Nurses’ Union Ratifies Agreement on Staffing, Wages and Working Conditions - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Nurses’ Union Ratifies Agreement on Staffing, Wages and Working Conditions

For immediate release: May 19, 2015

For more information contact: Jeanne Otersen (732)996-5493

Englewood, NJ – Registered Nurses approved a new three-year contract with Englewood Hospital and Medical Center (EHMC) on Tuesday, May 19. The 650 RNs represented by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), the state’s largest union of nurses and health care professionals, overwhelmingly voted in favor of the contract settlement reached by the Negotiating Team two weeks ahead of the contract expiration date of May 31st.

Throughout negotiations, nurses spoke up to gain improved staffing and safe patient care at the hospital. “This contract is a great step towards setting staffing standards that our nurses and patients deserve,” said Michele McLaughlin, the president of HPAE Local 5004. “We are proud to ratify a contract that recognizes our dedication to providing excellent care to our patients, families, and our community here in Englewood.”

The new contract agreement includes staffing improvements and other measures including:

• Eight new full-time nurse positions to ensure additional staff in specific areas in the hospital, staffing improvements in the pediatric unit, and greater night coverage by medical support staff

• Joint commitment between RNs and administration to review and implement staffing acuity systems

• 3% wage increase over the three-year contract and step increases of about 1.5% per year to retain qualified staff

• Joint commitment between RNs and administration to improve communication and participation in the joint nursing practice council and continuing education programs to ensure greater RN education and input to improve patient care

HPAE RNs at Englewood are continuing to work with a state-wide staffing coalition to urge passage of a state law establishing stronger standards for nurse staffing levels, pointing to a decade of studies that link unsafe nursing staffing levels to increases in patient complications, infections and re-admissions, as well as increased injuries to nurses and staff.

Registered nurses have been organized since 1974 and have since grown HPAE to become the largest healthcare union in New Jersey, representing about 12,000 nurses and healthcare professionals.