Nurses and health professionals represented by HPAE have withdrawn their notice to conduct informational picketing at both hospitals. Last week notice was given to CarePoint administration informing them of HPAE’s intent to conduct informational picketing on Wednesday, June 27 outside of both hospitals. Negotiations resumed throughout the week with significant improvements, yet reaching a settlement by the expiration date of June 30, 2018 is uncertain.
On Monday, June 25 both HPAE Locals called off the rallies and requested a Federal Mediator to join the negotiations to assist in moving the parties towards a settlement.
“Throughout these negotiations nurses have stood together to keep the protections in our contract to ensure we as professionals are valued, that our voices are respected, so we can continue to advocate for patient safety and workers’ rights,” said Nicole Mankowski, RN and President of HPAE Local 5186.
At the start of negotiations, workers received layoff notices at Bayonne Medical Center after CarePoint Health received approval from NJ Department of Health (DOH) to hand over the management and operations of dialysis services to Fresenius, LLC, a national for profit corporation. Just last week, the employer notified the nurses at Christ Hospital of their plans to close Pediatric inpatient services by filing an application with NJ DOH at the end of June to begin the review process
“Many of the staff at Bayonne Medical Center have provided treatment and support in a safe environment for decades. When outside companies are hired to replace the dedicated and experienced staff at our hospital this can create a disturbance in treatment and potentially put patient care at risk,” said John Bauer, RN and President of HPAE Local 5185.
As negotiations continue nurses and health professionals will demand that their contract includes enhanced staffing levels to improve patient safety, as well as seeking to gain protections for workers confronted with corporate owners attempting to erode workers’ rights limiting their ability to stand together to protect the interests of their patients.
Bargaining will take place every day this week leading up to the June 30th contract expiration date.