ACMH union calls one day strike for Aug. 30
Technical employees and LPNs at ACMH Hospital in East Franklin will hold a one-day strike Aug. 30 to protest what they say are unfair labor practices and stalled bargaining.
The employee group includes respiratory therapists and radiological technicians. All are members of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses & Allied Employees (PASNAP), which has been negotiating a contract with hospital administration since February.
Union organizing director Randa Ruge said the disagreement involves pay and whether the new contract will be for two or three years. PASNAP wants a longer contract, she said.
Union Co-President Pat Ray said she is “disappointed that the administration would rather have a work stoppage than to bargain a fair contract. The financial offer made by the administration reflects the lack of value that they see in our work. As a registered respiratory therapist, we are the first to get called when a patient is in a life or death situation. We are on the front lines along with nurses and doctors. Without the technical workers, LPNs and other therapists, our hospital couldn’t function.”
Cris Scott, the other co-president, said there are items left on the bargaining table that remain unaddressed.
“They have failed to bargain fairly on vital issues that would ensure that we maintain good standards for our members. The hospital has said that our proposals are not unreasonable, yet they failed to budge from their last position. The union and the employer’s financial proposals are centimeters apart because the union committee made compromises in hopes of avoiding a strike. Negotiation is a two-way street and they continue to throw up roadblocks,” Scott continued. “Our goal is to forge a positive relationship which would benefit all stakeholders, especially the community.”
In addition to the differences concerning staffing, retirement, and continuing education , the union has brought charges against ACMH to the National Labor Relations Board because of direct dealing and surface bargaining. The hospital administration’s bargaining team has failed to bargain in good faith since the beginning of June, Ruge told the Tribune-Review.
Ruge said PASNAP represents 8,300 nurses and health professionals throughout the state and has grown rapidly as bedside caregivers have sought a stronger voice to advocate for patients.
ACMH spokeswoman Anne Remaley said the union gave the strike notice Friday.
“We will plan accordingly,” she said.
Remaley said the hospital recognized PASNAP’s right to strike.
She agreed the two sides have differences on pay and the length of contract.
ACMH wants two years. PASNAP wants three years, she confirmed.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, email@example.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.