June 17, 2016
Nurses, clinical staff and employees at Sunrise House, an addiction center affiliated with the national for-profit chain, American Addiction Centers, have been successful in winning the right to vote for union representation with HPAE, NJ’s largest union of nurses and healthcare professionals. The election will be held on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 and overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency responsible for labor-management laws. Sunrise House has more than 120 non-supervisory employees that will take part in the election. Staff petitioned the NLRB for the election on June 9.
“The staff at Sunrise House have dedicated their working lives to help those with substance abuse. Employees had concerns with safety, staffing and standards that they could not address without a voice in their workplace, “said Ann Twomey, President of HPAE. “Nurses, clinical staff and employees all want to provide the best and safest care, and with union representation, they will have the voice they need to make positive changes for themselves and their patients.”
In March of this year, the New Jersey Department of Human Services cited the American Addiction Centers, Inc., a national for-profit chain of addiction services, for thirty deficiencies at three locations, many of which were at the Sunrise House. The deficiencies mirrored many of the staff concerns, including a failure to maintain staffing levels of licensed or certified counseling staff, lack of required staff training and lack of direct clinical supervision.
“With the current opioid addiction epidemic, the workers at Sunrise house provide a vital service to those struggling with addiction,” said Twomey. “They deserve to have the opportunity to improve the conditions they work under as they increase the possibility for a better life for their clients.”
Contact: Jeanne Otersen 201-262-5005 or 201-280-9279