What’s in Temple Workers’ New Contract?

By Randy LoBasso
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Apr. 29, 2010

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Members of PASNAP, which includes 1,500 nurses and technical healthcare workers, are returning to work tomorrow. With Bob Brady by their side, the unions ratified their new contracts (1,045 to 30) during three sessions yesterday. We’re thankful this ordeal is over, and we’re proud of the Temple nurses for sticking this thing out and flexing some union muscle. Social worker Jackie Silver told TempleWatch concerning the contract and ordeal: "Temple provoked this strike in an effort to weaken our unions and eliminate our right to speak out for our patients. What they got instead was an emboldened, stronger union membership that will continue to work under a contract with some of the best working conditions and benefits in Philadelphia…We are proud that we reached a resolution and that we will be able to continue to fight for our patients, our rights, and our professions."

Here’s what they got out of the deal:

“Gag clause”: Eliminated.
Temple’s proposal to eliminate “union shop”: Eliminated.
Employees’ dependent union benefit: Reinstated “for up to six credits per semester during the life of the contract” (TempleWatch says “This benefit will actually be extended to all Temple Health System employees, not just PASNAP-represented employees, which is a major victory for all employees in the system.”)
Healthcare: Employees are now eligible for three different plans. Employees pay either 10, 20 or 25 percent of their premium depending on their choice of plan.
Temple's proposal to cut weekend and shift differentials: Withdrawn (weekend differential is at $5/hour and the shift differential is at 13 percent of the employees' base rate.)
Employer contributions toward the employees' pension: 8.5 percent of salary (same as it was.)
Raises: 9 percent over the next three-and-a-half years

The contract as a whole is for four years. At the ratification meeting, Executive Director of PASNAP Bill Cruice held up a copy of what Temple University had originally said was their “best and final” offer, in which most of the offers and provisions were withdrawn. "Temple's proposed unacceptable conditions would be in our contract today if we had not stood together to resist their effort to weaken our union," he said. "With this contract, nurses, professional and technical employees continue to have the best overall conditions in the Philadelphia. The contract is a testament to the strength of our union and the commitment of our 1,500 members at Temple."

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