Health Professional Union Reaches New Contract Agreement at Bergen Regional Medical Center
Health Professionals and Allied Employees AFT/AFLCIO
110 kinderkamack Road
Emerson, NJ 07630
For Immediate Release: May 10,2013 Contact: Jeanne Otersen 201-280-9279
Emerson, NJ…Nurses and health professionals approved a new 3-year contract agreement with Bergen Regional Medical Center, well ahead of the current contract expiration date of May 31, 2013. The 450 local members of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE) ratified the agreement on Thursday, May 9, after their negotiating committee reached a tentative agreement on May 7.
Elements of the new agreement included:
- A ban on involuntary shift rotation, considered a health and safety issue for staff;
- 2% wage increase for all employees each year of the 3-year agreement;
- Seniority increases ranging from .4% to 1.7%;
- Creation of a Violence Prevention Committee involving front-line workers;
- Staffing adjustments and improvements in behavioral health and long-term care divisions;
- Increases in evening and night shift pay, certification pay and tuition reimbursement.
“This agreement includes fair wage increases and policies to help retain qualified staff; improvements in addressing the daily staffing needs of our patients; and involves front-line workers in proposing safety improvements for workers and patients alike,” said Jeff Peck, president of the BRMC local of HPAE, NJ’s largest union of nurses and health professionals. “In the course of these negotiations, we also made clear to hospital management and our elected officials that we are looking forward to protecting the mission of this hospital when the current lease and contract is up in 2017 between BRMC and the County of Bergen. We intend to be here – by our patients’ bedside, and in front to protect our commitment to the public.”
BRMC, the former Bergen Pines, was privatized and leased to a for-profit company in 1998, under a 19-year lease, and was the first for-profit hospital operating in New Jersey.