Our HPAE bargaining committee met with HMH management on May 27. After an initial review of the contract side letters at 9:30am, we waited until 5:51pm for HMH to come back with their economic proposals.
We ask you to do several things to express your opinions about the proposals we received on May 27.
- We want every nurse to be wearing the Union stickers, which have been collected by Reps and should be shared on your unit.
- We want every nurse to ask your nurse manager and assistant nurse mangers, during huddle or with a witness, “What is Hackensack trying to do to us?” (details below)
- We want nurses telling other nurses about what happened in negotiations.
- A public petition to Governor Murphy is coming in the next day. We need it signed by every person you know.
HMH proposed the following changes to our contract. This is not a complete list and we will have more to report. That said, we have been risking our lives throughout this pandemic. The public recognizes our efforts, but Hackensack Meridian Health is treating us like garbage:
- Raises that are unequal to the raises of nurses at other facilities, including less money for new nurses. Starting rate for new hires is about $4/hour less than offered at OMC, Riverview, and other HMH hospitals nearby.
- No float districts. All nurses can be floated to any unit. We have seen this in action at OMC.
- They also proposed elimination of all rules around floating, including our no floating of RN’s with less than 1 year and no floating of RN’s with more than 10 years.
- Elimination of the open shift and extra shift program. No incentives for extra shifts/overtime shifts. Elimination of critical shift bonus.
- Elimination of the CARE program.
- No limit on the duties that a nurse must perform, forcing every nurse to take the work of other crucial staff in the hospital.
- Disbanding the float pool as we know it and only a small core of per diem nurses will be left to utilize as coverage. Minimizing float pool differentials and the elimination of float tiers.
- BSN differential rolled into the base rate.
- Convert hourly certification differential to a $2500 bonus.
- A 30 year pay scale that will not improve the wages of nurses with more experience and does not take international experience into account.
- Roll backs on all Health Insurance protections we won in the last contract.
We know what to say to their proposals. These are not complicated arguments. Staffing, patient safety, worker safety, oversight and fair wages must be addressed in our new contract. But HMH needs to hear from every one of you. Tell your manager what you think and use your stickers and face shields to let one another and the public know that you’re strong. Union strong.
Adam Witt, Local 5058 President and the Local 5058 Bargaining Committee