Home News Nurses, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children reach agreement

Nurses, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children reach agreement

Just 10 days after 485 nurses at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children staged a picket during Nurse’s Week, the two sides came to an agreement on a three-year contract that the union says will usher in a new era of quality care for its youthful patients.

Vice president of the St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children Nurses United Becky Murphy echoed the sentiments of her fellow nurses.

“We worked incredibly hard, over four long months, to prioritize the needs of our patients – to increase safety, excellence in patient care and staff retention,” Murphy said. “This contract does that and more.

“We care deeply about our patients, and we deeply respect this community. It’s why we fought so hard for a contract that will attract and retain nurses. It all comes back to patient care for us, and that is how it should be.”

The nurses, whose previous contract expired in January, prioritized safe staffing, nursing retention rates and respect for caregivers. The new contract was ratified overwhelmingly with a 92% margin of the vote.

The contract includes significant staffing improvements.

Ensuring a safe nurse-to-patient staffing ratio was a priority. The nurses successfully addressed staffing issues with weekends, emergency room and surgical staffing.

Efforts to improve safety include safety measures that increase security in and around the hospital and help protect nurses identities.

Updated wage scales include signing bonuses for newly hired nurses and wage increases to retain nurses already on staff.

“We were absolutely united in our efforts to make sure we got the staffing and resources we need in order to take excellent care of our patients,” said Free Russ, Grievance Chair for St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children Nurses United. “We weren’t moving off of that.”

Russ, an emergency room nurse, and outpatient nurse Deborah Young are among the many St. Christopher’s nurses who are relieved to have come to an agreement.

“We care deeply about our patients, and we deeply respect this community,” Young said. “It’s why we fought so hard for a contract that will attract and retain nurses to better care for our patients. It all comes back to patient care for us, and that is how it should be.”

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