Pottstown Memorial Medical Center Furloughs 30 Workers For 90 Days

POTTSTOWN — Pottstown Memorial Medical Center has instituted three-month furloughs for dozens of its employees and one of its units will be closed.

“We are implementing furloughs for less than four percent of employees across our hospital.  The furloughs impact both represented and non-represented employees.  Impacted employees are being reassigned to other open positions as possible,” PMMC spokesperson Debra Bennis wrote in an email received by The Mercury at 4:51 p.m. Tuesday.

An email reply from The Mercury at 4:52 p.m. Tuesday, which asked how many employees the hospital has, went unanswered; as did a subsequent phone message asking how many people have been furloughed.

The statement Bennis provided included no information about what departments experienced the furloughs.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130730/NEWS01/130739893/pmmc-furloughs-30-for-90-days#full_story

PMMC Strike A No Go

CHS finally realized that people in Pottstown aren’t completely without sense and made a reasonable offer to SEIU members.  The offer was overwhelmingly accepted, thereby avoiding a planned three day work stoppage in protest of unfair labor practices by Community Health Services of Brentwood, TN.

Glad this has been put to bed.  The contact is for five years so let’s hope they don’t try and pull the crap again.  This is a union town and people weren’t born yesterday.  You can’t pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.  These tactics are CHS’s modis operandi.

Very shady people.  Maybe someday we can get their hooks out of our hospital and our town!

Candlelight Vigil Held Tonight At St. John’s UCC Pottstown For Union Workers

The long drawn out union negotiations at PMMC are wearing down the hard working staff.  A candlelight vigil was held at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Pottstown this afternoon at 4 pm.  Hospital workers, union representatives, Pottstown Mayor Sharon Thomas and the press gathered to pray for a settlement and support each other during this difficult time.

Community Health Services of Brentwood, TN bought PMMC a few years ago and has transformed our caring community hospital into a “profit center”.  CHS has failed to show up at three of the last four bargaining sessions.  The contact has been extended twice already so the union voted overwhelming to go on a three day strike in December to protest unfair labor practices by CHS. 

While most of the country is in a recession, CHS is making record breaking profits and for the 3rd Quarter of 2009, their profits increased a whopping 13%.  CHS is trying to take away worker pensions and replace them with a 401K and has not made any indication of what, if any, matching contributions would be.  Also, CHS proposes to drastically increase employee health care contributions.  In the case of part time employees their out of pocket contributions would increase 400%!

Many workers spoke as well as union leaders.  A letter from US Senator Bob Casey (D) was read showing his support for the union and the hard working PMMC employees.  Two nurses from the Wyoming Valley (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area) came in support of hospital workers.  They briefly spoke saying their hospital was recently purchased by CHS and they are having similar difficulty in negotiating with CHS.  They wanted to show their solidarity to the workers in Pottstown.

Channel 6 was also there and interviewed several key people.

The attached pictures hopefully put a human face on the struggle to get fair and equitable treatment for our hospital workers.  These are Pottstown area people who are trying to get a fair contract from a corporate giant who evidently cares little for the Pottstown community.

Rev. Karen Creasy, Pastor of St. John’s UCC lead the service which included a Litany for Solidarity and candle lighting.  Participants prayed that God would loosen the hard heartedness of those at CHS and PMMC.

There are two more bargaining sessions before the strike deadline.  November 24th and November 30th.