Crozer-Chester nurses hit picket lines for day 2

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Nurses have returned to the picket line for day two. (WPVI)

For the second straight day hundreds of nurses are on strike at Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

550 nurses started walking the picket line on Sunday for what they initially wanted to be a 2-day strike.

They've been without a contract since the beginning of June.

As the management demands some pay and benefit cuts, the union members say this is not about their paychecks but rather grave concerns about staffing levels.

They want more nurses hired to cover patient needs.

Bobbi McClay, a nurse at Crozier-Chester, explains, "Right now in Crozer we have had departments close. We are now 550 nurses - we were 800 nurses a few years ago. And our issue is they have not left enough nurses to care for the patients."

The management says their staffing levels exceed national standards and their nurses average more than $100,000 a year in salary.

They have contracted with a company to fly in replacement nurses and claim everything is going just fine.

Grant Gegwich of Crozer-Keystone Health tells us, "We're actually busy. We're happy to say that our patients are showing a lot of confidence in our services. All of our services are open. So, we are open for business. We welcome anyone, we are accepting new patients. So, we're ready, and things have been going very smoothly."

The management has hired the replace nurses for five days, claiming that is necessary to get a top flight team of nurses.

The union says that is a punitive move - a jab the strikers.

The strikers will not be able to go back to work until Friday morning.

Contract negotiations are schedule to resume on Tuesday.

The union now says it plans to continue to picket outside the hospital through Thursday.

Related Topics:
pa. newshospitalhealth carelabor unionsUpland Borough
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