Health Professionals and Allied Employees
110 Kinderkamack Road
Emerson, NJ 07630
Registered Nurses at Memorial Hospital of Salem County (MHSC), owned by Community Health Systems, Inc. (CHS), this week traveled to Warren, Ohio to join Registered Nurses at Northside Medical Center, another CHS-owned hospital, in their fight for a contract that would protect their patients and their profession.
The RNs at MHSC are building alliances with nurses at other CHS-owned hospitals to demand that the for profit healthcare chain, one of the nation’s largest, listen to their nurses and bargain fair contracts that protect the safety of their patients and their nurses. MHSC RNs voted overwhelmingly on September 2, 2010 to join the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, AFT/AFL-CIO (HPAE), the State’s largest nurses’ union representing 12,000 nurses and health care workers. For over two years, CHS has refused to negotiate a contract with the Salem nurses and continues to mount unsuccessful legal challenges to the nurses’ exercise of their workplace rights.
CHS, which owns and operates 135 hospitals in 29 states, purchased Northside Medical Center in 2010, where the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) represented the Registered Nurses and had a contract with the hospital. Since the contract expired in July 2012 CHS has failed to provide any significant changes to their proposals and the nurses have been working without a contract since that time.
“In solidarity with other Nurses who face the same struggle as we do to have our voices heard by CHS, we traveled to Ohio to stand with them as they fight for patient safety, safe staffing and professional development,” said Jeri Lenhart. “We are facing many of those same concerns at our hospital and we believe together our voices are stronger,” added Lenhart .
MHSC’s RNs have been speaking with residents of Salem County to assure them that they understand that patients rely on their community hospital for the highest quality care, and that despite the challenges the Nurses face, they will continue to provide the best care for their patients.
MHSC RNs will continue to collaborate with other Nurses and Health care workers in CHS hospitals across the country as they join together in demanding CHS respect the voices of their union workers and their health care professionals.