Nurse’s Union Authorizes Strike, Holds Rally in Somers Point Before Negotiations
From Politicker NJ, August 25, 2015
SOMERS POINT – New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech joined members of the Shore Nurses Union and New York State Nurse’s Association’s bargaining unit outside of the Shore Medical Center Tuesday to support their strike authorization vote. The rally Tuesday afternoon emphasized the need for new recruitment of nurses for the understaffed hospital. Negotiations between the union and hospitals are set to take place the same night.
The Shore Medical Center was recently ranked in a Consumer Reports article which placed it on a list of the country’s worst hospitals for bacterial infection rates in patients. Pushed to the side of the grounds next to sprinkler units on the perimeter of the hospital that had been turned on before the rally, the resident nurses in attendance said that they are frustrated by what they characterized as the hospital’s focus on facilities at the expense of patient care.
“Over the last few years there have been about 60 nurses who’ve left through retirement or moved on, and they have not been replaced,” said Wowkanech. “And we think there’s a direct correlation between the staff levels and this consumer report. There should be a committee of doctors, nurses, hospital managers, to make sure that thing goes away.”