PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Some 700 nurses at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Delaware County threaten to walk off the job if their demands aren’t met. Their contract expires on Wednesday.

Dozens of nurses and their supporters are chanting to put the hospital on notice: they’re ready to strike if Crozer-Chester refuses to put more of them on duty.

Bill Cruice is chief negotiator for the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) union. “We want to make sure patients are safe at all times, and having enough nurse staffing to provide the care that nurses want to give.”

He says Crozer-Chester can afford to narrow that nurse-to-patient ratio, but all they’re offering so far in contract talks is a committee to talk about doing it.

“We commit more dollars to safe staffing and nurse staffing than any other hospital of a comparable size in the region,” says Kathy Scullin, a spokeswoman for the hospital.

She says she’s hopeful the two sides can work things out at a final bargaining session set for Tuesday.

Reported By Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio

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