Local 5094 Special Election: candidate statements

Mary Doran

My name is Mary Doran and I am seeking your support for the position of Co-President of HPAE 5094.

I have been a legacy UMDNJ/Rutgers employee for 25 years. For the 8 past years I have served as Treasurer for the LEB (Local Executive Board) as well as a negotiation team member for 3 of our contract negotiations. I have worked closely with Tom Murphy, our current co-president, on issues at the bargaining table as well as with other members of our board on strategic planning for the future welfare of our union members.

We have all been experiencing difficult changes, firstly with the dissolving of UMDNJ and now with the Barnabas merger. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure all of our rights are protected and our members receive our full support. As an HPAE 5094 member and officer, I believe strongly in the value of the union for the protection of our rights as members. In doing so I would also hope that this will help all members of the community.

As your co-president I would be responsible for assuring adherence to our bylaws. In addition to this I will be concentrating on obtaining more information for our members on the Barnabas merger and how this will affect all of us, protecting member’s jobs.

A priority will be to strive for better communication with members by availing myself to those in the university community.

I will continue to fight back against the JANUS decision and its effect on everyone, not just 5094 members.

One of my priorities will be to get our members together to become more involved in supporting the union in meetings, rallies, and demonstrations.

Disseminate information in a more timely manner is one of the important items on my agenda.

I would also engage with elected officials to enthusiastically encourage them to support our causes/interests.

Availability to our members for ideas and suggestions to what could make our union stronger.

I hold myself accountable to all members of HPAE 5094 when executing my duties as treasurer and will apply those same practices as co-president.

Justin O’Hea

My name is Justin O’Hea, sitting COPE Chair to HPAE local 5094 at Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare. I am running for Co-President of local 5094, and I am sending this out to garner your support. First and foremost I am a clinician, a social worker, activist, advocate, and a proud union representative. I have been with HPAE for 8 years. I have worked for almost 20 years in different areas of healthcare, from support roles, to case management and direct care. I come from a healthcare family. My father retired from healthcare administration after 38 years. Growing up I would hear about the privatization and increasingly corporate culture shift of healthcare.  He told me of how these corporate healthcare giants were gobbling up community hospitals, when there was not extreme competitiveness like today. It has been transformed into a cut throat world of for profit business, at the cost of healthcare professionals, and the communities we serve. Managed care models have come about and diminished our ability to carry out the standard of care we had been accustomed to in the past. Administrative red tape and overhead has tied our hands, our staffing levels are consistently low, wages are stagnant, and our members are burning out. I have witnessed the decline myself, and have become very motivated to fight to change this terrible erosion of ethics, standards, and worker protections. I have met with legislators, have advocated tirelessly for our members throughout the state, and have been very outspoken about our struggle, and the egregious circumstances that we have endured since the business mindset has taken over. I have helped run rallies, have spoken at the board of governors meetings, at Rutgers senate meetings, have spoken with numerous reporters, and consistently advocate for healthcare and our union on social media. I have been very active with the Rutgers Union Coalition and will continue to coalition build with other groups, including grassroots political organizations and issue based groups. I have organized my unit to be the most engaged on the Piscataway campus, have done direct actions, called special meetings, and have participated in direct actions.  I have become somewhat of a public face for this union already, and would be honored to carry the title of co-president. I have a reputation as a fighter, my cohorts know me as a motivated, dedicated, passionate, courageous, and tenacious individual who is willing to speak truth to power regardless of how high on the social or economic strata they are. We have new leadership, and it is time to get some new blood, new ideas, and new plans, to carry the union forward to not just survive, but to thrive despite the Janus decision and other threats we face. I want to help make HPAE a household name in NJ. Let me be the person to help deliver that to our dedicated members. We need a fighter on the front lines, not a person in the background. Vote for me in the coming election, I guarantee I will not let you down!


In Solidarity,

Justin O’Hea, LSW

COPE Chair, HPAE 5094