March 16, 2015
Several hundred members of HPAE and our union partners in the Coalition for Patient Rights and Safe Staffing came to Trenton today to lobby state legislators to support a safe staffing law which provides for nurse to patient staffing ratios and acuity systems at every hospital. NJ AFL-CIO President Charlie Wowkenach kicked off the Lobby Day by thanking the assembled nurses and health professionals for their dedication to patient care and support for safe staffing.
HPAE President Ann Twomey said that the struggle to achieve safe staffing has been a long one, but that we are determined to succeed. She also noted that nurse to patient ratio laws had been achieved in California and Massachusetts; and that it will be possible in New Jersey, too.
Our campaign for state staffing has received strong backing from key legislators. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney is behind the safe staffing bill and a co-sponsor is State Senator Loretta Weinberg, a long-time advocate of nurse to patient ratios in every hospital.
Photo below: Senators Sweeney and Weinberg with labor leaders representing unions in CPRSS. From left to right: Adam Liebtag (CWA), Eric Richards (NJ AFL-CIO), Senator Weinberg, Senator Sweeney, Maria Refinski (CWA/NJNU), Doug Placa (JNESO), and HPAE President Ann Twomey
HPAE members throughout the state of New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania were enthusiastic and excited to participate in Lobby Day. We held 23 meetings with state legislators, many of whom pledged their full support for a safe staffing bill.
Photo below: State Senator Weinberg with nurses:
State Senator Cunningham:
State Senator Vitale, one of the co-sponsors of the staffing bill, with nurses:
State Senator Pou:
State Senator Cruz Perez:
State Senator Ruiz:
State Senator Gordon: