked, punched, cursed out, followed to my car, had knife pulled on me, spit on, and countless other insults, all while performing my job. YET I STILL COME TO WORK AT TEMPLE. so yes $39 AND HOUR IS WORTH MY LIFE AND THE LIFE OF MY FELLOW NURSES.
    The nurse union is fighting for safe staffing for the patients, consistent working hours, adequate supplies and equipment, and the ability to STAND UP when we see something wrong WITHOUT threat of losing my job. It’s not about money, If it was I would be an agency nurse. if it was about money, I would be fight to have reimbursement for nursing services during hospital stays, because after all YOU DONT GET BILLED FOR NURSING CARE!!!!!How would you like it if a physician made an OBVIOUS mistake in you or your family’s health care, or a pharmacist prescribed the wrong medication, and no one told you, and they died as a result. IS THAT SAFE FOR YOU? IS THAT WHAT YOU PREFER? Or perhaps you would prefer to have a nurse who has never worked in a cardiac cath lab monitoring you as you had a heart attack, and she cant read the monitor, or interpret your lab work? It is my God given right as an American citizen and as a nurse to stand for my rights and the rights of those who do not have any. Nurses are the voice for those who have none, and no I don’t want to strike but if it means coming back to better working conditions and safety for my patients and family, then yes I will. Yes it pains me to not see my patients and care for them, especially those pateints and families who only get meals and transportation, and a place to sleep as the result of my interventions. So if you don’t beleive in nurses’ unions or what we are standing up for, then you are in the wrong place. AND I invite you to spend a week in my shoes and ask me if the last 8 years has been worth it.

  24. Because we are not in Cuba, we have the right to unionize and collectively bargain for wages, benefits and working conditions. Temple University is not a private company. The receive millions of dollars from the Federal and State Taxpayer.
    When the state legislature threatened to hold the $287,000,000.00 they dole out to the University each year unless they held discussions about closing Northeastern Hospital, they thumbed their nose at Harrisburg. When the Labor Board deemed their tuition reimbursement reversal illegal, they thumbed their nose at the Labor Board. When the state mediator called them reckless during negotiations, they refused to come to the negotiating table. When the student government took a stand to support the hospital union, they told the students to shut up.
    They’ve provoked a strike by refusing to negotiate and will now spend more money paying temporary replacement workers than it would cost to settle the strike.
    I’m truly worried about the future of Temple University Hospital. Decision makers have lost sight of management and have become consumed with power.

  25. Temple administration continues to double talk to the public. They should be proud of their experienced nurses and how long they have been there, instead they comment that the SCAB RN’s are certified and licenses, Yea! Where? The general puble needs to realize they are using tax dollars that are given to Temple for patient care, ie staffing and supplies, to force this strike. Settling the contract where the nurses asked for a minimal increase over 3 years to cover a fair increase in health insurance and nothing else. Continue what we already had and let us care for our patients in a safe way is all we wanted. Temple CEO takes the BIG bucks and eliminates supples and staffing. Seeming like a strange way to keep our patients safe.

  26. Clearly those who argue the union is “abandoning patients” for money have no concept of what it is like to work under Temple’s current administration. A major issue of this contract is the overt attempts to weaken the strength and unity of the union. There have already been policy changes, attempted removal of dependent tuition, refusal to negotiate, and drastic changes in health benefits. These changes are insulting considering that the hospital is a university-based institution in which healthcare providers educate and treat patients on a daily basis. The union stands to preserve the rights, benefits, and protection that has been established through negotiating with previous administrations. I worry for the patients who will be receiving care from transient, unacclaimated, money-seeking individuals. I have put my heart, effort, and sweat into getting our patients better. NOBODY WANTS A STRIKE. However, should we as the backbone of the hospital and healthcare deliverers, settle for an unfair contract in which our strength, benefits, and rights are dramatically decreased? If I wanted to have my benefits, employments, pay, and rights as a professional at the mercy of an administrator I would work at a non-union hostpial. The union stands as one for ourselves and our patients. We serve as an example that there is power in numbers and to Temple students that you do not have to settle for what is unfair. I hope that the union and Temple’s negotiating team can reach an agreement that will be comfortable for both sides as I would like to return to my job as soon as possible. Furthermore there will be plenty to fix once the scabs leave for there next assignment. We serve some of the sickest, underserved, and difficult patients in the area with limited resources at our disposal. And for our peers who scrutinize from a distance, and question the integrity of the dedicated, hardworking professionals…try doing what we do at Temple. I hear the pay is unreal.

  27. Hey, All RNs and Techs in the Region,
    You all need to support your counter parts in TUH.
    This can happen to you too.
    So, should nor participate in TEMPLE MANAGEMENT’S SCAM OF OFFERING HIGH PAY FOR A WEEK TO BREAK THE STRIKE. PLEASE DO NOT BETRAY YOUR COUNTERPARTS AT TUH.

  28. I am so proud of being a member of PASNAP. I am glad that our Union is standing strong against these greedy corporate slackers whose only goal is to break the union. The way they have treated Temple employees lately is just shameful. If they don’t care about their employees you know they dont care about their patients. Shame on you Temple!!! Solidarity PASNAP!!! Scabs can’t stay forever they have to go back sooner or later. And the neighborhood will not tolerate poor care. So let us stay strong and win so our patients can win

  29. Many of you are misinformed about the reason we are all striking. Let’s make it clear, we are taking a stand for our patients. What you should be questioning is why Temple wants to propose a gag clause. We are advocates for our patients. Ask Temple’s administration why cant we complain about the unsafe staffing that go on everyday at Temple. Working without adequate supplies, and broken equipment. The list go on. Our fight is for our patients,ourselves and our family. Please don’t believe that the average nurse hourly rate at Temple is $39/hour. All nurses get paid by years of experience. You would have to be a nurse for over 10 years to get that amount. SO SANDY GOMBERG STOP WITH ALL OF YOUR LIES. How much do you get paid and for what???? Temple want to take more money out of our pockets by- increasing our health care premiums, decreasing our weekend and shift differential, deny us paid conference days to further our education, deny us a 36 hour work week, destroy our union and the list go on. So please support us and get your facts straight. We have family to care for as well. We don’t want to strike, we just want a fair contract. And yes we are grateful we have jobs. We all worked long and hard for our license and we deserve better. Its not about money for us. I can work at a hospital closer and more convenient to my home,and bring home more money at the end of the week. I choosed Temple because I knew they had the best nurses the city had to offer. I can work anywhere thanks to the nurses who trained me when I first started at Temple. Those are the type of nurses who can’t be replaced. So you go ahead Sandy, and feel good about yourself for paying these outsiders up to $10,000 a week. Our union will not be broken!!!!!

  30. Ii worked at Temple in the ED in the past. I can say it is was a hard place to work with 3 months of orientation with a preceptor at my side. Now the administration is ok with giving 1 day orientation to an agency rn. I called the agency that is supplying the rn’s. They emphasized the hourly rate of 70/hr not my inexperience of never working in an ICU. They kept pushing me to work in the Bone Marrow unit. “That was the biggest need.” I told the agency that i felt uncomfortable, they said “70/hr can you get comfortable at with that?” I know that people feel that the nurses are walking out on their patients, but Temple had since sept to make sure that the patients would not be taken care of by money fetching nurses that care of nothing more than getting a big pay week. Kinda sounds like the adminstrators at Temple! I heard 1 of the rn’s at Temple say that Sandy Gomberg the ceo of Temple saying “if you want constitutional rights you should not work at Temple!” If I am a patient that is reassuring of the concern the administration has for me. Good luck to all the nurses and stay strong you set the climate for nurses in the entire area that would like to get compensated for their hard work!

  31. The nurses and this union are a disgrace. In times when nurses are abundant and the TUH nurses are already the highest paid in the state they need to do the right thing and go to work tomorrow. I’ve been to this hospital and the nurses there are the worst I have ever seen. If I was management I would keep them out for a long long time and get non-union nurses who actually do their job.

    You should be ashamed of yourself. Enjoy $0 paychecks for the next few weeks. HA HA HA

  32. Minnesota Nurses have your back! You go out and you fight hard!! We walked in 1984 and won the war! We are facing another very possible strike June !st. People don’t understand why we walk…it’s really about the patients and their care now and in the future. Stand united!!

  33. “yea blame the hard working nurses not the seven figure administrators who are causing the mess in the first place. good strategy.” – bill

    QFT.

    many students don’t realize it, but we’re going to suffer from the temple administration’s new found love of the wal-mart business model

  34. It’s about patients…what a joke. It’s about nurses that hide behind a greedy union because if they didn’t they would be fired for incompetence. Union nurses = inferior care. I would never go to TUH for the simple fact that the nurses there are the worst. I feel sorry for the doctors that have to work with them

  35. roflcaptor how dare workers protest against unfair labor practices! Dont they know there rich and should appreciate it!! >:(

    I once heard an inspiring phrase shouted from a passing car to a group of teachers who were on strike. It went “get to work, get to work, get to work!” Take it to heart!

