Registered Nurses at Inspira Health Network voted to approve new three-year contracts to cover 1,300 nurses across four hospitals in the health system. Nurses represented by HPAE voted throughout the day on July 7 in favor of the contract settlements for HPAE Local 5131 representing nurses at Inspira hospitals in Vineland, Elmer and Bridgeton and HPAE Local 5621 representing nurses at Inspira-Woodbury.
Throughout negotiations, nurses advocated for improved staffing, safe patient care, job protection as Inspira realigns and consolidates its facilities, and fair compensation to recruit and retain qualified nurses. “This agreement addresses our top priority as nurses to ensure we have safe staffing so we can provide the best care for our patients and our South Jersey community,” said Dana Barrett, RN, HPAE Local 5131 President, with 20 years of experience at Inspira hospitals in Vineland.
The new contract agreements include:
1. Safe Staffing Levels: Agreement to maintain staffing “grids” which will provide a framework for establishing safe nurse to patient ratios, to improve patient safety and patient care.
2. Job Protection: Agreement to maintain employment levels for Inspira-Woodbury nurses as Inspira builds a new hospital in Harrison Township in Gloucester County.
3. Wage Increases: 2.25% across the board wage increases each year of the three-year contract, additional step increases that average about 1% per year to retain qualified staff, and increase in on-call pay.
Nurses ratified these agreements after four months of negotiations, three contract extensions, and the involvement of a federal mediator.
“For the first time, all 1,300 nurses spoke as a united voice to protect quality patient care and the jobs of dedicated nurses who have worked at Woodbury for decades,” said Rich Wear, RN and HPAE Local 5621 President at Woodbury hospital. “This contract shows that when nurses are united, we can win improvements for ourselves, our patients, and our communities in South Jersey.”
The new contracts will go into effect immediately, with all raises and economic gains retroactive to June 1.
For more information contact: Bridget Devane, (732) 996-5493