1. A Voice
“For too long, Registered Nurses have stood by while decisions that negatively impact patient care and our families’ well-being are made without our input and against our better judgment. Forming a union with PASNAP changes that—winning the union means a permanent voice in the decisions that impact our profession and our jobs.”
— Maureen, RN, NICU
“Registered Nurses are the most trusted and respected professionals in the community; why do we allow Hospital Administrators to routinely disregard our trusted voice? The only way our voice will be heard will be if we organize ourselves and form a nurses’ union with PASNAP.”
— Ed, RN, Cardiac Lab
“Winning the union means the employer must, by law, recognize the nurses’ voice and sit down as equals with the dedicated nursing staff to negotiate, rather than dictate, our staffing, benefits and working conditions.”
— Amy, RN, Maternity
“Everyday we save lives and help people die with dignity. We are highly skilled medical professionals, many of us with lifetimes of experience. Our PASNAP contract rewards this experience and protects our benefits. That’s the kind of respect nurses deserve.”
— Eun Sun, RN, Cardiac Cath Lab
2. A Legally Binding Contract
Without a union contract, employers make decisions about staffing, benefits and working conditions as they see fit. Too often, such decisions reflect a bottom-line approach, prioritizing profit and executive salaries above the needs of patients and the dedicated staff that care for them. The only way to turn this around is to win the legal right to negotiate over staffing, benefits and working conditions through forming a union. More than 20,000 Registered Nurses in every corner of Pennsylvania have won the union and the ability to
negotiate improvements—and guarantee them through a legally binding contract.
What kinds of issues make up a contract? While the details of each contract differ based on the priorities of the nurses at that particular facility, most PASNAP contracts include
• Staffing Levels/Staffing Committees
• Protection Against Unsafe Pulling/Floating
• Ensuring Sufficient Ancillary Staff
• Pay Increases Based on Experience
• Differentials for Rotation to Evening, Nights, Weekends
• Paid Educational Leave and Tuition Reimbursement
• Health, Retirement and Pension Benefits
• Retiree Health Care
• Per Diem Rights and Fair Per Diem Rates
• Guaranteed Fair Treatment in Evaluations and Discipline
3. Raise RN Standards and Patient Protection
Staffing and Professional Development Committee (SPDC)
PASNAP Nurses negotiate nurse run committees in their contract with REAL power to address unsafe staffing.
- Nurses are elected by their co-workers to serve on the committee, not appointed by administration.
- Objectives for the Committee are clearly stated in a legally binding contract, management cannot manipulate objectives or dissolve the committee.
- Contract language stating that the Chief Nursing Officer must respond to the committee’s recommendations within 30 days gives nurses the power to hold hospital administration accountable
“Safe staffing and providing a safe
environment for our patients and
RNs is top priority for me as a
nurse and as a union member.”
— Kim, RN, Shock Trauma
Safe Staffing through Nurse-to-Patient Ratios
Tens of thousands of preventable patient deaths and injuries occur due to inadequate nurse staffing levels in hospitals. Ensuring enough direct care nurses are by patients’ bedsides would drastically improve patient care. The California Nurses Association (CNA/NNOC) succeeded in winning legislation that sets minimum nurse-to-patient ratios for all of California’s hospitals, creating improvements in the quality of care and in recruiting and retaining nurses. Since California enacted its ratio law in 2002, nearly 100,000 additional RNs have been licensed, a yearly average that is triple the number before the law. Here in Pennsylvania, PASNAP is fighting to win similar legislation for the sake of patients and nurses through a Bill called Minimum Staffing Requirements of the Pennsylvania Hospital Patient Protection Act.
4. Retirement Security
Retiring with dignity is something every nurse deserves. At non-union facilities employees
retirement benefits can change without input from the staff. PASNAP nurses have retirement benefits they can count on. Once nurses organize their union, retirement benefits along with other terms and conditions of employment become mandatory subjects of bargaining, ensuring that healthy employee benefits remain intact
throughout a nurses career.
Temple University Hospital
Pension: Temple contributes 8.5% of employee’s salary annually after seven years of service, (up to $7500 per year). This is in addition to nurses’ contribution.
Crozer Chester Medical Center
Retiree health care at 60: If a nurse wishes to retire early, she can keep health benefits for
herself and spouse and pay only half of the premium until age 65.
Butler Memorial Hospital
Retiree health care at 59½: Nurses at Butler Memorial Hospital have won substantial employer contributions towards retiree health care between the ages of 59½ and 65.
“I am a retired Temple University Hospital nurse and PASNAP
member. All nurses deserve to retire with respect and dignity,
but the only way to secure a healthy retirement is by winning
a voice at your hospital.”
— Mayette, Retired RN, Med-Surg
5. Better Salaries and Benefits
PASNAP nurses have won improvements in wages and benefits that set standards across the state. PASNAP nurses in every facility receive contractual annual salary increases and increases based on years of experience. So-called “merit” increases too often cheat nurses out of the recognition they deserve.
Crozer Chester Medical Center
• Highest RN wages in the state, with experienced RNs earning $52.64 per hour for straight time.
• Nurses receive DOUBLETIME for the first eight hours of overtime in pay period.
• Weekend Program RNs have a base rate of $55.78 for day shift and $60.82 for night shift.
Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital:
• Weekend rates for all RNs (not just weekend employees) working 12 hour shifts on the weekend are $52.79 on days, $59.96 on nights.
• Full time employees receive a $2,000 per year bonus for maintaining certification in their specialty, pro rated for part-time employees.