  36. Unprofessional? Being part of the union for nurses at Temple has been one of the most professional acts that I have done as a nurse. May be you don’t realize KLC and SAC but the patient advocacy at Temple is second to none. You see I have worked at other hospitals in the Philadelphia region. KLC, you can’t speak up or get nurses to get together without being reprimanded, ostracized or putting your raise and job in jeopardy at most non union hospitals. I beg to differ on respect you would be surprised at how many physicians and management really do have our support. Some have booked their patients elsewhere during the strike. Recently, a couple of physicians had taken a patient for a procedure without checking with me, the nurse if they were ready. I was busy with another patient, but the minute I realized the patient had gone I tracked them down. I gave them a tongue lashing including the attending physician, about making sure the patient is ready by asking the nurse in charge of the patient and proper identification. Well later on I saw one of those physicians and he said that would have never happened with the wimpy nurses at _______ hospital. If that isn’t patient advocacy I don’t know what is and respect because not one of the doctors talked back or said I was incorrect. Our paid union was founded by us and the leadership is working professionals, not paid executives with six or seven figure salaries looking down on us telling us what to do when they have no clue. We have in our contract language a nurse practice committee that meets monthly and whatever is on our agenda mysteriously makes onto the management run committees. KLC how many staff non management nurses are on a committee that gets results? Did your group of nurses’ sponsor the bill that was passed last year to ban mandatory overtime like our union did along with other unions? You see that bill is patient advocacy so we can safely care for our patients, that bill is for everyone in the state including you, KLC. We are sponsoring a nurse to patient ratio bill both nationally and in Pennsylvania the state (again with other unions). My friend was patient at an ivy league, magnet hospital and she asked her nurse how many patients she had the nurse said she was not allowed to say. I let you figure out why but that’s why we need the bill not mention why we are fighting our gag clause. But I welcome you and your group of nurses to come and fight for a patient safety look it up at pennanurses.org By the way, SAC this is what we are teaching our community and doing for our patients. Because we are proud and powerful speaking with one voice is the reason behind the tactics at Temple. Solidarity!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. To all those people who bash the Temple Nurses, shame on you! I have been working at temple for over 16 years, and I have never seen this kind of abuse of power as this administration is showing. Any time one of the administrators is a patient, all of a sudden all the supplies show up on time on the unit, we do not have a shortage of nurses( even if other units have to run short, that’s OK because the big wig is a patient). Why should not everybody receive the same kind of care? Why should me, or you, or my parents, or yours be treated the same? Oh, I am sorry I can’t provide care for your mother today, because they took a nurse away since one of the CEO is a patient in another unit. Is this what you want to hear? This is exactly what they do at Temple. And I have seen it many times over. The only way we have been able to fight this was through the union, and being able to have a voice. And now, they want to take the right to say something back away from us. How can we be patient’s advocates, if we can’t speak up? Do you want to give up your right to the freedom of speech? Our forefathers have worked hard for us to enjoy this right. Should we just let Temple take it away from us? I have a family to take care of also, I am the only one who provides health insurance for them all, so I choose to stand up and fight for the rights of all my patients in detriment to my own family, and for this I have to be called greedy? Please wake up and smell the coffee!!! And for Mike McCusker, I am sorry you feel that way about Temple nurses. If you had an unpleasant experience it was probably because somebody in Management decided that one nurse can handle the load for two or three nurses, even though they never show their faces at bedside. You see they make decisions like that all the time, and I can’t tell you how many times I was told when I was in charge to “wing it”. Is this the kind of care you want for everybody? If we no longer have a voice, we would have to wing it all the time, and not even be aloud to say anything about it.

    Go PASNAP! STAND STRONG! WE WILL WIN!!!

  38. Another perfect example of Temple’s management decisions. As per Sandy Gomberg, they have hired 850 replacement personal to take care of the patients and provide quality care. Interesting!! How can 850 replace 1500 employees. We have another 2 for 1 deal Temple enjoys again!!!

    GOOD LUCK WINGING IT!!!

    I am glad nobody in my family is a patient at Temple during these days!

    Families of patients, I urge you, if you can, transfer them out before something bad happens!

  39. Stay Strong Union Nurses!! We will be thinking of your strength, dedication and integrity as we negotitate our contracts in Minnesota. Thank You for advocating for your patients and for yourselves.

  40. Who is Mike McCusker? Would you like to come to Minnesota and follow me around for a 12 hour night shift?

  41. You guys have our support. Me and my fellow nurses were thinking about jumping on the fabulous incentive being offered $10,000 is a ton of money in these tough times. But as we read through the comments and talked amongst ourselves we realized we too would not be able to work under those conditions. When you are @ the bedside you have your patients life resting in the palm of your hands. They are trusting you are capable to execute care in the most professional manner possible. If you are floated into unfamiliar territory you are like a fish out of water. How can you advocate for your patient if you yourself do not know what you are doing? 12 hours is no spring walk in the park by the end of the day, your feet and feelings may be hurting but at least you can say I did my job. ROCK ON, STAND YOUR GROUND! We are watching with baited breath.

  42. This is not about money. Do the math. It would cost less to settle the contract. This is about union busting.

  43. Temple RNs and the professional staff ie respiratory therapists,phlebotomists,social workers,dieticians etc all deserve a FAIR CONTRACT and the right to advocate for PATIENT SAFETY without fear of losing their jobs,We are not requesting large pay increases.We want to keep the BENEFITS we have achieved over the years.Temple wants to take many of them away,such as reducing on call pay,week-end and night differential,personal holiday time to name but a few.At the same time they want to double and triple medical insurance depending on which professional group you belong to.TUH has already taken away dependent tuition rimbursement without any negotations with our union.For TUH a contract is not really a contract except when it favors the ADMINISTRATION.
    If you are not an employee of Temple working in patient care areas you have no idea what it can be like at times.Often patients are abusive,high on drugs,prison in mates,non English speaking patients,teenagers having babies and all needing a lot of social and nurturing support.Everyday in TUH, NURSES advocate for these people,even putting their own lives at risk.
    I have been an RN at TUH since the 90s and i hope to contuine working there with a decent pay and benefits which we the NURSES=(union-PASNAP)have negotiated over the years.I urge all RNs to stay united in TUHNA.Striking is not easy for anyone,but together with TUHNA and TAP we can all get a FAIR CONTRACT.

  44. Mike McCusker you have no clue. Clearly you are not a RN. Walk in our shoes and tell me how greedy we are. We certainly are not making 7 figures. Keep you uneducated comments to yourself. We don’t care what you think.

  45. I personally haven’t had any unpleasant experiences with temple nurses, however, I have heard several temple faculty and friends of mine say that temple nurses are notoriously lazy among and give you “attitude” and “power trips” among the regional hospitals.

    During one conversation, someone spoke up to defend nurses and said that nurses overall are overworked and underpaid. however, someone else responded and said that they’ve seen nurses in different cities and different hospitals. temple has some of the worst nurses they’ve ever seen, and its because of the union.

    After reading all the comments, it seems to me that temple is probably trying to break the union. And for good reason. I’ve heard of horror stories of extremely incompetent nurses who instead of being fired, just got sent to another department because of the union’s protection. While this may be an isolated case, temple can fire bad physicians because physicians have no unions. Why do nurses need unions to protect the few bad apples that makes the entire profession look bad? Many of you talk about supporting your families and being dedicated.

    Well everyone else working at temple is equally dedicated and families as well. But they aren’t part of a union. And when it comes to competitiveness, temple is bleeding money, and sure the administration is partially to blame. The same people who complained about the nurses also said that temple has some of the laziest administration around.

    One of my colleagues is a department chair who frequently complain that temple is cutting their budget because of this recession. Temple bleeds money because of the community it serves frequently does not have insurance, because there are many bad nurses that can’t be fired, and the state doesn’t give it enough money, and administrators who are lazy and probably overpaid as well.

    So there you have it, we are all part of the problem, and all part of the solution. Let’s do our own part to make temple great, and stop pointing fingers.

  46. I am Tech for Temple’s lab, today I walked out on my job for Better Benefits, NO to this GAG Clause,Cost of living increase, Education Benefits for years of service! Shame on all of you who are bad mouthing us the front line healthcare providers! We place our lives on the line every day to provide service to you and your family members! I have come to work many days were there are only 2 or 3 Lab techs in departments on for the whole hospital! Now, I ask you is this providing quality service and the best patient care, umm I would have to say no! There has not been one day I’ve witness where the nurses were not understaffed or being pulled and placed on different floors to fill holes! Is this the best patient care temple has to offer? Temple has made cut backs on staffing and supplies, which leaves the remaining staff to work longer hours and work harder! Temple Adminstration is the worst they do not respect US for the jobs we do here! Temple wants to keep earning profit off of our backs but don’t want to give us the best benefits and wages for our family! I can’t believe you people, shame on you! Please get the facts before you talk about us! This was the our last choice I enjoy working at Temple but I want to be respected as a person and not a robot at their command! LET’S GO GUYS WE HAVE A BATTLE AHEAD! GO PASNAP N TAP WE STAND UNITED!

  47. I’m the son and brother of nurses…nurses deserve more respect for the hard, life-saving work they do. I support you, and thank you for taking a stand. I hope your fight one day becomes a fight for my family members, and that nurses everywhere can get a better deal.

  48. Minnesota RNs are with you Temple nurses. And, as for the “lazy nurse” comments, to those who may be dupped into thinking that hospitals have lazy nurses – what you don’t understand is, a lazy nurse cannot survive working in a hospital. I’ve worked in three hospitals in two states and three different cities and my co-workers have all been eager and strive to do everything they can for their patients. Nurses are caregivers and we gravitate to this profession because it is in our nature to care for others. I can’t tell you how many of my patients have said to me, “I could never do what you do,” and I’m sure every nurse reading this has been told the same – more than once. Giving people are easily taken advantage of and, historically, we tend to make concessions and be subservient to others. And, NEWS FLASH, for those of you who haven’t heard, for years – THERE IS A NURSING SHORTAGE! We need to unite as pt advocates (who else has more contact and interaction with patients?) and for the profession itself. A strong voice can only benefit our patients even more.

  49. I have been working as a professional nurse for 24 years, and the last 18 plus at Temple University Hospital in the Operating Room (OR). I am also a United States Army Nurse Corps Surgical Nurse Officer with twenty plus years of service to our country, deploying to Afghanistan in ten days.

    In addition,I am a member of Temple’s Trauma Team, as are my fellow Nurses and Surgical Technicians employed in the OR, the Emergency Department, the Intensive Care Units, Radiology Department, Respiratory Department,the Blood Bank and Hematology.

    We perform thousands of surgical procedures at Temple University Hospital throughout the year. Day and night, both emergency and non-emergency procedures in addition to trauma cases. We provide the highest quality of care for all of those gunshot victims you hear about in the news, including Philadelphia’s Finest (Philadelphia Police Officers wounded in the line of duty). We have to provide trauma coverage 24/7 – 365 days a year after working our regular eight, ten or twelve hour shifts, and even on our scheduled days off from work we have to provide this coverage.

