March 6, 2020
Since Community Healthcare Associates (CHA) purchased Salem Medical Center, the administration has failed to respect the rights of the nurses and have not honored the contract signed by both parties just over a year ago, a contract which has now expired. The nurses represented by HPAE Local 5142 have called in a Federal mediator who attend negotiations on March 4th as both parties continue to negotiate.
“When CHA purchased our community hospital last year, the nursing staff were optimistic as we looked forward to working with an employer who would respect our rights and our professionalism. Unfortunately, we have met the same resistance and disrespect as experienced with our previous employer. The promises made have been broken, yet we will continue to move forward to protect our rights as nursing staff and we will continue to advocate for our patients’ safety,” said Pam Green Thomas, President of Local 5142.
Negotiations began in early January yet have moved slowly over the last three months. Nurses are advocating for improved staffing levels to increase patient safety and retain experienced nursing staff at the hospital. The approximately 120 nurses represented by the union are committed to fighting for a contract that honors and respects the nursing staff
The hospital was purchased by CHA in December 2018. CHS, a national for-profit health corporation based in Tennessee, purchased the hospital in 2002. At that time, the NJ Attorney General allocated $34 Million of the hospital’s charitable assets to be placed in a nonprofit foundation, dedicated to funding health care programs in Salem County. The Foundation committed $29 Million to CHA to assist in the purchase of the hospital.
For more information contact: Bridget Devane, (732) 996-5493