For Immediate Release:
Contact Jeanne Otersen 201-280-9279
Citing Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith’s leadership in protecting patients and caregivers at the local hospital, NJ’s largest health care union announced their endorsement of Mayor Mark Smith of Bayonne in his reelection bid today, Monday, April 14, 2014.
The Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE) represents 12,00 nurses and health care workers in New Jersey, including more than 700 employees at Carepoint-Bayonne Medical Center.
“From the time Mayor Smith came into office and our community hospital was sold to a for-profit company, Mayor Smith has stood up for the rights of workers and challenged any policies that would cut care or staff at our hospital,” said John Bauer, president of the HPAE local at Bayonne Medical Center. “He deserves the support of our community as well.”
HPAE workers at Bayonne are entering contract negotiations with Carepoint, the for-profit owners of three Hudson County hospitals, including Christ Hospital in Jersey City, also represented by HPAE and entering contract negotiations.
HPAE’s contract at Bayonne Medical Center ends on July 31 and Christ Hospital’s on May 31, and negotiations are beginning shortly at both hospitals. “We are fighting for safe staffing for our patients, and to maintain and improve policies that help us recruit and retain the most qualified staff for patient care. At the same time, we are fighting to protect our rights as healthcare advocates,” said Bauer.
HPAE said they would actively campaign for Mayor Smith, as well as his running mates Ray Greaves, Terrence Ruane,, Debra Czerwienskis, Agnes Gillespie, and Joseph Hurley.
“These are candidates and elected officials who have always stood with us to protect community health care,” said Donna Benjamin, a Registered Nurse at Bayonne Medical Center and a long-time resident of Bayonne. “We plan to stand with them.”