Registered nurses at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in southwest suburban Philadelphia will vote April 10 and 12 whether they want to be represented for collective bargaining by the Pennsylvania State Education Association.
In December 1996, the PSEA filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board seeking to represent registered nurses at Mercy Fitzgerald. Lisa Borowski, the hospital's director of external affairs, declined to say whether the hospital opposed the union drive. "There are some sensitivities about saying a lot because an election is coming up," she said.
A statement by the union said the hospital's parent company, Mercy Health System, challenged the union drive on the grounds that the organizing petition didn't have enough signatures from nurses at all three of its hospitals: 314-bed Mercy Fitzgerald, Mercy Hospital of Philadelphia (previously known as Misericordia Hospital) and Mercy Community Hospital (previously known as Mercy Haverford Hospital).
Mercy Health System, based in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., is sponsored by Sisters of Mercy, Merion (Pa.) Regional Community.
The NLRB held a hearing in January and ruled in March that the election must go forward.
The PSEA says it is the fastest growing professional nurses organization in Pennsylvania. It now represents 3,500 nurses.