Local 5089 University Hospital members: important update on the Peds/PICU closure

University Hospital canceled its regularly scheduled Community Oversight Board meeting amid rumors that it would have to confront workers and members of the community regarding its decision to close the pediatric inpatient units in the Hospital. Once management announced its decision to drastically limit pediatric services, HPAE members from F-Blue (pediatrics) and PICU immediately went to work notifying the community as well as their co-workers of the Hospital’s plans. We felt it was imperative that everyone be made aware of these plans as it appears to be the beginning of the dismantling of services at University Hospital.

According to Dr. Kirton, the closure of the Pediatric unit and the Pediatric Intensive Care units are a direct result of having a low census for the past few years. HPAE vehemently opposes the Hospital’s decision because we recognize the negative impact it will have on the most vulnerable members of this community. Furthermore, residents of Newark have the right to be included into any plans made by the Hospital that changes how their children’s care would be delivered in their most desperate hour of need. The fact that the University Hospital administration continuously opts to disregard not only its staff but also the community gives us cause for concern.

The Hospital was expected to present its plans to the community officially for the first time at the Community Oversight Board meeting which was scheduled for Tuesday, April 3rd . Unfortunately, management cancelled the meeting with no warning on Monday, April 2nd and it has not announced plans to reschedule the meeting thus far. HPAE will continue to communicate information as details are provided. If you would like more information, please contact your local union rep.

Cynthia McDougall
HPAE Local 5089 President