Striking nurses in Philadelphia say a proposed speech restriction and the loss of a college tuition benefit are at the heart of a nearly weeklong labor dispute.
About 1,500 nurses and health professionals have been picketing Temple University Hospital since March 31. Their contract expired Sept. 30.
The strikers rallied Tuesday in hopes of restarting negotiations. Hospital CEO Sandy Gomberg says the two sides met at the request of a state mediator.
Gomberg says eliminating free tuition for employees’ children will mean an extra $5.5 million for patient care.
She says a proposed “non-disparagement” clause is to keep the workers’ union from defaming the hospital. The union says it violates free speech rights.
Temple has hired about 850 temporary workers to keep the hospital running.
Apparently, having the right to trash-talk their employer is more important than their wages and their patients.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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