Temple University Hospital workers protesting due to staffing issues, contract

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Front-line healthcare workers at Temple University Hospital are walking the picket line.

Organizers say Friday’s picketing is meant to bring attention to severe and persistent short-staffing inside the hospital. 

They say this hurts both patients and caregivers.

“We want to show that they’re not investing in their staff, which we feel is the most important part of healthcare and we’re asking them to come to the table in bargaining in good faith and respect the nurses and allied professionals that are holding this hospital up,” Mary Adamson, a RN at Temple Hospital that also serves as the president of the TUHNA, said.   

The unionized healthcare workers say their current contract expires Sept 30.

At the center of their negotiations are: quality of care issues like recruitment and retention, workplace violence prevention, and resources and protections for caregivers. 

“Some might think this contract is about monetary value, but it’s not,” Carlos Aviles, the TAP Union President, said. “It’s about the quality of care. It’s about your family. You have to understand, your family members are not going to get the quality care that they deserve because we got patient ratios in which a nurse has to take care of six critical patients versus three or four. 

According to them, over the last three years, the hospital’s workforce has declined by 15% while its patient intake has grown.

The nurses and allied professionals attending the informational picket are either off from work Friday or on a break. 

CBS3 reached out to Temple Hospital about the protest, but we have yet to hear back. 

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