    We do this 24/7, 365 days a year including all holidays and weekends.Our most current contract with Temple University Health System expired 30 September 2009 and we have continued to work hard and give our patients the care that they so desperately need despite the barriers to effective care placed on us by Temple’s Administrators and Nursing Management, and their unwillingness to bargain in good faith with the goal of hammering out a fair new contract.

    So if you put the above situation into its proper context and perspective, it speaks volumes to the dedication and commitment to patient care of the Nurses and Allied Health Professionals employed at Temple University Hospital.

    The question to be asked, is where is Temple’s commitment to us and their patient population? They constantly provide us with inadequate staffing, insufficient supplies and resources, and expect us to meet the gold standards of patient car; and we accomplish this lofty expectation at the expense of working ourselves into states bad health,illness and disease.

    Then they have the audacity to punish us for being sick even though they have full knowledge of us caring for patients that have the very diseases and illness we have contracted. In addition, they want to reduce our weekly paychecks, double and triple our health care cost, limit our access to health care, and drop educational benefits at their university for our dependents.

    Temple’s Administrators never come in contact with their patients,they hear about them from other sources including internal reports,television and radio news media, or read about them in the newspapers. These extremely over paid bean counters don’t do one single thing directly to assist patients in need.

    And, they don’t want us commited,dedicated,licensed and certified,highly skilled and educated professional patient advocates, to publically say anything about Temple’s Administrators and Nursing Management’s inability or unwillingness to correct the situations I mentioned, as well as several more that I did not mention because of time and space constraints.

    These complaints have been documented repeatedly and consistently over the years with little movement if any, by Temple’s Administrators and Nursing Management in an effort to resolve them.

    So this strike starting today 31 March 2010, is not just about one particular day,a single event, or an isolated issue, no to the contrary, it is about Temple University Hospital’s Administration and Nursing Management consistently displaying open disregard and contempt for their hard working Nurses and Allied Health Professionals whose documented diligence and work ethics have helped to mold Temple’s reputation as one of the top Health Care Systems in the region.

    Temple’s unfair treatment of its Nurses and Allied Professionals,translates into an obvious lack of concern and compassion for their patient population. As evidenced by them offering and willingness to pay 5-10 thousand dollars a week salaries, plus room & board, and transportation if necessary, to bring in Nurses and Allied Health Professionals unfimiliar with the Temple Health System.

    Give these Scab Nurses who are just there for the short termed lucrative pay rates, a mini orientation and expect them to perform critical patient care and related patient care tasks equal in quality and scope to that of their seasoned fulltime health professionals, that received months of orientation to absorb and digest the vast multitude of policies, procedures, and ever changing dynamics that occur while working in a Level One Trauma Center located in the heart of impoverished neighborhood.

    So before you non-nurse experts or non Temple University Health Systems nurses sit back and judge us for our actions, maybe you should do yourself as well as the rest of us that have read your ignorance based rhetoric a huge favor.

    And get the facts first, apply your GOD given ability to reason and empathize; then this last task which is equally important, make sure your brain is engaged prior to putting your mouths, pens, or key boards in motion.

  50. Thanks ER RN FOR TELLING US YOUR STORY!!!

    This is the quality care temple intends to provide while we are fighting for better patient care:

    “I worked at Temple in the ED in the past. I can say it is was a hard place to work with 3 months of orientation with a preceptor at my side. Now the administration is ok with giving 1 day orientation to an agency rn. I called the agency that is supplying the rn’s. They emphasized the hourly rate of 70/hr not my inexperience of never working in an ICU. They kept pushing me to work in the Bone Marrow unit. “That was the biggest need.” I told the agency that i felt uncomfortable, they said “70/hr can you get comfortable at with that?”

    To all PATIENTS AND FAMILIES!!! BEWARE!!!

    Will you know if the nurse being at bedside ever saw a ventilator before, or God forbid if a stroke is involved, and you need a catheter in your brain to monitor your pressure while the blood is evacuated, or if you had a heart attack and need a machine to help beat your heart for you, how will you know if they ever saw such a thing before? We do all kinds of high tech things at Temple to save our patient’s lives, and if the nurses are hired just as a body to be there, you could bleed to death, or herniate the brain and be brain dead faster than you can say help. The example is right above, NO ICU EXPERIENCE, BUT ASKED IF SHE CAN BE COMFORTABLE FOR $70/HOUR.

    This is the kind of quality care TEMPLE management is comfortable with. I am sure they are not bringing their family members to Temple now.

    And for Dan, you obviously are clueless about the way Temple treats those lesser than yourself. They treat doctors with white gloves, while the nurses are treated like dirt. We are just numbers to them not people, just like the patients. They treat the Doctors good because they are the ones bringing the patients or the money in their own managers’ words, however, who is there 24/7 taking care of those patients the doctors bring in? I can’t tell you how many times I have helped save a patient’s life by pointing out a doctor’s mistake before it was implemented! And the only reason I was able to do that was because I was allowed to say something without fearing I would loose my job by pointing it out. Under the gag clause Temple wants part of our contract, I am not sure I would still have a job the next day. Anybody who has done their residency at Temple can tell you how many times nurses have called their attention to something that was ordered wrong because they were overworked, or overextended, or over tired from being up for too many hours in a row.

  51. Dear RN at Temple,

    As a graduate student, a student organization representing myself once petitioned to the dean to ask for higher stipends because we were paid the lowest among all the Philadelphia medical schools. I know what it’s like to work hard and to be paid very little. But is that temple’s fault? not really. What I am paid is more or less reasonable for my stage in life(we as graduate students did not picket).

    Now from what I know, temple hospital employs the only unionized work force in philly(not sure if Crozer counts). At other places, nurses can be fired at will if they do anything horrendously wrong. Are you saying that at places like Penn/drexel/jefferson, nurses aren’t allowed to speak up against mistakes?? I am sure they are. If anything, nurses at the best regional health system-penn work harder than temple nurses. Maybe they have a little less job security, but who has job security these days? This recession is very real and temple is not making it up.

    Temple is indeed hiring a lot of temps which does lower the quality of care even though they say quality has been maintained, but what other option do they have? They need to find a way to discourage union strong arming of their hospital system. Temple financially doing horribly in recent years and they even had to close the children’s hospital.

    My own department at temple has cut back a lot. We had to let an junior administrator go because of lack of funds. We have cut back on the number of new graduate students we can hire as well. Recently, a professor who has been with the department for a few decades has been let go because she is aging and has not been productive in the department. Temple is not a mean place. if anything, it is inefficient. It is trying to become a more efficient place so that more people can be treated, more research can be done, and the people working here can all receive more respect.

    Now if temple says nurses here are among the most well paid, do you disagree with that? And like I said before, what is so bad with a gag clause if other medical school hospitals in the region don’t employ unionized nurses?

  52. I have worked at temple for several years now. I can not get over the outcry from the temple nurses that I am seeing on this website. Let us calrify a few things. First of shopping on the internet or posting on facebook does not qualify as work. In fact I have often struggled to figure out what exactly the med/surg nurses do at temple. They do not draw blood under any circumstances. Bloodwork is drawn by phlebotomy or by the resident physicians. Vitals are performed by the PCA’s which are subsequently checked by an RN four to five hours later. They will not push any IV medications. So I have come up with two things that which temple nurses do. They hand out pills and they hang bags of fluid. Neither of which are very labor intensive. Second as for being advocates for your patients I find that a joke. It is very rare for a nurse at temple to even know why a patient is in the hospital. It is not uncommon that when physicians round on a patients nurses are active members of the team. At temple the nurses cannot be bothered. If you truly wanted to be advocates for your patients you would do so on a day to day basis. This is nothing more than an emotional plea so the public thinks you are looking out for its interests which is hardly the truth. You are only looking out for yourselves(which is ok but at least be honest about it). Third the nurses of Temple are currently the highest paid nurses in the region yet I would argue are some of the worst nurses in the region. They are not a valuable member of the healthcare team but rather an impedence to adminstration of quality healthcare. It is a shame that Temple cannot take this oppurtunity to get rid itself of all the bad nurses and only bring back the good ones. Dont get me wrong there are some VERY good nurses at Temple who unfortunately have their name ruined by the many bad nurses which dominate the culture of Temple nursing. It is hard to see how Temple’s offer is unfair as it still will keep the nurses among if not the highest paid nurses in the region. Yes you will have to contribute to your healthcare. Wake up so do most other Americans. I continue to work at temple today and yes the care provided to the patients has been affected. It has been improved. The so called scab nurses are providing compasionate care to patients you have abandonned. They are proactive in caring for their patients and have been very involved. I have seen them taking owernship of their patients and taking pride in what they do. In the best interests of my patients I hope this strike never ends. For the nurses who are striking I hope then strike ends quickly but they come back changed and for the better.

  53. To Temple MD,
    Wow, that was really couragous of you to say all those things about the nurses at Temple. I really like how you signed your name. Very brave. Now listen you big dope. I could say the same things about a good number of the Temple physicians. I have been at Temple for almost 8yrs. I could give you a laundry list of the same types of complaints that the nurses have about the docters. I will be on the picket line tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. if you want to trade stories.

  54. to Chris Henry,

    As an outsider, I can only rely on what my friends/colleagues tell me. But they have basically said similar things to what TempleMD has said(that temple’s nursing culture isn’t patient friendly and as a group, they get dragged down by the bad apples that can’t be fired).

    Don’t get me wrong, these friends have also complained that temple physicians aren’t interested in research(basically that means they aren’t forward thinking and probably won’t stumble on any major breakthroughs). These same friends have basically said that Crozer internal medicine physicians are the most incompetent bunch they’ve ever met. They’ve said that OB/GYN nurses are the most hard to work with group across the board in all hospitals. These colleagues have also complained at how slow the temple administration system is- nothing gets done at a reasonable time. They say that the temple population base are really unappreciative of all the basically free care they receive. Friends I’ve had that moved on to other cities say that in other cities, the undeserved communities are a lot more respectful of physicians and nurses and the care they get. And yes, among the many complaints my friends/colleagues have had, they have also basically universally agreed that that temple nurses are probably the laziest bunch they’ve ever seen. This is the stereotype. If you don’t think it applies to you, then let’s move on. But realize that the rest of the temple community does have this view of temple nurses and your strike today certainly didn’t help in this regard.

