Rally for Healthcare Unites Health Professionals in Demanding Patient Safety and Workers’ Rights

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

(North Bergen and Neptune, NJ) – Nurses and health professionals bargaining with NJ’s largest healthcare corporation, Hackensack Meridian, held a Rally for Healthcare on Wednesday, June 27. At the bargaining table, 3,000 health professionals represented by HPAE, are demanding protections for patients’ safety and financial security as well as workers’ rights so they can continue advocate for themselves, their patients and their community.

“As health professionals are faced with new challenges brought about by the corporatization of healthcare, our voices at the bargaining table and at the bedside have become more important than ever. Hackensack Meridian must put patients’ health ahead of maximizing their corporate profits. Patients’ health and financial security are of the utmost concern for health professionals on the frontlines of providing care,” said Ann Twomey, President.

At Hackensack Meridian, four HPAE Locals currently are bargaining with executives which includes:

HPAE Local 5030 at Palisades Medical Center (contract expires June 30, 2018),

HPAE Local 5097 at The Harborage (contract expires June 30, 2018),

HPAE Local 5138 at Southern Ocean Medical Center (contract expires July 31, 2018), and

HPAE Local 5058 at Jersey Shore University Medical Center (contract expires July 31, 2018).

“Nurses and health professionals are the most trusted professionals in the country, yet hospital executives have failed to listen to their experienced staff who are advocating for safe staffing levels, protections from rising medical costs for every patient, and respect for health professionals’ voices in a work environment that is free from anti-worker campaigns,” added Twomey.

At the rallies in North Bergen and Neptune, community leaders, patients and labor unions joined HPAE in calling for stronger protections on what turned out to be a pivotal day for public sector labor unions. Earlier in the day the Supreme Court announced their decision, in a case called Janus v. AFSCME which invalidates state laws allowing labor unions to collect fees from everyone in a bargaining unit, including non-members, to pay the costs of bargaining and other representation the union is legally bound to provide for public sector workers. Even though the decision overruled a precedent that had stood for more than 40 years, that outcome had been largely anticipated by labor leaders.

“Today’s Supreme Court’s decision is yet another example of why unionized workers are standing united to protect their rights, as large corporations in our country have an explicit goal of trying to cripple labor unions, weaken workers’ rights, and further exacerbate the imbalance of power in our economic, political and social systems,” added Twomey.

HPAE nurses and health professionals will continue to demand at the bargaining table and in the Trenton Statehouse that large healthcare employers do more to put patient care and workers’ rights ahead of fostering corporate wealth.

For more information, please contact:

Bridget Devane, (732) 996-5493

Watch the TFC Balitang America video of the North Bergen rally: https://youtu.be/4-S9WU56Tv0

Photos from the North Bergen rally:

Photos from the Neptune rally: