Health Professionals Vote In Favor of Concerted Activity at Hackensack Meridian

HPAE nurses and health professionals at four Hackensack Meridian locations have voted in favor of engaging in concerted activities. Nearly 2,500 nurses and other skilled health professionals represented by HPAE Local 5030 at Palisades Medical Center and Local 5097 at The Harborage, both in North Bergen, as well as Local 5058 at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune and Local 5138 at Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, have been in negotiations with NJ’s largest healthcare corporation since May.

“After months of negotiating with the largest health system in the state, we are no closer to reaching an agreement with Hackensack Meridian,” said Mickie Miquiabas, President of HPAE Local 5030. “Since our hospital affiliated with this corporation, our efforts to improve patient safety and the safety of all health professionals continues to be rebuffed.”

“Even as legislation has advanced through the State Legislature, our demand for safe staffing limits at our nursing home, The Harborage, Hackensack Meridian will not follow suit to increase the number of certified nurse assistants to care for our residents,” said Sandra White, President of HPAE Local 5097.

“With the opening of a brand-new medical tower in Neptune, the physical appearance of the hospital has changed drastically,” said Kendra McCann, Nurse and President of HPAE Local 5058. “Yet nurses continue having to care for too many patients without enough staff and unsafe working conditions forcing staff leaving them to fight the same old problems that we’ve faced in the past. Not enough staff, requests for time off are denied and patient care is at risk. Hackensack Meridian hasn’t even complied with its legal obligation to provide us with the information we need to bargain.”

“At Southern Ocean County we continually stand up for the rights of our nurses to speak up for themselves and their patients,” said Barbara Bosch, President of Local 5138. “When management disrespects nurses, doesn’t listen to their concerns and refuses to work with nurses to improve conditions it creates an environment that leads to a high turnover of staff, rather than retaining experience nursing staff.”

Following all day meetings on July 17, nurses and health professionals voted overwhelmingly to allow the negotiating team to engage in concerted activity if they deem necessary.

HPAE nurses and health professionals will continue to meet with administration to reach an agreement prior to the contract deadline. Additionally, the union filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Hackensack Meridian for not negotiating in good faith and failing to provide information.

For more information: Bridget Devane, 732-996-5493