by David Croyle
They were dressed in red shirts and had children carry a banner in the Memorial Day parade yesterday through downtown Kittanning.
But not everyone was impressed as local members of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) that represents 125 ACMH Hospital technicians and LPNs then gathered at the John P. Murtha Amphitheater passing out literature and asking attendees at the Memorial Day ceremony to sign a petition showing solidarity for their crusade against the local hospital.
The local technicians and LPNs joined PASNAP last June, and began negotiations last August. However, when the two sides did not reach an agreement, the union held an informational picket on March 5, followed by a one-day strike on March 31. Since then, the union has used billboards and other promotions to protest unfair labor practices, unsafe staffing levels, and bad-faith bargaining by the hospital .
ACMH Vice President of Human Resources Anne Remaley in an email in early April denounced the union tactics to sway public opinion.
“It’s unfortunate that PASNAP chose to engage in a strike and other misleading and deceptive publicity as a way to try to enhance their bargaining position at this stage of the process. There is still a lot of ground to be covered before an agreement can be reached…”
The frustration of the local public attempting to honor the dead in yesterday’s ceremony at Riverfront Park reached social media. Kittanning #6 Fire Chief Scott Kline wrote:
“Talk about people and an organization with no class as we honor our veterans this Memorial Day. People gather in the Murtha Amphitheater to show their respect, only to be greeted by people in printed red shirts from our local hospital’s union looking for support by signing their petitions. WOW take that trash to another day, not a holiday, especially one as solemn and that should be more respected such as Memorial Day…”
This most recent tactic against ACMH will lead the discussion during the WTYM AM1380 Morning Show today at 10AM.