For Immediate Release: October 1, 2014
Woodbury, NJ: By an overwhelming margin of 6 to 1, nurses working at Inspira Medical Center-Woodbury won the vote in favor of union representation with the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE).The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency that oversees enforcement of labor law and union elections, monitored and reported the election results.
Kellianne Eyler, a Peri-Operatives Services nurse who has worked at the hospital for nine years commented, “We are excited about winning our Union and look forward to working together with administration for the benefit of our hospital, our professional practice and our patients. As Florence Nightingale once said, ‘Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.’ The nurses here joined together to change to provide the care our patients and our community need and deserve.”
The election was scheduled after more than 75% of the 420 Registered Nurses at Inspira Medical Center-Woodbury signed a petition seeking to join HPAE, NJ’s largest healthcare union, representing 12,000 nurses and health care workers in NJ and Philadelphia area. Nurses at Inspira Hospitals in Vineland, Elmer, and Bridgeton joined HPAE in 2006. Since the hospital merged with Inspira Health Network in 2012, there has been growing interest among the nurses to join HPAE to improve patient care at the hospital.
“As nurses, we organized so that we could add our voices to those of the nurses in the Inspira system and advocate for patient care, safe staffing and workplace standards; policies that recruit and retain qualified and experienced nurses; and protection of hospital services for our communities,” said Mary Lou Marino, a Progressive Care Unit nurse who has worked at the hospital for about 5 years. “The support we received from the community, our elected officials, and other HPAE nurses was instrumental in winning our union.”
During the campaign, nurses enlisted support from elected officials, labor and community leaders. Among the elected officials supporting the nurses’ right to organize in public ads were US Senator Cory Booker, NJ State Senate President Steve Sweeney and State Senator Don Norcross, as well as Assembly members John Burzichelli, Celeste Riley, Angel Fuentes and Gilbert Wilson, and all seven Gloucester County Freeholders.
“The nurses are ready to sit down and bargain a contract that meets the needs of the patients they serve, and we expect the hospital will do the same,” commented Ann Twomey, state-wide president of HPAE.
Following the election results, the NLRB will certify the HPAE as the legal bargaining representative, obligating hospital administration to bargain a contract with the union.
For more information, contact Jeanne Otersen at (201) 262-5005 x129 or visit https://hpae.org/woodbury_nurses_united
Contact: Jeanne Otersen: Cell: (201) 280-9279