HPAE nursing home workers reach tentative agreement with HMH

Nursing Home Workers reach a tentative agreement with Hackensack Meridian, hospital colleagues continue bargaining against NJ’s wealthiest non-profit healthcare corporation

After months of working without a contract, nursing home workers at the Harborage, reached a tentative agreement with Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH). The previous contract expired on July 20th, yet the union representing HPAE Local 5097 remained committed to bargaining a contract which includes patient protections and financial incentives for low-income workers who provide care for our loved ones.

“These were difficult negotiations, yet our struggle was worth every effort as this contract includes improvements that will lead to safer patient care,” said Sharon Hodges, Vice President of HPAE Local 5097. “Nursing home workers are some of the lowest paid health care workers – we made great strides to change that at the Harborage. We are also proud of the increases in staffing levels for the safety of our patients.

Over the last several months 2,500 nurses and health professionals across the state have been in bargaining with HMH. This tentative agreement is the first settlement reached, three other HPAE locals continue to negotiate: HPAE Local 5030 at Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, HPAE Local 5058 at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune and HPAE Local 5138 at Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin.

Ann Twomey, President of HPAE, “There was clearly a corporate tone to these negotiations that emphasized profits over quality care. We are proud of our members who never lost sight of what they were fighting for – working conditions to allow our members to provide safe, dignified care to the residents.”

HPAE members will attend membership meetings throughout the day on September
18, 2018, at which voting will take place on whether to ratify the agreement. Details of the agreement will not be released before that time.