We had our fourth day of bargaining with the hospital. We gave Inspira responses to many of the issues both sides have presented over the past month.
On the first day of bargaining we proposed nurse to patient ratios to ensure our patients have the staff they need. Last week, Inspira rejected our proposal. We had nurses speak eloquently about what they face on a daily basis when they are short staffed and how this can compromise patient care.
Inspira made a proposal last week giving them the ability to reassign nurses to all campuses throughout the entire system during a critical need. This means that a nurse from Vineland could be floated to Woodbury and vice versa. We expressed our objection to that yesterday. It would create a hardship for many of our members. Working in our home units, in our own hospital is best for patient care.
The hospital also wants to increase per diem requirements in order to fill holes on the schedule. We objected because we would lose many per diems that can’t commit to the increased requirements. This would create even more staffing shortages instead of less.
They rejected our proposal to give us the ability to schedule holidays working with our unit based councils. We believe greater input from nurses regarding holiday scheduling would lead to a better process for staffing the week of the holiday.
We are still awaiting their economic proposals regarding our wages, tuition reimbursement, benefits and PTO.
Without a Union, management would be able to implement any of their proposals and have complete control over our working conditions. But because we are members of a Union we have the ability to negotiate all of these issues. It’s going to take all of us standing together to improve our standards of work in ways we know are best for ourselves and our patients.
The next session will be held at the Marriott Courtyard in Glassboro on May 1st. Management will be presenting a staffing proposal to us that day. Members are encouraged to attend. Please arrive by 9:30 am if you plan to be there.
Local 5131 Bargaining Team
Dana Barrett, Vineland NICU
Caroline Sands, Elmer ICU
Kelly Fordyce, ED
Karen Bailey, Vineland SICU
Tracy Sheppard, Cath Lab
Local 5621 Bargaining Team
April Ferrara, ICU
Tracy Cefaratti, ICU
Liz Hice, 4th Floor
Michele Carey, 5PW
Colleen Kupsey, Peds
Art Matthews, BHU
Julia Carotenuto-Sutton, Cath Lab