    Today I approached one of people who looked like an organizer for this strike. They said that they are complaining mostly about the pay cut and the gag rule.

    To address the pay cut, temple nurses are among the highest paid. If you weren’t unionized, temple would just fire the bad ones under the current recession that we are in. But instead, all the nurses gets to keep their job, but temple just wants a pay cut. What is wrong with that? I know you won’t take this pay cut easily, but its coming regardless of if you like it or not. You are already among the highest paid in the region.

    Gag rule- everyone talks about how this will decrease patient quality because if a nurse speaks up, she might be fired. I asked the organizer what its like at non-unionized hospitals. they said nurses there can be fired for any reason. Now if this is true, why isn’t penn health system, one of the best in the country, knee high in lawsuits? Last time I drove by that area, they had big billboards touting how they are consistently one of the best ranked hospital systems in the country. They don’t have uninionized nurses. Everyone on this message board and in the strike claim that if the gag rule were to be implemented, then nurses can’t speak up every time a resident or attending physician makes a bad decision. That is obviously not true since nurses in other hospitals keep their jobs just fine.

  55. Dear TempleMD,
    Did you forget about 4 east the CDU unit when you wrote that nurses do not draw blood under any circumstances. We draw cardiac enzymes every 6 hours and out of respect for our patients we often request that the doctor order all other blood work to be drawn and the same time so that the patient will not need extra needle sticks. As for PCA’s more often than not the PCA’s are pulled to cover patients needing 1:1 care. It is not unheard of of the 4th floor to have no PCA, no unit clerk, and take 10 admissions in a 12 hour shift. The recommended nurse to patient ratio for cardiac monitored patients is 1:4, at Temple we carry a patient assignment of 6 patients. As for not giving any IV medications you forgot that by the request of doctors we do give IV narcotics. As for antihypertensive IV medications the patient should be on a bed side cardiac monitor. If your patient is in need of such IV medications maybe their acutiy level is greater than med/surg.

  56. Dear Dan,
    Are Temple nurses the highest paid RN’s, I tell you while looking for a part time job to feed my family during this strike I have been offered a position in the Prision system starting at $40.00 an hour. That is more than I make at Temple.

  57. Dear Temple md. You need to talk to Temple Administration about what nurses can and cannot do. I have worked at other hospitals and I can draw blood, place iv’s, push iv meds and much more. I can probably do your job also. Maybe you should talk to Sandy Gomberg about changing Temple’s old school policies. Oh and by the way my floor hasn’t had a pca in months on the floor. Get your facts straight. Remember we take care of the patients 24/7 while you get to walk away from them. We have compassion. That’s something you lack!

  58. To Dan, Your an idiot. Who told you that we were the highest paid, Temple? Get your facts straight moron. Temple has put out this garbage blaming the economy for everything. They claim they lost millions of dollars last year. How do you lose money and wind up with 17 million more in the bank this year. I’d love to lose money that way. In a troubled economy would you have 2 CEO’s. Temple does. Infact, one makes close to 3 million a year while Sandy Gomberg makes @ 250,000. For a non-profit hospital, the tax payers of Pennsylvania ARE PAYING MORE THEN TWICE the amount for any hospital CEO in the region. I also asked the attendings in my department if Temple came to you and said we are cutting your salary by 10% how would you react? You can imagine their response.
    Where our health benefits are concerned, Temple made a deal with Blue Cross to pay 25% less for our premiums then they did the previous year for the same benefit package. I thought that was great, our premiums will not go up. Well I was wrong. They want to double the cost and have the option in the contract to drop whatever plan you have and go to what they call Temple care.This means at any time they can force you to use Temple or face hefty out of pocket expenses.

    As far as other nurses at area hospitals are concerned, people there get fired every day just like Temple. I doubt however,a Penn nurse ever got fired for complaining to a friend on facebook that she had a rotten shift because of unsafe staffing. This was the example I used to the Temple negotiating team and I was told that I could and would be written up or fired.
    Why don’t you come out tomorrow and talk to me.I will will be wearing a navy jacket. I’ll give you the facts.

  59. United you Stand, divided you will fall. Stand firm we Minnesota Nurses are with you all the way. I walked the strike line in 2001 and it was so worth it. The very best to you, after all it is patient safety that counts.

    Thanks Sue from Minnesota, Methodist Hospital

  60. it should be clear to any non biased observer that this strike is about one thing and one thing only. UNION BUSTING. Temple has made a corporate decision to break this Union and they are willing to spend mega bucks to do it. All the trash about fiscal sanity is nothing but a smi=oke screen. they will spend more in two weeks on the strike breakers than it would take to settle the contract. Pathetic!!!!!!

  61. To Temple MD: I work in an ICU at Temple and a day doesn’t go by where I shake my head at a new resident and say to myself “Is that guy really a doctor?” And I wonder who is the attending overseeing his performance. Stones and glass houses.

    To Dan the graduate student. Check the studies on unionized hospitals. Patient care is superior. Ask Russ Limbaugh. Queens Hospital Nurses are union.

  62. To Sue from Minnesota: Thanks for the support. Your words of encouragement go far in these scary times. Patient care and safety is the thread that connects us. M

  63. temple md,
    as a med-surg nurse who has worked at temple for 19yrs plus, i can recall many years of missed lunch hours and limping out of the hospital because of working with short staffing. you actually stated one area of focus that we might agree on that is the challenging population we serve. we are on the picket line because temple refuses to bargain in good faith. the administration has demonstrated this by repeating the same “poor final offer” each time we have met across the table. it is an obvious lack of respect and an attempt to compromise the solidarity of the workers

  64. Temple RNs and therapists spend more time with our patients than the MDs do, we know what is going with our patients. We as nurses are trained to look past the patients diagnosis and see them holistically. We spend more time talking to our patients, as oppose to a quick assessment and skimming through their charts. We know about their financial situations, emotional stressors, as well as their disease process. We respond to their concerns by notifying the MDs and physicians do rely on our input in the charts on deciding the patients treatment and prognosis. I have worked as a medsurg RN and now I am in the ER for the past 3yrs. Yes, there is a difference between floor nursing and RNs that work in the ICU and ER, and other speciality areas. Medsurg RNs frequently disrespected, talked down to by mgmt and MDs, are stripped of their autonomy, have high pt ratios, are usually subject to short staffing, and are loaded down with paperwork that adminstration keeps tossing at them; and inspite of that they still manage to care for our patients. Furthermore, the money that Temple is spending on scabs, could easily settle the contract for a fraction of the cost. Its not about the money for Temple. Temple mgmt. wants to crush the union and silence us, they are tired of vocal nurses who fill out countless short staffing forms as well as inadequate medical supply forms, directors are tired of sitting at nurse practice mtgs and hearing these same nurses explain about all the mishaps and near misses because of short staffing, no supplies, safety hazards, etc.

  65. Temple is a public institution, they get state funding and are wasting it by trying to bust this union. Temple students support the nurses!

  66. I am appaulled by the attitude that TempleMD has about nurses. He tries to pit nurse against nurse by saying “Don’t get me wrong, there are very good nurses…” but I see straight through that. As one nurse said earlier, What is said about those who live in glass houses…? First of all, don’t worry Temple nurses – The patients know who their biggest advocates are. They know who calls the doc when they are in need. They know the docs who provide optimal care are the ones who use the nurse as a resource (not just avoid the nurse so they can move on quickly to something else). I know our docs here in Minneapolis appreciate and respect the nurses they work with. I’ve had more than one doc tell me – “Thanks for the quality control.” Overall, the public will stand with nurses. We are who the public trusts above most others, and that includes MD”s! I have no beef against MD’s, some are my best friends – one’s who know that nurses are there best allies.

  67. All of Minnesota is watching. Minnesota nurses support you 100% We are facing a similar crisis this next month. We don’t want money or bonuses. We want safe patient care in a safe environment. We want all the things we worked so hard for to stay the same. Mangement came right out and said “it is all about the money” Very sad the public doesn’t realize it is really the nurses that save lives. We are the backbone of healthcare. We are the eyes and ears for the doctors and the patients best advocate We are expected to do more with less everyday. We understand your situation. We hope it is resolved quickly. Thank you for being nurses and standing up for your patients and yourselves.

  68. Dear Temple MD,

    Dear Temple MD,

    I agree with Mary Adamson, stones and glass houses. You point out the nursing abuse of the internet for shopping and face book, but you do not mention your fellow physicians internet abuses. You accuse nurses of being lazy, I laugh. You really should lecture your fellow physicians about holding non emergent personal cell phone calls at patient bedsides while the residents are doing procedures. I think the physicians should be paying a little more attention to teaching the residents, rather than pushing procedures off on them and the PA’s. You seem so quick to bad mouth the nurses without taking a good hard look at your own group of professionals!
    If you dislike Temple’s employees so, why do you practice here?

  69. So this is why Temple pays scabs. In one day there were 21 rapid responses and codes and a patient passed away due to a medication error. PCA’s are used for procedures that they’re not certified or licensed for. Some don’t know how to read Tele strips or how to do peritoneal dialysis. According to Sandy Gomberg the scabs went through the same orientation that Temple nurses went through hmmmm I doubt that. How long and how much damage are they willing to indure before they settle this fairly. This is what you call quality care?

  70. TempleMD,
    If you feel that what you say about Temple’s nurses is true, then state your name and be accountable with facts that substantiate your allegations. Otherwise shut up. Furthermore, nobody really cares about what you think about the nurses and other health professionals. Your comments and experiences are generalized and uninformed. Also, when you need nursing care, and if you live long enough you will, I hope he or she has had the privilidge of reading your illustrious letters. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!

