PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) --850 registered nurses at Hahnemann University Hospital have begun a 2-day vote on whether to unionize.
They are deciding whether to join PASNAP, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals.
The Hahnemann vote comes just days after 330 registered nurses at Delaware County Memorial Hospital voted 164 to 130 to join PASNAP.
That was a secret ballot conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.
Staffing, supplies, and benefits are the key issues, according to Bill Cruice, executive director of PASNAP.
Several years ago, Hahnemann eliminated all nursing assistant positions, with the promise of focusing more on R.N.-level staffers.
Cruice says the number of registered nurses increased initially, however, it diminished through attrition.
He says nurses now feel they are understaffed, and resources are stretched thin.
Cruice says a petition has been filed with the NLRB for a union vote at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, which, like Hahnemann, is owned by Tenet Health, a for-profit corporation.
That vote is expected about the 2nd week of February.
At Delaware County Memorial Hospital, job security was a key issue in the balloting.
650 nurses and paramedics at Crozer Chester Medical Center, a sister institution, are already represented by PASNAP.
Crozer Keystone Health was recently sold to Prospect Health.