Last week, 200 HPAE delegates, members, and staff came together to launch an ambitious plan to take on corporate healthcare, deepen membership involvement, win strong contracts, grow our union and strengthen community alliances.
Make no mistake, we are in difficult times and we need to take on increasingly more powerful health systems if we are to protect our workplace rights, our voice in patient care and the standards of care and working conditions we have worked so hard to earn.
That’s why we also supported changes to HPAE’s constitution, to adapt to these changing conditions, allowing us to be more effective and at the same time, more careful with the resources we have. It’s why we supported specific resolutions to expand our organizing and membership programs, to build our strength and capacity.
That’s also why our State Executive Council proposed, and our convention delegates passed a resolution to increase our dues, so that we have the resources to protect and advance our programs.
The increase, from 1.1% to 1.25% will have minimal impact on members, and we wanted to make sure of that. It will mean only a few more dollars per pay period in dues. For example, a member making $70,000 per year will only pay $4 more in dues per pay period. The increase will be scheduled to take effect with the first paychecks of 2017.
Still, we know that HPAE members are working hard to stay ahead financially, and no one will welcome paying more. But without this increase, HPAE’s budget will continue to operate at a deficit, and we would not be able to keep pace with our members’ needs and aspirations.
We urge you to review the campaigns and programs launched at our 2016 Convention – and see how engaged we will be this year in fighting to protect the advances we’ve made for all healthcare workers over the years. We are fighting to protect members’ insurance coverage – and we are out there fighting surprise medical bills and ‘narrow networks’ that limit our members’ options and increase their costs.
We are challenging hospital mergers when they threaten our rights, or jobs. We are still fighting for safe staffing, in contracts and in the NJ legislature.
If you have questions on our programs, on the constitutional changes or on the dues increase, feel free to reach out to any of us. We hope you will get engaged with these programs and fight alongside your colleagues for a healthcare system that works for all of us.
President Ann Twomey
First Vice President Bernie Gerard
Secretary-Treasurer Barbara Rosen