Salem RNs Begin Bargaining for First Contract

 

HPAE Local 5142 RNs at Memorial Hospital of Salem County are finally at the bargaining table, negotiating their first contract with the for-profit owner of the hospital, Community Health Systems (CHS). At today’s bargaining session, the Local 5142 Negotiations Committee presented management with a comprehensive package of proposals, with the exception of proposals regarding some benefits and other economic issues.

Photo below of the Negotiations Committee: Left to Right – Cindy Boccuto, Patrice Sharkey, Cindy Carter, Pam Thomas, Denise Abbott, and Rick Shoulders

Management is currently reviewing our initial proposals and has indicated that they will be prepared to respond at the next bargaining session on April 18. Three additional bargaining sessions have been scheduled.

After RNs voted overwhelmingly for HPAE representation, CHS refused to bargain with Local 5142 and used a series of delay tactics to avoid negotiations. However, in December 2015, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that CHS had violated the labor law by refusing to bargain with HPAE and upheld an order from the National Labor Relations Board for the hospital to enter contract negotiations with us.

In addition to wages and the cost of health insurance, improvements in staffing are a major priority for the hospital’s nurses.