Photo above: RNs from Memorial Hospital of Salem County at the CHS Meeting
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 Contact: Bridget Devane at 732-996-5493
NYC… .Nurses from New Jersey and Ohio took the fight over the denial of their union rights to the annual stockholder meeting of CHS, the Nashville, Tennessee-based corporate hospital chain on Tuesday morning in NYC. The nurses gathered in front of the stockholder meeting at the St. Regis Hotel in NYC at 7am with leaflets calling on the board of CHS to drop frivolous legal appeals filed against the nurses’ unionization votes, and to focus instead on patient care needs.
“Our vote to unionize is about standing together to represent the needs of our patients and for quality nursing care,” said Tracy McAllister, an RN at Memorial Hospital with 21 years of bedside experience. “Our voice deserves recognition — something this corporate hospital chain would prefer to deny – and spend countless funds doing so.”
In NJ, nurses at Memorial Hospital of Salem County, part of the CHS chain, won an election to join the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE) almost 3 years ago, but have been denied their right to a union by a series of legal challenges filed by CHS. CHS lost all of those challenges, but still has refused to bargain with the legally recognized union for Salem Nurses.
“The nurses working on the frontlines see firsthand how CHS policies affect the quality of care we provide our patients,” said HPAE President Ann Twomey. “It’s time for CHS to listen the voices of their nurses.”
Nurses carried shareholder proxies that allowed them to join the stockholder meeting and question the CHS Board of Directors and CHS CEO Wayne Smith. Nurses questioned policies that denied nurses the right to a voice in patient care decisions, and asked CHS to stop the legal challenges and begin bargaining with nurses at the local hospitals. HPAE has also written to CHS Board members, and asked CHS Board member John Fry, also the president of Drexel University, to meet.
HPAE represents 12,000 nurses and healthcare workers in NJ and Philadelphia. Both nursing groups are also members of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).