From the New Jersey AFL-CIO, September 24, 2015
The next two days of contract talks are critical for nurses at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point (formerly Shore Memorial Hospital). The Shore Nurses Union/NYSNA announced that without significant progress in negotiations that have dragged on for nearly a year, a 10-day strike notice is imminent. As a result, nurses could be on the picket line as early as the first week of October as they fight for quality patient care for South Jersey residents.
The nurses believe that the hospital must make some changes if patients are to continue to receive the quality of care that they rightfully deserve. A September 2015 Consumer Reports study found Shore Medical Center to be one of the country’s 18 worst hospitals for preventing dangerous bacteria-based infections. The risk of developing a serious infection puts patients, the community, and hospital employees at unnecessary risk. A hospital’s No. 1 priority should be safety, and safe patient care should be led by the nurses. The hospital has cut nursing staff and is trying to take away benefits from the nurses while President and CEO Ronald Johnson is earning in excess of $1.2 million per year, extraordinary compensation for the head of a South Jersey community hospital.