Friday, May 22, 2015
Health care workers approved a new three year contract on Thursday with The Harborage nursing home located in North Bergen. The 150 health care workers represented by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), the state’s largest union of nurses and health care professionals, voted in favor of the contract settlement reached by the Negotiations Team.
These negotiations took place as the owners of The Harborage, Palisades Medical Center, embark on a merger with Hackensack University Health Network (HUHN) which is currently under review by NJ regulators
“This contract contains improvements in patient safety and working conditions while compensating workers for sacrifices they have made in previous contract agreements,” said Jennifer Thompson, President of HPAE Local 5097.
According to the union, the agreement contains improvement for patient safety by strengthening health and safety policies and establishes mechanisms for ensuring safe staffing levels. In addition to patient protections, workers will receive wage increases of 8.5% over the three years, increases in 401K employer contributions from 50% match to 75% match and from 1.25% of base pay to 1.5% base pay.
“In previous years our nursing home was in the midst of a financial crisis. These are new times, not only is our health care facility financially stable but our health system is embarking on a merger that they say will create even greater stability and improve health care. We deserve to be rewarded for doing our part to ensure our patients receive the best care,” added Thompson.
HPAE members will continue to monitor the pending merger with HUHN as well as the merger between HUHN and Meridian Health to create one of the largest health care systems in NJ. NJ regulators have yet to determine whether a Certificate of Need review is required but both mergers are currently being reviewed by the office of the NJ Attorney General.
For more information, plesae contact: Bridget Devane, (732) 996-5493