July 22, 2014
At a rally and informational picketing held in front of the Bayonne Medical Center, HPAE members from Local 5185/Bayonne and Local 5186/Christ Hospital joined together yesterday in a strong show of unity, demanding that their common employer – CarePoint Health – improve staffing in both hospitals and negotiate fair contracts. The Christ Hospital contract expired May 31st and the Bayonne contract expires July 31st.
The hot, humid day did not deter over 200 HPAE members from coming to the rally. The members participated in an informational picket line in front of the hospital, chanting and singing. See video below:
As the contract expiration draws near, both locals are working closely together. Combined, the two locals represent over 1200 RNs and healthcare workers. By coordinating their bargaining, they are putting greater pressure on the employer to negotiate a fair contract. Local 5185 President John Bauer and Local 5186 President Nicole Mankowski discuss their unity and key contract issues in the video below:
The members interrupted their picketing to hear several speakers at the rally. HPAE President Ann Twomey introduced the local presidents and talked about how this show of unity will have a strong impact. As Ann said, "when they see red (the color of HPAE's tee-shirts), they see straight".
HPAE received strong support at the rally from India R. Hayes Larrier from NJ Citizen Action and Pete Busacca, President of the Hudson County Labor Council.