UMDNJ United Union Coalition Meets with Dr. Rodgers

Last Friday, the UMDNJ United Union Coalition held what may be our last quarterly meeting with University President, Dr. Rodgers. Dr. Rodgers reported that the reorganization is on target to be implemented on July 1st and provided further details on the status of the integration with Rutgers and Rowan as well as the separation of University Hospital.

We received confirmation that Barnabas Health and Meridian Health have submitted competing bids in response to University Hospital’s recent Request for Proposals (RFP) for a management partner. It was stressed that the contract will only be for consulting and that UH’s current management will remain in place. It was acknowledged that the University Hospital Community Oversight Board must review the contract and the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services must approve the contract before the Board of Directors can make a final decision. There will also be a 60-day comment period making it unlikely that the contract can be awarded by July 1st. Dr. Rodgers was hopeful that it would be in place by the end of July.

Dr. Rodgers also reported that Governor Christie has made four appointments to the new University Hospital Board of Directors which will become effective on July 1st. There are a number of additional appointments that are still pending.

All UMDNJ employees will be notified before the end of May as to what institution they will be assigned. We were told the “vast majority” of employees will continue to work where they are currently working. Only some Central Administration positions may have to be reassigned. The University will provide a list to the Union of the employee assignments. They are willing to discuss with us any specific problems that may arise after assignments are made.

Dr. Rodgers raised concerns about rumors and misinformation. She stated each institution is taking the no layoff clause of the legislation seriously and there is no intention of violating the no layoff provision. We were asked to direct members to the University’s Integration website for updates and to submit questions.

One of our greatest concerns is ensuring the hospital remains viable. We asked a number of questions about University Hospital’s budget. We were informed the Hospital will be receiving direct appropriations from the state now.

We are trying to schedule a joint meeting with the Labor Relations department of Rutgers, Rowan and the future University Hospital prior to transition and separation of University Hospital. We also have a meeting set up with UH CEO, James Gonzalez, and Labor Relations on May 10, 2013.