Love him or hate him, Michael Moore’s a good guy to have on your side. He’ll do and say things no one else will. And when it comes to this country’s unions, he’s relentless.
So, it should come as no surprise that Moore supports the striking Temple health-care workers union. He presented a letter to the strikers, which was read this week up on North Broad. In it, Moore threatens one of the worst pains imaginable for anyone: his own presence.
“I am proud to support the striking nurses and staff at Temple University Hospital. It is an embarrassment that an otherwise fine institution of higher learning would treat its own nurses and other health professionals with such contempt.
“Exactly what lesson is Temple teaching to its students when they attack the nurses at their own hospital? That we should beat up on the very people who have dedicated their lives to helping us when we get sick? President Hart, like the rest of us, you, too, will someday probably have to stay in a hospital. When you look up at that person taking care of you, will you hope that that nurse has been well-treated, well-paid, well-trained? Or will you say to yourself, ‘I sure hope that nurse who’s placing that IV in me isn’t paid more than minimum wage! I sure hope she’s struggling to pay for her own health care! And I sure hope this hospital is making life as miserable as they can for this nurse!"
“I don’t think you’ll be saying that, President Hart. I think you’ll want the very best care from a staff who’ve been treated like human beings. I think that’s what you’ll want. So why not give that to the patients inside Temple University Hospital right now?
“Stop trying to bust this nurses’ and health professionals’ union! Teach your students how to behave toward those who work hard for a living. End this nonsense now before the entire country turns its focus on you and your behavior. You don’t want that, do you? Seriously do I have to come to Philly? Donovan McNabb leaves, but Michael Moore shows up? No one wants that! Do the right thing. Negotiate in good faith and give the nurses and staff the contract they deserve.”
Pat, hide your cheesesteaks (yeah, it’s a fat joke; big deal) – the king of misleading video (Andrew Breitbart and the ACORN “pimp” douchebag aside) says he’ll come to Philly if Temple doesn’t clean this thing up! The horror!
Anywho, for anyone not following the Temple Nurses strike, let’s review:
Since Sept. 30, 2009, nurses and other health-care professionals, all of whom are members of Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, have been working without a contract. Talks between union officials and hospital administration (through a state mediator) had been going on, Temple’s administration at least says, for nine months.
Talks eventually deteriorated over pay raises, the cost of health insurance, tuition benefits for employees' children, random drug testing and, perhaps the most important issue to some, the gag clause.
The gag clause would bar union members from openly criticizing the hospital, ala Red China’s policy relating to citizens and top government, although other communist policies, such as human experimentation, would be kept to an agreeable minimum by Temple. Temple Watch says, “The clause, if implemented, would enable the employer to discipline or fire a healthcare professional who speaks out in ways the hospital deems "disparaging" of the institution.”
The strike officially began on March 31st at 7 am and includes 1,500 workers.
In early April, Temple University Hospital hired about 850 temporary workers who were reportedly being offered $2,862 to $10,388 per week. Sandy Gomberg, CEO of the North Philly health center said all temporary workers’ credentials had been reviewed, validated and their licenses checked out.
This past Monday, the Inquirer published an MIT professor/Carnegie Mellon University student study showing that hospital deaths rise when nurses go on strike (“in-hospital deaths rose by 19.4 percent and readmissions by 6.5 percent for patients treated during strikes”).
We recommend you check out PW writer Gustavo Martínez Contreras’ 2-week update on the strike.
Stay tuned, because Michael Moore’s presence looms.
Without mentioning specifics, Temple Hospital management insists it has been negotiating in good faith with PASNAP for the past nine months.
So says the Pennsylvania Department of Health and was predicted by scores of smart people from smart learnin' places.
The union and Temple Hospital have reached a tentative deal, up for ratification throughout the day.
Temple nurses and technical workers return to work tomorrow. Here's what they got after 28 days of striking.