Members Ratify Contract Settlement
November 3, 2015
Local 5058 members voted overwhelmingly yesterday to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement with Meridian Health. At the same time, Local 5138 members at Southern Ocean Medical Center voted in favor of their settlement with Meridian. The contracts, which both expire July 31, 2017, cover 1,200 RNs represented by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), the state’s largest healthcare union.
The new contract agreement includes staffing improvements and other measures including:
- 7-12% wage increases over the 21-month contract term.
- Staffing improvements at each hospital, including addition of admission and discharge RNs when a unit census increases at SOMC; and review of staffing plans to improve nursing work flow and staff skill mix needed for patient care.
- Improved healthcare and network access, decreases in premiums for a majority of members and maintenance of deductible, prescription, vision and dental costs.
- Restrictions on the hospital floating nurses without proper training and financial incentives for nurses who volunteer to provide care in other units.
- Measures to improve orientation and education of new RNs.
- 100% tuition reimbursement for part-time RNs up to $2,500
Both locals achieved good contracts as a result of membership support and outreach to the community. During the negotiations, nurses met with Township committees and community members to gain support for safe staffing legislation, ran an active social media campaign, and took out a mobile billboard to educate the community about the importance of safe staffing.
“Nurses came out in numbers today to vote for this new contract which recognizes and supports our dedication to providing the best care for patients,” said Ruthann Kosick, R.N., acting president for HPAE Local 5058. “This contract provides incentives and opportunities to advance our nursing skills and includes provisions to monitor and enforce safe staffing throughout our hospitals.”
Members Ratify Contract Settlement
Neptune Township passes a resolution to support the State Safe Staffing bill!
October 9, 2015
The Neptune Township Committee unanimously voted for a resolution to support Safe Staffing Bill S1183/A647 to establish minimum nurse staffing levels at hospitals and certain healthcare facilities across New Jersey. Local 5058 RN and COPE committee member Pamela Reinhardt spoke to the Township Committee about how adequate staffing significantly improves the quality of patient care at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
The Township Committee supported the bill and shared how important it is to provide nurses with adequate staff to deliver the best care to the community of Neptune. “Minimum staffing levels is critical,” shared Township Committee member Dr. Michael Bradley. “It makes a difference in people’s lives. We need to have this standard for the Township.” Kim Brown, an RN who has worked at JSUMC for 17 years thanked the township for supporting nurses in their fight for adequate staffing. “I see the difference it makes,” said Kim Brown, who works on a Pediatric Unit.
Meridian RNs Highlight Health Plans’ High Out of Pocket Costs
October 7, 2015
With our contracts with Meridian expiring at the end of the month, Local 5058/Jersey Shore Medical Center and Local 5138/Southern Ocean Medical Center RNs leafleted in front of our hospitals today to highlight our high out of pocket costs and other problems with health plans. Whether we use “Inner Circle” physicians and services or are forced to find a provider outside the “circle,” out of deductibles, co-insurance payments, and other out of pocket costs are considerable.
Bargaining Update, October 2, 2015
There is nothing “Smart” about Smart Square Scheduling System.
Meridian’s current proposals for their scheduling system would completely gut our current contract and our hard won rights and protections. These rights protect nurses and allow for safe patient care, keeping the right nurse at the patient bedside.
Meridian wants to:
- Require RN’s who sign up for the Open Shift (extra shift) to float anywhere in the hospital based on their competencies. Would undermine the float districts.
- Unit based RN’s would be required to float in order to cancel the shift of someone in OT or over their FTE.
- Eliminate our seniority rights in the cancelation process. Order of cancelation of extra shift would be based on management’s need to contain cost.
- All RN’s could be floated when they sign up for Open Shift (extra shifts) no matter their number of years, including newly licensed RN’s. And there would be no bonus for floating.
- ED nurses would be required to float.
- No vacation during winter holiday weeks.
- Float Pool nurses would be required to work weekends.
- All PTO requests must be in 8 weeks before schedule begins.
- Change requirements for PD.
September 24, 2015
We’ve now had three bargaining sessions with Meridian. Staffing and nurse work-load are priority issues for the Local 5058 & Local 5138 Negotiations Committees. We have proposed improved RN staffing numbers, ancillary staff numbers, limitation on floating (Local 5138), and triggers for high volume/high acuity situations.
Management has not yet made any major proposals, but we are expecting proposals from them on a new scheduling program and changes to the health care plan.
LET US KNOW…..
