Local 5105 RNs voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to ratify a new three-year contract agreement with administration at Virtua Health. The contract makes important gains in improving patient safety and workplace conditions at Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly, Virtua Community Services and Virtua’s Center for Women.
The contract agreement includes provisions to improve staffing levels inside the hospital, including:
• Creating an electronic system to report unsafe staffing in a timely manner,
• Develop a new joint committee to focus on critical staffing shortages in the Emergency Department,
• Additional sleep time for full-time RNs working additional on-call time, and
• Hire more nurses in areas of the hospital currently understaffed.
“Throughout negotiations nurses spoke out against unsafe staffing conditions to urge administration to make sure there are enough nurses working each shift to care for their patients. We reached an agreement that addresses nurses’ priorities including improvements in staffing,” said Debbie White, HPAE Local 5105 President.
Photo below: Debbie White discussing the contract agreement with a member:
The contract also provides for economic gains for the nurses, including a 6.75 percent wage increase over the life of the contract, a 5% cap on employees’ contributions for current health insurance premiums and additional bonuses for clinical certifications.