Tuesday, May 29
Englewood – Rather than issue a ten day notice of their intent to strike, nurses at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center are allowing a Federal mediator to join negotiations. Last week, an overwhelming majority of nurses had authorized the HPAE Local 5004 negotiating team to hand over a ten day notice to management at their discretion. A ten day notice would have put the hospital on notice of the nurse’s intent to strike, hold an informational picket or use other concerted efforts. The current contract will expire on May 31st.
As negotiations continue, nurses are advocating for enhanced staffing levels and opportunities for increased educational growth for staff, both of which can lead to improved patient safety. In addition, nurses are seeking to protect the rights of unionized nurses and their ability to advocate for themselves and their patients in the future. With just a handful of independent, stand-alone hospitals left in the state, HPAE nurses are looking to protect their rights if their community hospital were to affiliate or merge with a large healthcare corporation. Nearly 700 nurses and thousands of other healthcare workers at the hospital deserve to know and understand what their rights are if a merger were to take place.
“At the negotiating table nurses are bargaining for improvements in patient safety and workers ‘ rights yet management has failed to reach an agreement that nurses will find acceptable,” said Alice Barden, President of HPAE Local 5004. “Our demands have been rejected at every turn, but as nurses, we are unified in protecting all that we have established in our contract and to protect our community hospital.”
“As nurses, protecting the future of the hospital and nurses’ union rights in light of rampant consolidation in the healthcare industry is of the utmost concern,” said Ann Twomey, President of HPAE. “Currently, the hospital has a clinical affiliation with Hackensack Meridian Health and the possibility of a merger creates uncertainty for healthcare professionals about their working conditions and patient safety measures they have fought to establish over the last 40 years. Nurses need an agreement from management to assure workers those rights will be protected no matter which corporation is running their hospital.”
Nurses will continue to negotiate with management of the hospital to ensure that patient care is not jeopardized; that there are enough nurses staffed on each unit so they can care for their patients; and a commitment to recognize and protect workers’ rights if a merger or an affiliation with another entity takes place. Nurses will negotiate with management throughout the day on Tuesday, May 29 for a contract that will lead to better patient outcomes and have a positive impact on the future of their hospital.
Throughout the state HPAE locals are in bargaining with Hackensack Meridian Health, Hudson Regional Medical Center and CarePoint Health systems seeking to gain protections as workers are bargaining with large health corporations, both non-profit and for-profit, who are attempting to erode workers’ voices. Healthcare workers are at the bargaining table advocating for patient and worker safety in their healthcare institutions whose corporate owners have a different priority of protecting the interests of the company before patients and workers.
For more information, contact Bridget Devane: (732) 996-5493