Have you had problems with out of network bills after receiving an approval from the Plan? Have you had problems with high pharma costs? Please email Dhorn@hpae.org or contact Erin Anderson in Radiology at SOMC or Fran McLaughlin in Prep and Discharge at JSUMC.
Negotiations, Community Outreach Campaign Begin
September 13, 2015
With a contract expiration date of October 31, our negotiations with Meridian began last week. A priority issue for our local – as well as our sister Local 5138 at Southern Ocean Medical Center – is to improve staffing levels in order to provide stronger protections for patient safety and quality patient care.
While we are fighting for better contract language on staffing and other key issues, we are also reaching out to the community to urge them to support our fight for better staffing levels. We initiated our community outreach campaign by talking to community members at Oysterfest in Asbury Park yesterday. We circulated a petition supporting safe staffing levels and got a great response.
Our attendance at Oysterfest is the first in a series of community events we will attend to inform the public of ways they can help to keep patients safe at Meridian hospitals.
Photo below: HPAE members Marty Marino, Peg Schaub and Amy Addeo talking with a community member about HPAE is fighting for safe staffing.
We Need Your Input! Fill Out the Online Contract Survey
June 21, 2015
Our contract expires on October 31, 2015. Your executive board is already preparing for negotiations, which will commence in August. Contract Action Team leaders have had their first meeting. It is now time for the general membership (YOU) to make your opinions known. Please fill out the Local 5058 Contract Issue Survey and let the executive board and negotiating team know what you think.
Local 5058 At the AFT PIC Conference
May 20, 2015
The American Federation of Teacher’s Nurses and Health Professionals 2015 Professional Issues Conference (PIC) is currently underway in Chicago. Local 5058 members are joining with other AFT nurses and health professionals to discuss our most significant challenges and strategies to respond effectively to them.
Photo below: From left to right: Jenipher Dobson Alaska RN,, Pam Reinhart (JSUMC), Marty Marino (JSUMC), Lourdes Soto (JSUMC), Kendra McCann (JSUMC), and Laurie Horberger Ohio RN. The group won a “Jeopardy” health care contest at PIC. The contest was part of pre-conference workshop “Preparing for a Crisis” on Ebola, Measles & other infectious diseases”. Winning team prize was to select protective gear.
Local 5058 Member Peggy Schaab Honored with Labor Leader Award
May 9, 2015
Local 5058 member Peggy Schaab received the Labor Leader award from the Monmouth County Work Investment Board (WIB) on April 29 in Toms River, NJ.
Photo below: Peggy Schaab (3rd from left) with Freeholder Director Gary J. Rich, Sr., Deputy Director Serena DiMaso and President Wyatt Earp.
Peggy has been an active member of the Monmouth and Ocean Counties Central Labor Council for many years. She volunteers and recruits for the CLC’s Belmar St. Patrick’s Day Parades, the Gold Fundraisers, and Blue Claws Military Day.
In addition, Peggy is actively involved in various community actitvities. She is a member of the Jersey Shore Running Club and volunteered for that organization’s “Kids Run the Nation” after-school program. Peggy has also volunteered for over 20 years for the annual Special Olympics Track and Field Day.
Local 5058 President Kendra McCann Has Op-Ed on Staffing in the Asbury Park Press
April 7, 2015
Kendra McCann’s op-ed in support of safe staffing standards in hospitals, including nurse to patient ratios, has appeared in the Asbury Park Press. Kendra’s op-ed is part of HPAE’s campaign to pass S1183, legislation that would mandate safe staffing levels and acuity systems in hospitals.
Local 5058 Joins with Other HPAE Locals in Lobby Day
March 16, 2015
Lobby Day was a great success. Over 300 members of HPAE and other healthcare unions in the Coalition for Patients Rights and Safe Staffing (CPRSS) came to Trenton to talk to state legislators about the need for staffing legislation, including nurse to patient staffing ratios, which ensure quality care and patient safety.
HPAE members throughout the state of New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania were enthusiastic and excited to participate in Lobby Day. During the day, we held 23 meetings with state legislators, many of whom pledged their full support for a safe staffing bill.
Local 5058 and Local 5138 members with State Senator Beck in the State Capitol building:
Local 5058 at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 1, 2015
Continuing an annual tradition despite the bitter cold temperatures and snow, Local 5058 members joined thousands in Belmar for the 42nd St. Patrick’s Day parade. We even had a canine mascot to keep us company.
More photos from the Parade: