2010-06-17 / Local & State

Pa. Board OKs Jobless Benefits For Striking Nurses

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A Pennsylvania board has ruled that nurses and other health professionals are eligible for unemployment compensation during their monthlong strike of a Philadelphia hospital.

The Pennsylvania Bureau of Unemployment Compensation said in a decision late Friday that the union’s 28-day work stoppage in April constituted a lockout, not a strike. Temple will pay the bill because, like many large employers, it is self-insured for unemployment compensation.

Bill Cruice, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, says officials are “thrilled’’ that their position had been upheld. The union says Temple will have to pay about $1.5 million in unemployment compensation to 800 or 900 of the 1,500 workers it represents.

Temple hospital president and chief executive Sandy Gomberg said in a brief statement that the hospital will appeal.

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