UMDNJ announced today that they intend to award a contract to Barnabas Health for management services at University Hospital.
This new development marks the beginning of a new phase for our hospital and our union – but it should also represent continuity for our hospital’s mission and services to this community and the residents of New Jersey.
Our union fought to ensure that the law passed in 2012 by the NJ Legislature authorizing the Reorganization of Rutgers and UMDNJ made a comprehensive commitment that any management agreement would protect and preserve the hospital’s mission and public, non-profit status, as well as the health care services, charity care obligations and workplace protections for staff.
Even with Barnabas Health providing management services, University Hospital will continue to be a public hospital. We will continue to be public employees and we will keep our current pension and state health benefits. We will still be part of our union; our union contracts will remain in effect and University Hospital is still obligated to negotiate with our union.
We also won:
- Protections from layoffs due to the reorganization until July of 2014,
- Protections for services at University Hospital and collaborative services with Rutgers,
- Oversight and transparency of the management services contract at University Hospital, and
- Protections from subcontracting and replacement of UH public employees.
A Community Oversight Board (COB), which includes a representative of HPAE, was established to oversee these agreements to make sure that these protections are adhered to; and we call on the Governor and UMDNJ to initiate a meeting of this Oversight Board to review the proposed contract during this 60-day period.
In addition to the review by the COB, the NJ Department of Health must undertake a review to assure that the management agreement contains all of the protections and standards encompassed in the Reorganization Law. After all the necessary reviews, The University Hospital Board of Directors must still approve the contract.
We call on all of our members to remain vigilant during this time period. It is up to us to ensure the protections we won in the law are upheld and enforced. Visit our UMDNJ Merger Watch website for more information.