We are pleased to announce that your HPAE Local 5135 bargaining team has reached a tentative agreement with Rutgers management for a new contract covering UCHC Medical Health Registered Nurses. This is our first contract since the merger with Rutgers. We protected the standards we’ve worked hard to achieve, made a number of significant improvements to our previous contract and fought off concessions.
Some highlights of the agreement include:
- Four-year term: October 2014 through June 2018
- Annual across-the-board pay raises for all full-time and part-time staff nurses and APNs, retroactive to October 2014
- Continuation of the experienced-based scale for staff nurses, including step moves for staff nurses, retroactive to October 2014
- Increases to the per diem staff nurse rates
- Protection from wage freezes like the one at Rutgers in 2010
- Protection from legislative increases to the cost of health benefits
- Additional days off
- Tuition remission for dependent children
- An agreement to combine contracts for all HPAE RNs in the prisons, including, for the first time, less-than-20 hour part-time (“.3”) staff nurses.
There are many other improvements we look forward to sharing with you. A full summary will be posted on our website next week. The agreement must first be ratified by a vote of our members before it can go into effect.
We will schedule a series of membership meetings to review the terms of the new contract and answer any questions you have before the ratification vote. Voting will be conducted online and by phone. Look for more details and the meeting schedule to be posted on Monday, November 30 after the holiday weekend.
These were long and difficult negotiations. I commend those members who showed their support for our union during this process. I congratulate our negotiating committee, who volunteered their time, for their commitment and hard work. We know we still have our work cut out for us, but we are proud of what we achieved together.