  71. I am so proud of our temple nurses standing together on the line. To all you nay sayers, I say this where would we be as a community, as a nation if someone at sometime did not make a stand. I have worked at Temple for 18 years and have never seen it get this bad. These administrators are self-serving individuals. There once was a time when you knew who ran what and where they were when you needed it done. Now you have way too many hands in the pot making stupid decisions but raking in all the money. If Temple truly cared about it’s patiens try trimming the fat in upper management. This hospital truly did more with less management and we worked together to make it work. Will someone please find that old boys network and bring them back? Has anyone seen Paul Boehinger, there maybe be a position open real soon!!!

  72. More Importantly, Templemd I am not afraid to speak up and put my name to my words and unless you are willing to step up and do the same, then maybe you should shut up. Any moron can make comments but a real man or woman can not only stand by their words but can back them up. COWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    My dearest Dan even in a court of law heresay is not allowed speak on what you know and not what you heard. Two people may experience the same exact thing but view it differently and unless you are there use common sense before speaking. I have no problem taking a pay cut or paying more for insurance but I find it very hard to swallow when others are making millions off the sweat on my brow. SERIOUSLY

  73. This hospital is presently giving the Scabs a free lunch everyday. They could not even give us a pen during nurses week. SUCH DISRESPECT Cannot go on without comment. The administration has also told the other hospital workers that they will be fired if they talk to PASNAP members or provide us with any information. THE DISREGARD AND DISRESPECT CONTINUES AND CONTINUES . . .

  74. Dear Temple Hospital,
    Stay strong and good luck in busting the union. I have been a nurse for 16 years and have worked in many hospitals as both permanent and contract. Only once did I have a contract in a union RN hospital and NEVER AGAIN. The laziest bunch of unprofessional, uneducated, uncaring and might I repeat lacked any professional standards. I am proud to be a professional RN and don’t need some strongarm union speaking for me. I can Speake for myself. The unions, theirorganizers are only for themselves and they promise members a bunch of garbage them they brainwash you until u yourself are speaking the same garbage.
    As a nonunionized RN of a Wonderful facility. I have a voice, my opinion matters, I advocate for my patients oh and I take my own vitalsigns b/c I want to know in real time what’s going on with my patient. Go Temple…..bust the Union and get the good professional nurses back!

  75. Dear Carla,

    You are an idiot who obviously don’t work at Temple. How much can we advocate for our patients with a gag clause in place? Stay at your own wonderful place of employment that doesn’t have a gag clause. Oh and you should be taking your own vital signs, BIG DEAL… Are you even a nurse???? Our Union will never be broken, you got the wrong Hospital!

  76. Stay strong Temple nurses!!! We EARN our salary every day. The scabs are quitting already– I guess they realized that it isn’t all about money. Hmmm, I draw labs, start IVs, and push meds…. I hear they can’t even figure out how to answer the red phones which have been ringing off the hooks!!

  77. Dear TempleMD- try reading up on your policy and procedure. Should I risk jeopardizing my license to push medications and hang fluids without an order from a physician? As far as knowing why my patient was admitted in the first place… it usually takes multiple phone calls and unanswered pages to find out which “team” is responsible for said patient in the first place. And I cannot so much as give a patient a sip of water without an order from a physician. So when you say to a nurse, “they can eat,” we can’t legally act until you verify the order in writing.
    So, when you’re done with grand rounds, med rounds, round rounds, and clinic, answer your pager and wake up!

  78. Dear Carla, I am ashamed that you are even in the same class of professionals as myself. If we as a people did not come together and unionize where would we be. Yesterday marked the 42 anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King who fought for equality of all men. Where would we be if he did not picket and walk the line. You would not even have the job you have if women did not come together and unionize. Do you forget from where we came or are you one of those who is just satisfied in reaping the benefits. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are fighting for our rights as professionals and saying no to big business who think they can do what they want just because. You may not be in a union but what has been happening to us could also cross your door step too, everyone is watching. If one institution wins trust me the others will follow suit. Enjoy your wonderful job things could change sooner than you think and little old carla will be speaking for herself without representation. I have 1500 plus voices in my corner and proud of it. It is a lonely cruel world but I am sure you already know this.

  79. Dan the graduate student here.

    Like I said before, in my last few years here at temple, many professor colleagues and medical student classmates have told me about how lazy the unionized temple nurses were.

    Just this Sunday, I talked to a friend at church who was a temple resident. this particular resident said that the unionized nurses are among the worst in the region. They are lazy and incompetent. The temporary nurses were much much better.

    I remember a conversation I had during an ethics class. A physician who was leading the class told us about a case of a nurse who was grossly negligent at temple and who could not be fired because of the union. She had to be just transfered to another department.

    The more I hear about this nursing strike, the more I realize that temple is union busting for a very good reason- the unionized nurses at temple are bad. It doesn’t result in harder working nurses. If anything, it protects all the bad ones. My conversation with the friend over the weekend just strengthened this stereotype.

    This is isn’t about equality or patient care or anything. it is about money and stop trying to sugar coat it(heath insurance, pay freeze, free tuition for your kids). Temple is union busting and I support it. The rest of the temple community-professors, graduate students, medical students, don’t respect unionized nurses. Everyone I talked to thinks you guys are paid too much. the ones that work with you think you are incompetent and lazy. Good luck getting passerbys to honk in solidarity. Solidarity from people honking their horns on broad street doesn’t change the fact that everyone around you thinks you are lazy and incompetent as a group. Once again, if you are a hardworking nurse, why don’t you leave the union and work as a regular nurse just like all the other nurses in the hospitals in the Philly region?

  80. I agree with Andrea. Stay strong! To those people who have written negative comments about nurses I say that you are entitled to your opinion. We are also entitled to fight for our rights and our patient’s rights. Many times we are left shortstaffed and Temple doesn’t even attempt to get the nurses and auxillary help that we need. This hurts me because I grew up in this community. I know many of the people who come to this hospital. They should not be treated this way! The public should know the conditions that we have to work in. Temple Md who wrote that negative comment wouldn’t know about that since he just spent 2 minutes with his patients. He’s the doctor that you page multiple times and doesn’t call back( I know that not all doctor’s feel this way). My family member’s have vowed not to go to Temple Hospital until we get a fair contract. I thank them for their support.

  81. Oh Dan!
    There are many incompetent doctors and people everywhere! I can give you many horror stories about incompetent residents and doctors but I don’t have all day. With that attitude I hope your not a doctor because I wouldn’t let you get near me or even my dog. Get a life!

  82. Dear E.S.C. yes I know incompetent secretaries, fellow graduate students, people in medical school who tell me about their classmates who are incompetent. I see professors who are not good teachers and don’t do good work. This isn’t about me singling out nurses. In every bunch there are the lazy ones. Today there was a theft in my building and when I left the building for my lunch break, I saw the security guard taking a nap. Well guess what, he is unionized. I’d advocate for pay cuts for him as well and/or temple union busting the security guard union.

    And in this country- land of the free- those who work hard persevere. Temple nurses, protected by the union, as a group don’t work very hard. Many of the security guards for the temple buildings are the same way. They are often talking, playing games on their cell phones, and generally don’t pay much attention who enters the building. Yes we have a new medical building and I’ve noticed they staff the more competent security guards in that building. But all these buildings are connected. All it takes is for some outsider to gain access to one of these buildings and he/she can steal whatever they want.

    Back to the issue of nurses- Temple nurses are paid among the highest in the region. Yet the consensus I’ve heard is that they are lazy and incompetent.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of competition, but competitive people usually do well everywhere they go. Competitive people have skill, work hard, and are dedicated. Now if you really are hard working and dedicated, why would you want to be associated with a group that protects the lazy and unskilled? If temple nurses demand a wage increase, they had better have convinced the temple administrators over the years that they are hard workers right? Well the consensus I’ve heard is that temple unionized nurses are lazier. So why would you demand a pay increase?

    I am a graduate student and I will probably be an administrator of some kind of level some day. And I know I won’t get there by sitting around and demanding for respect just because I can get away with it. I will be an administrator because I will work my but off. It doesn’t do temple any good to keep unionized nurses around that just drag down the entire culture, work ethic of other temple nurses.

    I don’t know if you know what I am talking about, because as a whole, all of you claim that you work hard, so hence you deserve higher pay and more respect. But I’ve seen people who say that temple nurses are lazy. They work hard. If they say you are lazy, chances are they aren’t singling you out for no reason.

    Oh and good luck labeling me as an “idiot.” because of my understanding of this current nursing strike, “idiots” like me will be in power at some hospital/university in a few decades- union busting. =)

  83. Dear Dan,
    I wish you luck. If you dream it you can acheive it. We live in America where you are entitled to your opinion. Hopefully you never forget where you come from when you become an administrator. I will still continue to help people for a living because it’s in my heart and it’s what makes me happy.

