Labor Unions Demand Transparency, Accountability of Rutgers-Barnabas Partnership

July 24, 2018

Petitions Rutgers Board of Governors Asking for MOA

New Brunswick – Calling for transparency and accountability, faculty and health professionals from Rutgers Biomedical and Health Services (RBHS) petitioned the Rutgers Board of Governors (BOG) at a Special Meeting to directly ask the governing body for a memorandum of agreement with the unions before any affiliation agreements are signed between Rutgers University, RWJ Barnabas and Rutgers Health Group. Due to a lack of transparency, the more than 20,000 workers at Rutgers University, who are represented by 23 unions and who are currently at the bargaining table, have received no information from Rutgers detailing to what extent health care services and jobs will be impacted.

In June 2017, a Letter of Intent (LOI), was entered into by Rutgers University, RWJ Barnabas Health (RWJBH), and Rutgers Health Group, Inc. (RHG).  The LOI outlines the terms of a Proposed Partnership to create a Graduate Medical Education (GME) Consortium between Rutgers and RWJBH and assign to RWJBH responsibility for the management of physicians and health professionals currently employed by Rutgers and the billions of revenue which they generate. They provide essential healthcare services to the public, including the greater Newark and New Brunswick communities.

Faculty and staff have many concerns as Rutgers University enters into a twenty-year master-three-way affiliation agreement with RWJ Barnabas and Rutgers Health Group, according to Tom Murphy, Research Teaching Specialist, Co-President of HPAE local 5094. “As the professional staff of this institution our demands to learn the precise details of the affiliation have not been met by the Administration, nor the Board of Governors,” Murphy said. “When a public institution such as Rutgers enters into a partnership with a private company there must be over-sight and transparency. Currently this partnership  has shown there is none.”

Dr. Roger Johansen, President of the AAUP-BHSNJ medical school faculty union said he hopes Rutgers management takes the time to listen to the concerns of the community and its workers. “The prospect of members losing their jobs due to an affiliation agreement with no transparency is frightening to our members, especially those with twenty plus years of public service,” said Johansen. “We sincerely hope that Rutgers management engages with key stakeholders before rushing to transform the delivery of healthcare in New Jersey.”

“Rutgers is embarking on an extensive partnership with RWJ Barnabas without any concern for existing contracts with its unions. Rutgers should do the right thing and put their guarantees of job protections in writing.” said Kathleen Hernandez, EVP CWA Local 1031, AFL-CIO.

For more information, contact: Bridget Devane (732) 966-5493