Striking Delco Hospital Workers Clash with Officials Ahead of Friday Return

The 370 nurses and technicians who staged a two-day strike at Delaware County Memorial Hospital say they are set to return to work Friday, but will continue to push for better staffing levels and a new contract.

The two side are set to return to the bargaining table on March 14.

The two-day strike at the Drexel Hill, Pa., hospital was held March 5 and 6.

Prospect Medical Holdings, which acquired Delaware County Memorial when it purchased the Crozer-Keystone Health System last summer, said because of the strike they had to bring in replacement workers from staffing agencies under five-day contracts at a cost of $1.5 million. That meant the striking workers could not return until March 10.

The nurses and their union, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, called the action a “lock out.” Hospital officials, in a statement, said “under federal labor law, even after strikers have offered to return to work, there may be a delay in their return if a staffing agency has imposed a minimum as is the case here. The National Labor Relations Board does not consider such a delay in return to work to be a lockout.”

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