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Philly columnist finds local nursing strike about more than pay or benefits

November 17, 2003 -- Philadelphia Daily News columnist Ronnie Polaneczky devoted her column today to a helpful discussion of a nursing strike at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, observing that unlike many other strikes, this one was about the well-being of those for whom the strikers were trying to care.

Polaneczky observed that the nurses were striking over the short-staffing and forced overtime that they said was putting their patients' lives at risk, marking a sharp contrast with the usual reasons for a labor strike, namely higher pay and benefits.

As evidence that this kind of nurse short-staffing was now widespread, Polaneczky pointed to "the brand-new health-care-recruiting TV commercial starring [Pennsylvania Governor] Ed Rendell - as a hairy-chested, scrub-wearing nurse," which the Center is eager to view.

See Ronnie Polaneczky's MCP strike over standards a lesson for labor in the Philadelphia Daily News.

Also see Ms. Polaneczky's Nov. 13 article "Nurses make a difference: Practitioners could ease doctor shortage," her Nov. 25 article "Nurses are ready to work, but want fair staffing" and her Dec. 19 article "Closure spurs anger toward striking nurses" all in the Philadelphia Daily News.

For her outstanding contribution to the nursing profession, Ms. Polaneczky was awarded one of our Golden Lamp Awards, which are given annually to the best 10 portrayals of nursing in the media.

Ronnie Polaneczky may be sent letters of thanks at


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