Yesterday, Democratic Mayoral candidate Helen Gym announced that she was endorsed by Health Professionals and Allied Employees, AFT, AFL-CIO (HPAE), a fast-growing union that represents over 13,000 Registered Nurses and health care professionals in the region and has more than tripled in size since 1981.
“For years, I have proudly stood alongside nurses, social workers, and hospital staff on the picket line to win safe working conditions for our city’s healthcare professionals. And I am honored that they are standing with me now as I run for Mayor to make Philadelphia a safer, more vibrant, and healthier place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Helen Gym.
“Over the past three years, healthcare workers have gone above and beyond to keep our communities safe, even when faced with dangerous working conditions, dire staffing shortages, and insufficient benefits. Healthcare professionals play a vital role in saving lives, stabilizing families, and improving the public health, and when I am Mayor I will treat them as partners to address the ongoing staffing crisis and ensure they receive the dignified working conditions they deserve.”
“Our union recognizes Helen’s bold leadership and powerful vision for a safe, healthy, and equitable Philadelphia,” said Debbie White, RN, President of HPAE AFT, AFL-CIO. “Helen has fought relentlessly for healthcare workers and she continues to stand with us as we face a devastating healthcare staffing crisis. She is a fierce advocate for organized labor across the city. With Helen Gym in City Hall, workers will be safer, healthier, and stronger.”
HPAE members work across 21 locals and represent a broad range of healthcare professions, including nurses, social workers, technicians, medical researchers and other healthcare professionals. Members work in hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, blood banks and university research facilities throughout New Jersey and the Philadelphia area, including Local 5106 at Temple Episcopal Hospital and the Philadelphia locations of the American Red Cross.
This announcement follows other high-profile endorsements earned by Gym, including Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, American Federation of Teachers, UNITE HERE Philadelphia, AFSCME DC 47, Working Families Party, AFT Pennsylvania, Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance, Teamsters BMWED, Reclaim Philadelphia, One Pennsylvania, Make the Road Action, 18th Ward Democrats, First Ward Democrats, Jane Fonda Climate PAC, Second Ward Democrats, Ward 39A Democrats, Amistad Movement Power, Philly Neighborhood Networks, Free the Ballot, and Straight Ahead.