Meadowlands Hospital continues to be the object of unfair labor practice charges and investigations into its workplace practices, according to the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), the union representing 350 Registered Nurses and health care staff at the for-profit owned hospital in Secaucus.
HPAE filed new charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over a number of violations, including more than $150,000 in employee medical bills that have gone unpaid because the hospital has failed to provide funds for their self-insured health plan. Charges were also filed over the hospital’s refusal to allow union staff into the hospital to meet with employees over grievances and labor violations, and over the large increase in health insurance deductibles. Investigations by the National Labor Relations Board continue over past charges brought by the union, and HPAE has also asked NJ and US Department of Labor to investigate the unpaid medical bills.
“Over the past two years, the owners of Meadowlands have taken out more than $12 million in profits, while workers’ health insurance bills go unpaid, and that is both unacceptable and in violation of the law. The hospital has quadrupled deductibles for health insurance to its workers, and has denied union staff access to the hospital to meet with the staff to help resolve these problems. As a result, we have asked both the NJ and US Department of Labor to investigate the unpaid medical bills, some of which have forced employees into collections”, said Ann Twomey, President of HPAE, NJ’s largest union of nurses and health care workers.
Meadowlands Hospital was also fined $6000 by the NJ Department of Health in December, for its failure to file audited financial statements for more than six months, and HPAE, along with NJ Appleseed,a public interest group, has asked the state of NJ to appoint a temporary manager to bring the hospital into compliance with state patient safety and financial reporting laws.