Everybody In, Nobody Out: At Temple and Beyond an Injury to One is an Injury to All

By Donna Smith

When you see the faces of the members of PASNAP (Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals) on strike at Temple University Hospital and perhaps most especially when you see the faces of their children walking on the picket line with them, you embrace the reality of why these brave RNs and other health professionals were compelled to strike. This strike is about providing the best possible care for the patients at Temple and doing so in a way that is supported by the health professionals who have given decades of service to the community and to the institution.

The 1,500 member bargaining unit went out on strike on March 31, 2010. With the support of local, regional and national labor, the strikers gathered on Wednesday, April 20, to rally and to let Temple know that their resolve grows stronger to end this strike only through a fair contract that enhances patient care and safety.


So far, Temple adminsitrators have spent more hiring replacement workers (an estimated $5 million per week) than they would have spent had they negotiated a fair contract — and that spending is taxpayer money — public funds — being spent to defeat this righteous battle by the RNs and other health professionals.

One way the PASNAP members are suggesting folks bring more pressure into play on the Temple administrators would be to call the chariman of the Temple University board of trustees and let him know that spending public money to “union bust” is a waste of funds and works against the very people fighting to protect patients at Temple.

Call Patrick O’Connor, Chairman of the Board, Temple University, phone 610-941-2375 or email poconnor@cozen.com.

PASNAP is one of the strongest supporters of single-payer in the country. They’ve repeatedly sent buses of their nurses to DC for single-payer lobby days and rallies. They’ve repeatedly organized demonstrations at Cigna’s headquarters in Center City Philadelphia and have held teach-ins on the benefits of single-payer for their membership. Now it’s time that single-payer supporters back their effort for a fair and respectable contract! Supporting the nurses is supporting all of us.

For more information about this strike, visit www.TempleWatch.org.


  1. Tom Kelly, RN on April 30, 2010 at 11:21 am

    I had a similar experience with Minnesota Public Radio’s Midmorning Program (MPR) with Kerry Miller. She has held a couple of ‘health care summits’ with a panel of selected guests and a studio audience of those concerned about health care issues. They were taped, not live. When the discussion turned toward our problem being one that had some roots in the ‘American culture’, I recounted the incident that sparked my own activism on this issue. Forced to limit the eating disorder treatment for a young college student because her father’s plan had such poor mental health benefits and the same day picking up a paper and seeing Bill McGuire, CEO of United Healthcare leave with 2 billion dollars in back-dated stock options. And to throw salt on that wound, the University of Minnesota’s Health Care Industry Institute later tried to hire him to teach our next generation of health care executives. The comments seemed germane to the idea of a ‘cultural issue’. I was entirely cut from the program. Turns out the head of that U of M institute was part of the panel that day. Turns out MPR had given Bill McGuire a page on their website to comment on reform. Turns out the United Healthcare Medical Director is an MPR Board Trustee. Turns out you shouldn’t talk about one of the biggest thieves in the industry.

  2. Tom Kelly, RN on April 30, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Oops. The above comment refers to an older post describing Frontline’s scrubbing references to ‘single payer’ from their program ‘Obama’s Deal’.