Health Professionals and Allied Employees/AFT/AFL-CIO
110 Kinderkamack Road
Emerson, NJ 07630
June 28, 2013
July 1 is just an arbitrary deadline, and a day and a date. What matters today is that we set out to achieve the goals of the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act to build and sustain an educational institution in NJ that can and will respond to our medical research, medical education and health care needs in the coming years.
More than 4,000 nurses and health professionals and medical researchers belonging to the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), NJ’s largest healthcare union, are affected by the reorganization of Rutgers, Rowan and UMDNJ. During the legislative process, HPAE members advocated for protections for the financial solvency and mission of University Hospital; for the creation of a Community Oversight Board at University Hospital; and for protections for employee workplace rights and contracts, working conditions, retirement security and health coverage. These protections will be essential in achieving our goal of building and sustaining these institutions.
It was always our goal to protect the work we do – the community services, patient care, mental health and clinic services, medical research and information technology so necessary to the functioning of UMDNJ and the hospital. To do that, the nurses, researchers, pharmacists, clinicians and staff had to be assured that they would be able to continue their work without disruption.
For the past year HPAE has been meeting and working with UMDNJ to assure that the transition abides by all the protections afforded in the law.
The recently announced proposed contract between Barnabas Health and University Hospital for management services did contain all of the protections in the law, mainly to maintain University Hospital as a public and nonprofit hospital. At the same time, we are still waiting for the formal convening of the promised Community Oversight Board that would assure the continuation of the mission and services at the hospital.
We look forward to continuing to work with University Hospital, Rutgers, Rowan and other leaders in the effort to make the reorganization work for New Jersey. ##