Around 30 registered nurses of Select Specialty Hospital of Erie have now worked for 4 years without a contract.
Dozens of registered nurses of Select Specialty Hospital of Erie voted back in 2012 for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union representation.
Since then, they’ve been working without a contract.
Maureen Montero says, “Our nurses have gone without a raise for four years. We have continued to negotiate in good faith and have still not been able to reach a contract.”
Saturday, more than 100 AFSCME members took to West 11th street to rally together to support those nurses in Erie.
Laura Pfadt says, “We wanted to get the information out there, let them know we really, really want to get this contract done. And we want to go back to work and get back to normal.”
Montero says the hospital also hires contract nurses, who are paid almost double what the hospital will pay the AFSCME nurses, and they’re tired of it.
Montero says, “At any point in time, anybody’s family member can be sick. It could be your family member, my family member. And these nurses at the bedside, they need support and things need to change in the nursing profession.”
The nurses say these contract negotiations won’t stand in the way of them providing the best care for their patients.
Pfadt says, “We continue to take good care of our patients every day. We’re proud of what we do, and we’re going to continue to do what we do to the best of our ability. That’s why we’re there. We’re there for the patients. That’s what started this, that’s what we want to do and we want to do it well.”
Both Montero and Pfadt say the union and the hospital are far away from an agreement and hopes the rally will help get them back to the table as soon as possible.
We reached out to Select Specialty hospital of Erie and no one was available for comment.