  84. My dearest Dan
    I am a nurse at Temple and I work very, very hard. Most people take lunch I do not. When I walk in that building I am working until I leave, not to mention I am NEVER late I arrive 30-45 minutes early everyday to ensure whomwever I am releaving gets out on time. I am always close by if my patient needs me. If I need to leave the floor for any reason I let my patients know and also who is covering me while I am gone. I make hourly if not 30 minute checks, I take my job VERY SERIOUSLY. Everyone of my patients and their families are treated with the utmost respect. I give quality care to all my patients they are my VIP’s. ALL of my patients recieve real baths with soap and water including a shave and hair washing. My patients rooms are kept clean, my meds are given on time and I make my patients feel like they are the most important person in the world. I was taught to be such a good nurse by many senior nurses at Temple. I was taught it is my job to make them better than they were before I recieved them. I am prior military and have worked in many military hospitals and none of them can compare to what I have learned from Temple. I was amazed at the competence and skill level these nurses had, and I wanted to know what they knew and do it as well if not better. You have physicians at Temple that communicated directly with the nurses the orders that they want for their patients, and they leave knowing that their orders will be followed to the letter. When they call to check on their patients they ask for the nurse who is caring for their patient, not the resident on duty. Their are lazy people in every profession and you could very well be one of them. What galls me the most about your comments is, again it is based on hearsay. Again even in a court of law hearsay is not allowed or accepted as evidence. So when and if you become an administrator, I sure hope you use more than hearsay when you are making decisions that directly affect people’s lives. You do have a right to your opinion no matter how warped it may be but an educated person’s opionions are based on facts and actual experiences not hearsay. As far as, Temple security is concerned voice your concerns to Temple administration because they ( your leaders) hired them you get what you pay for. As for the pay, a good portion of Temple nurses have second jobs so I ask you if the pay was so good why are WE working else where, myself included. I worked very hard to become a nurse I have been at Temple for 18 years and for the first 10 I recieved a total of $1.87 in raises which is way below the any cost of living increase and this was before there was a TAP. Temple offered no retirement therefore I took out my own. I worked very hard to become a nurse as a fulltime student, a fulltime worker and a single mother, and many of my colleagues did the same. Some are doing the same now and achieving their masters degree. So who and where you are getting your information from is very suspect to me. I work with extremely professional competent people who give above and beyond excellent care, regardless of the obstacles we face daily regarding staffing issues. In our hospital there are times you are in charge, with a two patient assignment in the icu with the code beeper. I have had many nights like this. In other hospitals who ever has the code beeper has no asignment at all, or if they are in charge they have no assignment other than charge. This is not the case at Temple. I work my butt off every night I am constantly on alert you never know when the next emergency will pop up hence the population at Temple. I have worked straight for 12 hours without even urinating as most people do in a 12 hour period. So to call me or my co-workers lazy I say spend the night in our emergency room and see how hard our team works there and then you can form an educated opinion with regards to our nurses.

  85. Dear Dan,
    It saddens me that you would put down unionized nurses. It is not about the union, it is about the nurses and the patients we care for on a daily basis. We are not striking because we want more money. It is far greater than that. Obviously you are terribly misinformed. We are striking because of what we will be losing. We are striking because Temple does not want to give us anything. They want to take away what we already have. We are striking because as patient advocates we cannot provide the best of care due to the the lack of supplies and, at times, unsafe atmosphere in which we work. Temple nurses are not lazy. We are the hardest working nurses around. Yes, I believe there are some slackers, but that has nothing to do with whether we are unionized. That has to do with the individual nurse. I have worked in both unionized and non-unionized hospitals, and I don’t see much difference in the care that patients receive. We choose to be unionized so that we can not only advocate for our patients, but for those nurses who are not protected by a union. It would behoove you to get your facts straight before you start placing blame or pointing fingers. Why do you choose to become an administrator? Is it so that you can sit back and decide what is best for someone else when you have not experienced the trenches? Truly you do not know what it takes to be a nurse or how hard we really work. Before you dismiss someone as lazy, you need to walk in the shoes of all of the hard working and dedicated nurses who are striking to bring about a positive change to the place where we choose to work. Think on that.

  86. I am amazed at some of the comments. It would have me to believe that the majority of you don’t even know why you are striking. The supposed “gag clause” is to prevent unionized workers and the union from publically trashing the hospital or it’s leaders. In the real unprotected, hid behind the big bad union world that behavior would get u reprimanded or terminated for insubordination. And I agree! Don’t like the politics go somewhere else. It has nothing to do with not being able to advocate for your patients. I don’t agree with some of the practices at my org., but there is an internal process to handle issues as required of all facilities.
    As far as the education reimbursment, why should the other non union employees lose the benefit and not you? Have u not read the paper lately and the new changes to Medicare reimbursement . Hospitals will be bleeding , hemorrhaging very soon if care delivery systems don’t change. And you, my union patron, are a barrier!
    Go Temple ,,,,bust the union!
    Oh , and FYI MLK never benefited nursing to my knowledge! Nursing professionalism benefits nursing!
    Carla

  87. My Dearest Carla,

    I truly feel sorry for you because you just do not get it an you never will, it is a waste of time to even engage you. You have a right to your opinion no matter how warped it is. FYI what Martin Luther King stood for benefits all people. It is just a travesty that he laid down his life for an ungrateful person such as yourself, shame on you.

  88. STAY STRONG TEMPLE NURSES, IT IS ONLY THROUGH PERSERVERANCE AND SACRIFICE WE WILL MAKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  89. To all my fellow nurses who have offered their support I thank you, to everyone else who has lended their support I thank you. We appreciate all of your warm wishes encouraging words. What we are doing is not easy and some people are starting to give in and I am asking for people to hold on a little while longer a change is gonna come keep the faith. IF WE BELIEVE IT AND EMBRACE IT WE WILL ACHIEVE IT!

  90. Dan,In your first letter you seem to pass yourself off as a Temple med student. After your last letter it apppears your in some other graduate program. Which is it? By the way, I also called you a moron not just an idiot. How come you didn’t have the courage to come up to me to discuss the issues at hand? I waited all day for you. Your a coward that prefers anonymity. Until you have the guts to come out and speak with us person to person why don’t you just keep your mouth shut!

    As far as you becoming an administrator of a hospital in a few decades, boy your really on the fast track.

  91. To the replacement staff at Temple Hospital I say your are here about money. If you looked at what Temple really offered you would know they were taking away thousands of dollars by decreasing shift diffs, increasing benefit contributions, taking away personal days, and making their final offer such to force us to strike. This was always about Temple wanting us to strike. Why else would they never negotiate in the first place. Negotiating is a two way street. You tell us what and why and we meet half way or so depending on circumstances. Temple never came to the table and this forced us to strike.If your agency said your insurance will only cover you in Texas and you are in Pennsylvania right now, what ambulance is going to transport you there. I live in one state and work in another. This is what is wrong with nursing today. If Nurses everywhere stood together as professionals we never would have scabs against others. Temple offered these incentives to draw us away from suburban hospitals years ago. My family was never happy about this job and location. We don’t have a plush bus driving us there. I chose this for my family and the good it could do. You forget we made our sacrifices and dedicated ourselves to that place. The greed is to the upper administration that has not demonstrated any give back on their part by the money they have been spending on themselves.

  92. Let’s talk reality. Our economy sucks and healthcare will be changing with Obamacare, which means even less money/reimbursement for hospitals. We work in a poor area with a large Medicaid/no insurance population. When times were good, we got the benefits of good times. Now that times are bad, we can’t expect to get large raises or demand unrealistic things. All of the nurses say this is about respect and are holding out because of the “gag clause”. Temple offered to remove the “gag clause” and the union still refused the contractm so what’s the problem? You talk about respect and advocating for your patients, but you abandoned them to the awful scabs you write about. EVERYONE in this country is paying more for healthcare and will be paying even more with the proposed healthcare changes. It’s reality. Unemployment is around 10% in this country. I don’t know too many people that received raises this year in any profession. Most were worried about losing their jobs and did everything they could to hold onto their jobs. We cannot be greedy. I came from the hospital that Temple closed last year and now am dealing with this strike. I felt fortunate to have gotten a job at Temple last year when the hospital I was at was closing. Now I am questioning my choice. Look at how many hospitals have closed in the past few years. This is reality people. There is not enough money with all of the changes happening in healthcare and the population we serve. The hospital has to stand up to the union and not allow the union to strong-arm them. There is not a nursing shortage right now, so the union really doesn’t have a leg to stand on. I have never been part of a union until I came to Temple, and I never want to be part of one again. Professional people do not need to unionize. Your work ethic speaks for itself and you work to keep your job, not feel entitled to having one. When a union employee can get a job back after sleeping with a patient while that employee was on duty, then there is something very wrong with the union. Lastly, I would never work at a place that I felt was unsafe. If so many nurses feel Temple is so unsafe, then why would you continue to work there? Every place has good and bad employees. I have worked with many wonderful nurses/employees at Temple and many awful nurses/employees at Temple. I can say the same about other facilities. That issue happens in every profession. It’s time to come back to reality and get back to work, so that we can get back to the patients, who are the ones that really matter.

  93. I understand your comments but some things do no sit right with me. First Temple is not going broke by no means and please let’s do a way with this misconception that Temple is losing money because of the indigent. Temple makes money from the indigent, they recieve millions of state money because they care for the indigent. The more they take care for them the more they can get from the state. It is the PPO’s that loose money because they have their own price list with regards to how much money they will pay for everything. Secondly, let’s look at it’s mismanagement of funds why did these administrators need the lavish building on Hunting Park when they own GSB across the street. They are paying $1.5 million a year for rent. Who rents a property and pours millions into revitaling it. When you can keep that money and revitalize a property that you own. Why do this? So that I can spend my state money and next year ask for more. Will any of our patients benefit from these luxury suites at Corporate? Why aren’t any of these top execs. taking a pay cut, and why does Mr. Notebart need to be paid $9,000 a day? Our president of the United States do not make that much. My position is this with all these things being said why should I and many others take a pay cut. They have aleady spent what it would have cost to just ratify our contract. It is about control, they the money and no one is going to tell them how to spend it! As a tax payer in Pennsylvania WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO SPEAK OUT! Temple is in a poor community that needs help, the staff that serve this community needs help! How is spending millions on marble tile for our front foyer helping our community. We need safe staffing more nurses to give better care to our community. If we can put the resources into making Temple that PREMIER INSTITUTION, then there is no need for all the cosmetics to make the institution look better. People would come to a hole in the wall if they knew they were getting the best care. How about giving our doctors decent contracts, so that the best of the best would not leave and take jobs else where because they can not support their families and pay back millions in student loans on what Temple pays them. Temple is no different than these top execs. going to congress asking for more to bail them out all the while their pockets get fatter and fatter. Who is realyy paying the little people. Well enough is enough and if we do not stand up for what is right now it will continue to get worse. Why is Temple paying Ann Weaver Hart’s mortgage she certainly makes enough to pay her own. If you can answer my many whys in all of this and justify spending millions on workers who have no investment in our patients, rather than spending it on the very staff that works hard to provide these top execs. with their more than generous incomes, then I will gladly go back to work. But stop asking the little man to bend over and take it while the powers that be make millions. More importantly, I am so sick of these adds that saying the average nurse makes $39.00 an hour Temple pays their nurses according to their years of experience so no one makes the same amount of money so how are we adveraging this and are you including the overtimers. There are many of us with second jobs so if this was really the case where is the rest of my money because I am not bringing home #39.00 an hour

  94. Very well put Andrea!!!! Lying A.. Sandy Gomberg need to get her facts straight. Like Andrea said, we Nurses get paid by years of experience. I’ve been a nurse for 11 years and I don’t get paid $39.80/hr. So please people stop listening to the lies that are coming out of her mouth. I want to add to what Andrea said about the lavish building on Hunting Park. It’s our tax payers dollars going to waste. They don’t need a cafeteria with 30 microwaves in one big empty room. The building is practically empty. They could be us be using this money on supplies, such as wash cloths, soap for patients, how about splash guard for emptying infectios watse, maybe an EKG machine that works, thermometers, N95 mask to protect us from TB, and yes Temple ran out of the small N95 mask, none in the entire hospital. Trust me, the list goes on. If we were forced to sign this new contract I would be loosing a few hundred dollars a month. With that being said, I would need a second job to make ends meet or go somewhere closer to my home saving time and money. I would prefer to stay at Temple. If I had to leave, I would leave knowing that I’ve recieved a great deal of experience working with some of the best Nurses and Doctors Temple has to offer.

