November 21, 2020
Nurses who work for North Philadelphia's Einstein Medical Center just won a contract deal with their employer, after recently threatening to strike amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 1,100 nurses were implicated in the deal struck with the medical center, out of approximately 2,200 total healthcare workers from the region who were threatening to strike, the Inquirer reported Friday.
It also includes a sought-after "successorship clause," which requires any new company that may acquire Einstein to honor the contract deal itself.
Einstein was one of four hospitals in the region - along with St. Christopher's in Philadelphia, Mercy Fitzgerald Medical Center in Delaware County, and St. Mary Medical Center in Bucks County - where nurses began threatening to strike earlier this month.
The healthcare workers gave a 10-day strike notice due to the stalling of agreements on new contracts with the parent healthcare groups, reported CNN.
Nurses from the four hospitals said they had been "pushed to the brink by unsafe staffing that seriously undermines patient safety," in a release from the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP).
Health care workers at St. Mary's, located in Langhorne, Bucks County, ending up going forward with a strike of around 800 nurses on Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week. Their parent healthcare group, Trinity Health, then refused to let the employees return to work until Sunday.
Trinity Health hired replacement nurses to work in the meantime.
Nurses at Einstein were successful in reaching a new contract deal during a continued surge of coronavirus cases in the Philadelphia region, when many hospitals are starting to worry about staffing shortages.
Due to the current surge, Pennsylvania saw its highest daily total of COVID-19 hospitalizations on Wednesday, with 2,900 patients checked in for coronavirus symptoms.
On Friday, Philadelphia reported 1,054 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 58,291. There were also seven due deaths reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to 1,952. Around 48% of all deaths come from long-term care facility patients, according to a coronavirus update.
Cases are clustering in nursing homes, causing severe cases of COVID-19 and deaths to rise. Cases are also now rising in Philadelphia's prisons, officials said Thursday.