PHILADELPHIA - A group of nurses at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children say they're being cheated out of their time off. They spent years saving up weeks of paid time off and now they say it's being taken away when they need it the most.
Kristin Mackiewicz and her boyfriend, Ryan, are expecting a girl. Baby Isla is scheduled to arrive in April.
"We have all of our clothes hung up in the closet," said Kristin showing off the baby’s room. She says out of nowhere something unexpected popped up.
"Preparing to go out on a maternity leave it's very stressful.” It’s stressful for Kristin and other nurses who work at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children taken over by a new company.
"Right after the transition from American Academic to Tower Health and Drexel the nurses lost all of their paid time off," Kristen said.
Paid time off that Kristin was planning to use to take her full 12 weeks of maternity leave.
"I had over 200 hours of paid time off accrued that I had been saving for years and then the next day I had zero," she said.
Nurses rolled over time year after year to bank for not only maternity leave but things like sick leave or to care for family members.
"I'm very concerned. I can’t not have a paycheck and neither can anybody else," she said.
Tower Health tells FOX 29 in a statement which reads in part:
Tower Health has provided every employee at St. Christopher’s with a year’s worth of paid-time-off that they can access immediately. We made this same offer to the nurses’ union negotiating team as part of contract negotiations and it was rejected."
"The PTO that they're giving us for the year is nowhere near what we normally accrue for the nurses that are going on maternity leave. It wouldn't even cover half of their maternity leave," said Maria Plano. She’s also a nurse in ICU and the Vice President of the nurses’ union.
"They're giving us up front what they would have given us over the year anyway. They gave it to everybody else free and clear and for us they want us to make concessions and get rid of parts of our contract that we think are important," she said.
Negotiations are ongoing. The nurses’ union has started a GoFundMe page to help staff currently on maternity leave or going out soon. If you wish to help, please click here.
Tower Health’s full statement reads:
We empathize with employees at St. Christopher’s who have lost the paid-time-off they accrued prior to July 1, 2019. It is a very unfortunate situation that is the result of the bankruptcy of the Hospital’s prior owner—not because of any decision by Tower Health or Drexel University. In an effort to address this concern, Tower Health has provided every employee at St. Christopher’s with a year’s worth of paid-time-off that they can access immediately. We made this same offer to the nurses’ union negotiating team as part of contract negotiations and it was rejected.
For the latest local news, sports and weather, download the FOX 29 News app.
DOWNLOAD: FOX 29 NEWS APP