  95. Dan-
    As a Temple graduate student I would think that you would be in a position to educate yourself before you write. Historically and anecdotally, residents and student docs are overworked, underpaid, and resentful of staff. More than one time my RN husband has had to stop them from making errors, call attendings to have them come and correct orders that residents cannot get right, make reports, going over residents heads because they do not understand the severity of a situation, etc. Residents are still learning, students by definition are still learning. The culture in hospitals is often such that residents feel as though they are “already” docs and nurses should know their places…these green human beings have a lot to learn still. I will qualify this by saying, not all are like this, but enough are that their hearsay should be treated as such.
    Please do some research, unionized hospitals in MULTIPLE studies have better outcomes for patients. You can Google this. As for the gag clause, unless you have read it in full, please hold your comments. This clause is not directed at the union only, but clearly states “and its members”, it is vaguely worded and while nurses would have some protection via other laws if they needed to go outside the hospital to make complaints it could, for instance, preclude them from advocating outside of the walls of the hospital for legislation for improvements because they would not be able to use as example any incident at Temple in supporting their positions. So, if there is a hearing on say, whether or not hospitals should have a minimum number of ventilators based on bed count…nurses at Temple would be unable to come forward and say something like well, when we have X number of patients we do not have enough of that equipment and because of that we have had the following less than desirable outcomes….is that disparaging or is it not? The thing is even if it is ruled as allowable the expense of having to defend ones right to say these things, as well as the expense to the hospital in trying to deny the right to say these things is an utter waste of money. Nurses need to speak out, and the public that uses a facility, legislators, and others have the right to be informed of issues in places like these.
    On a more personal note, my husband became a nurse at Temple because of the great care and dedication of the professionals that have taken care of two of our children over the years. I cannot state enough how thoroughly professional and compassionate every person we have had to deal with at Temple has been. My children have been admitted repeatedly for some 15 years from preteen to young adulthood.(My husband has worked there since 2004) We have experienced x-ray, CT, MRI, ER, ICUs, surgery, general floors, monitored floors, and many more departments. The only problem we have EVER encountered was with one resident from our own surgeon’s department and he was quickly dealt with by nurses and the surgeon himself. It was an isolated situation related to a rare complication of a rare problem, I hold no grudge and even felt a little sorry for the poor overworked guy who really was just clueless and had more to learn.
    Temple is a fine hospital serving an area and a community that needs it desperately. I for one am very tired of hearing about how horrid the staff is over and over…prior to this strike, the administration routinely prided itself on its retention of qualified professionals of a high caliber, from docs to techs to nurses and more! This strike does not make this any less true. For every one story you can point to saying this nurse was bad or lazy or ?? there is a story about a doc or resident to match. people have bad days, when a resident needs a nurse and she is busy and all he wants to do is get done and go back to bed do you think he is more or less understanding of the nurses position?
    I have a feeling that the one or two residents that troll these boards posting (and they are the same over and over…writing style, wording, etc makes it clear) are disgruntled, perhaps not well-loved by the nurses they work with for any number of reasons. They are misleading you and others with their over-generalization. Anyone who has been a patient at Temple knows that nurses start IVs, anyone who works at Temple knows that it is not nurses refusal, but the policy of the hospital that when patients are not on monitors or are in certain care areas, docs must push certain meds…to blame nurses for this institutional policy is misleading and lends credence to the idea that these are some disgruntled residents (that is, after all, who is getting called to push these meds…especially in the dead of the night), to say that all or even most of the nurses are that bad also is ridiculous, unless this is an unscrupulous doctor who collects a paycheck and could care less where he/she dumps his patients.
    Finally, loo around, the replacement nurses have stated they have no ties and do not care what happens at Temple, they have worked 12 or more hours a day every day of the strike, Google it and find out what is happening, that MD above—he does not speak for many inside..there have been grave errors, the hospital is NOT running at its normal levels…many of the replacement workers have posted on message boards saying they cannot wait to leave and have even criticized the care going on at the moment. I have even found a few posts that suggest there is more than one unhappy patient right now.
    My oldest was to set up an appointment with yet another specialist, but until things right themselves we will go to a guy at Jefferson, I would not take my neighbor’s dog into that hospital right now…and he bites!!!
    I frankly could care less what Temple ends up doing financially (my husband has a second job that pays as well as Temple..BTW), saying they will drop the gag clause if the union accepts the rest of the contract in full, with no negotiation of equipment shortages, staffing ratios and other patient safety issues will make me think twice about putting my family members in that hospital, thank goodness their surgeon has privileges in one of the other university hospitals in the city!
    I will sign this as follows…Marie, wife of a Temple RN, but more importantly, family member of Temple patients…who deserve all of the safeguards these nurses are asking for and more…and who need, as all patients do, to have every professional in a hospital be willing to stand up and advocate for them
    (unlike the md above…who apparently feels the nurses he works with do not care well enough for his patients…the hospital should look into his claims and him/her as well!!)

  96. Marie, Great read and comment. Temple Nurses…please stay strong. You think your fighting with Sandy Gomberg but her directives come from Ed Notebart. Google ED and see what comes up under “Damage Control” He is not impressed with the lack of participation on the strike line. He is not impressed with the lack of Political support. Please tell the nurses on face book who act like its more fun to work thier second jobs and brag about getting drunk while some diligent nurses man the strike lines that this is no joke. People are watching when you think thier not. They need to be on the line when thier shift was supposed to start as if they were coming to work. Stick with the issues. Soon people will understand that you can’t offer a 1.4 percent raise per year to anyone in the work force because it simply wont cover the cost of living. You can’t ask anyone to pay three times the amount they were paying for health care because it would take any raise away. Thats a simple deduction.And who says a Nurses or anyone for that matter can’t make a good wage? Did they forget where you work? How about the Combat shift from 11 to 7am? Yeah…uh can you say… GunShot Central? I remember that Nick Name well.But I’ll tell you what..If I ever got shot, I’d rather be at Temple than any other Hospital, If I needed a Heart, Id rather be at Temple than any other Hospital. If I needed a Kidney, Id rather be at Temple than any other Hospital. If I needed a Lung, Id rather be at Temple than any other Hospital. Oh wait…my Nurses arent there. Scratch that! Hold them to the words they put in the press. If they really want to bargin in good faith then why the bad faith offers and hold offs when you want to meet.The public needs to know. Lastly, Martin Luther was a great man but only partly responsible for the rights of African Americans to be upheld by being able to bargin in good faith. A. Phillip Randolf and E.D. Nixon set the stage for true civil rights to take affect where Martin was concerned. Martin was invited to the march by Mr. Nixon to make his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.But he did it on the backs of A. Phillip Randolph and E.D. Nixon.Lets not destroy this right we have to organize and bargin in good faith and for the good of both parties.Lets take this seriously and MAN THE LINES!! Dont QUIT!! Now…you know I love you guys and I miss you as well, but understand the power you hold right now. Your actions dictate the results or should I say…actions of Management at TUH in the future talks coming up very shortly in 2011 with the Service Union. Don’t sleep! You should all unite as one if you want to fully excercise your rights. Yep…power in numbers ladies and gents. Miss you! Peace!

  97. Dan,We get it. You hate Unions. But if you work at Temple and saw the Guard sleeping, he or she was not in the union. No matter..you being the coward you are, didnt even wake him up so the patients could be safe. WTF? Get your facts straight.

  98. Carla, busting the union is not going to make the good ones come back you are truly ridiculous. If anything the good ones are finding employment paying more, with better benefits in unionized hospitals. We are in a profession where contrary to popular belief we can go anywhere but we chose Temple. Get some help Carla. SERIOUSLY!

  99. $39.80 an hour with benefits???!!!! What are you guys complaining about? I’m an unemployed architect and would love to have that!

    Get a grip and appreciate what you guys have!

  100. Pissed; You can have that! There are plenty of nursing schools willing to take your money to earn a degree in this profession join us we would love to have you. If your are not willing to walk the walk stay out of the talk becuase you do not have a clue as to what we are fighting for. FYI other area hospitals pay a lot more than Temple is advertising. More importantly, the adverage nurse does not make $39.00 an hour, that is the highest on the pay scale. Nurses are paid according to years of experience at Temple so no one makes the same amount of money unless they have the same years in nursing experience. In addition, we are not the highest paid at other hospitals some nurses get paid as much as $72.50 an hour with benefits. Again this is needeless propaganda published by Temple to gather sympathy from the public. Moreover, why won’t Temple state how much they pay their top execs. now that amount will surely make you want to hang up your drawing board. Bottom line is this: Temple has the money, (mind you, your tax dollars at work) and they refuse to let anyone tell them how to spend it, even if these expenditures will save lives. This is BIG BUSINESS AT IT”S FINEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  101. I addition, I am very appreciative of what I have, and I have the right to fight to keep it. Temple wants to take away what it took years for us to achieve, and mind you as stated above we are by no means the highest paid in the city. We work in the highest crime area in Philadelphia and we recieve the sickest patients with that being said we work our butts off. As trained professionals we should be paid as such. Moreover, we are asking Temple to implement safer staffing ratios, and to improve our working conditions so that we will be able to better serve our community. It gets kind hard to take care of cardiac patients with a busted EKG machine. We are not greedy individuals looking for a big pay day. If that were true we would be at that other hospital making $72.50 an hour. We are trying to make Temple accountable. Temple resides is a very poor neighborhood of which it is making ample amounts of money off of and it chooses not to put that money back into the community by providing the bast care it can. More importanatly, it has no problem short changing it’s staff to do so, the work force helping them to profit. Why does it always have to be the ones on the bottom taking it up the rear while the powers that be pockets get fatter and fatter. This fight is not over yet because believe me after they are through with us 1199c is next just wait and see. This is about control, simple as that. Why else would a big institution spend millions on a strike when they could have settled for less than what they are spending. Stay strong nurses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  102. Like I said before, if the average Nurse at Temple gets paid $39/hr, then where is the rest of my money? Sandy Gomberg is a liar who gets paid over $500k a year, Ann Hart over $600k a year, Ed Notebaert over $3million a year and we are supposed to be the greedy ones. You people who have never worked at Temple will never understand how hard we work. You try working at a hospital that runs out of N95 mask, which is required to protect us from contracting tuberculosis. Having to share thermometers from patient to patient, and yes even with those who are infected. Trying to get a stat EKG for a patient having chest pain using a broken EKG machine after running around only to find that they’re all broken. Having to run around from unit to unit looking for a bear hugger to warm up our hypothermic patients, only wasting precious time because there isnt any. How about our injuries,torn rotator cuffs, disc fractures, nerve damage, back injuries just to name a few. Our patients weigh anywhere from 90 to 500lbs. You would think we have hoyer lifts but of course we don’t. The NURSES are the hoyer lifts We complain and report these things EVERYDAY and very little has been done. In fact, when I asked about these things I was told that we have a budget and that we are only allowed but so much. Trust me I can go on for days. For all of you people with negative comments, try to take a walk in our shoes before you run off at the mouth. All we are asking for is that Temple give us a fair contract. Fair isn’t doubling ang tripling our healthcare cost, taking away vacation time, decreasing differentials. Fair isn’t taking hundreds of dollars a month out of hard earned paycheck.

  103. DO these nurses realize that they are lucky to have a job? Many of us cant hide behide a contract to get a pay increase. I as an individual have to EARN it. I have not had a pay increase in three years due to the economy. The nation is in an economic crisis and you want an increase! My sister was just laid off…single parent w/ a 13yr.
    Come on…I am embarrassed for you all.

    GOOD LUCK to those hired as TEMP Nurses!!! I hope they hire you perminently!!!!

  104. And to follow up..IF YOU dont like it or the place or the hospital…MOVE ON go get another job!

  105. Isn’t it sad that a company that can afford to rectify patient care issues will not…if the nurses and professionals run…who will stand for these issues? Collette , will you?? Who will??? I use that hospital and I want these things addressed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have you read the studies that say patient to nurse ratios should be limited and when they are more lives are saved…did you see Temple’s interim CEOs reply…money before patients means that money is more important than our (the patients’) lives is to Temple…is that how a hospital should function? Who cares about a raise…Temple refuses to address this and has said so in the newspaper….please…if you do not support the union fine…but at least support the patients!!!!!!!

  106. It’s been 3 weeks. . . it’s time to go back to work. Temple obviously is sending a message to the union. The union does not run the hospital, as much as it tries to. The union’s purpose is to negotiate wages and benefits. The union has no authority to try and run the hospital. That’s the hospital’s resposibility. No one else got raises this year. That was clearly stated to us. If you want to make what Sandy Gomberg and Ed Notebardt make, then apply for their jobs when they leave. Ed Notebardt runs a billion dollar health system. Yes, he is going to be paid well to run it. Would you want his job? The Chip Marshall days are over. Temple no longer states it wants to be the employer of choice. It can’t afford to give in to outrageous union demands. That’s why this strike is still going on. Of course this is about power. There isn’t a nursing shortage and the economy sucks, that’s why they can hold out. The union hides behing the gag clause. When Temple agreed to remove it, the contract was still turned down by the union. Now as I receive my Cobra paperwork, stating I would have to pay about $561/month for my personal choice, $17 a week doesn’t sound so bad (or $51 for that matter). Health care is expensive people. I now have to go under my husband’s insurance. If we want personal choice, it’s $70 a week. That’s reality! Everyone is paying more for healthcare. The union says it’s about respect and patient safety. Well, how respectful and safe is it for the union to call rapid responses to all of the lobbies and pull fire alarms at the Sheraton where all of the temp nurses are staying? That is embarassing! We are standing by a union that pulls these shenanagins?!?!? It’s disgusting! IT’S TIME TO GET BACK TO REALITY AND GET BACK TO WORK! If it’s about patient safety, then let’s get back to OUR patients!

  107. Colette does it not bother you that Temple is using your tax dollars to run this strike? You make it seem as though we are walking that line day after day for a buck, if that were the case we would all be back at work. Stop believing everything you hear. We are on the line to hold Temple accountable. They are accountable to their patients and they are not addressing the issues. Judging by your commments you do not know what the issues are either. If you are so concerned about the money tell Temple to stop spending millions of your tax dollars and return to the table to negotiate fairly. I addition, WE EARN OUR PAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every nurse works very hard at Temple and unless you are willing to walk in our shoes who are you to judge. Moreover, FYI Temple can not hire others for our jobs while there is a strike it is against the law, maybe if you had a union you would know this. Lastly, I am emabarrassed you even wrote in because if it was not for people who have come before you, who have fought for us to have the opportunities we have today you probably would not have the job you have. In life there are things bigger than you, that may cause for you to take a stand. We could all walk off the line and find better paying jobs but we are there because it is not just about us. If we walk away who will be next to speak up for our patients. I do not care about a raise but I do care about having what I need to take care of my patients. I do care about having enough staff so that patients can be cared for safely. I do care about having working equipment. These are my concerns!!!!!!!!!!! I have been a Temple for 18 years and have seen the administration ruin this hospital and I can not take it any more. So Colette instead of complaining about this situation call your state represenatives and tell them Temple is wasting your tax dollars on nonsense!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CD go back to work if that’s what you want to do no one is stopping you! Take what they give you and enjoy your life.

  108. It amazes me that anyone would think it is easy for someone to put their job on the line to strike. That is always the last resort. But sometimes there is no other option. I can’t believe that more of the public isn’t outraged at the salaries the scabs are collecting on the backs of the Temple nurses who have been taking care of this community for years.

  109. Michelle I agree with you, but unfortunately we live in a society where people have become use to accepting whatever is offered, without contemplating things could be better. I am not about to apologize to anyone with regards to my position. This is beyond me. We have to fight for what is right and just because big businesses have big pockets does not mean we should role over and take it. This country was built on strikes, pickets, and demonstrations and people have come so far that they have forgotten from where we once were. Riding on the back of the bus does not sit well with me.

  110. CD,

    Your nothing but a weakling who probably works for Temple and crossed the line. I feel sorry for you. And Colette I think it’s best you keep your mouth shut, because you obviously don’t know what your talking about. Temple Nurses EARN their pay. NEWS FLASH for all of you Sandy Gomberg beleivers…………. Temple Nurses aren’t the highest paid,but they very well should be.

  111. I work at HUP and i must say i love working for them…. As a RN your suppose to adovacate for the patients if you dont who else will.. i cant speak on temple nurses because i never worked there but if the conditions are really that horrible stand your ground and continue to strike… no nurse should have a three pt assignment in a critical care unit….

  112. Thanks for your support Lisa. It’s unfortunate but 3 patient assignments in the critical care unit at Temple happens quite often. We fill out unsafe staffing reports and nothing ever gets done. We had 3 patient assignments with CVVHD!!!!! That should be illegal. So once again, for all of you nonsupporters, it’s not just about the $$$$, it’s also about patient safety. Forgive me if I’m wrong for trying to prevent Temple from decreasing my hard earned paycheck by hundreds of dollars A MONTH……………..

  113. Hahahaah……I think it’s hysterical that someone thinks that a patient assignment of 3 in the ICU vs 2 should be illegeal. News Flash people, all of the studies on mandatory patient ratios have not been shown to improve patient outcomes! I should know, I’m in Calif. What the studies do show is that when RNs decide assignment ratios based on pt acuity and RN competency, the outcomes are improved including the safety!
    I hate that the Government mandates ratios. It should be run by nurses and not union either. I hate unions too. They are lowlifes who use underhanded tactics. Follow the money people!

    Go Temple! Bust the Union!

  114. NEWS FLASH TO YOU Carla,

    The patient’s acuity in Temple’s ICU is extremely high. I should know, I work at Temple. And just so you know, our union doesn’t decide on patient acuity, but they are trying to help improve it. Our staffing office who sits downstairs behind a desk answering phone calls are the one’s who decide on pt. acuity. One more thing, we have nothing but competent nurses working in our ICU’S but I don’t care how competent you are, there should never be a 3 pt. assignment in the ICU and one of which your running CVVHD. I don’t know about California or wherever you come from, but here at Temple in our ICU almost everyone of our patients are on ventilators/sedated/or on pressors. One last and finally note, OUR UNION IS STRONGER THAN IT’S EVER BEEN!!!!!

  115. It is so funny that everyone talks about the salaries of the Temple Administration. Has anyone looked at the salary of your UNION OFFICIALS….Look at the houses they live in…That is where all your money is going..

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