Cornerstone Hospital nurses persevered under tough working conditions and long-expired contract
Cornerstone Behavioral Health Hospital nurses — members of HPAE Local 5112 — have won vastly improved wages and working conditions in a new contract that should go a long way toward helping the hospital in Berkeley Heights, Union County recruit and retain nurses.
In addition to an across-the-board 2 percent annual wage increase, the new deal moves workers to a new, revised wage scale that provides our members with 8 to 11 percent pay increases.
“This contract recognizes the value of nurses working together to achieve improvements in working conditions and better safety and care for our patients,” HPAE Local 5112 President Wendi Esteves said. “It took dedication to sacrifice in the ongoing pandemic and this new contract will lay the groundwork that we need to continue to serve our patients in the future.”
Significantly, workers won “successorship” language in the new contract ensuring transparency in the event the County decides to sell Cornerstone in the future. They also strengthened health and safety language to ensure that members are trained twice a year on properly on donning and doffing equipment.
“Cornerstone nurses have been on the front lines during the pandemic, and we should cherish and protect them,” HPAE President Debbie White, RN, said. ““This contract is a testament to the value of HPAE union members working together to achieve common goals.””
The contract, which is retroactive to January 1, 2022, will run through December 31, 2025. The hospital’s 27 nurses have been working under the terms of a contract that expired in December 2021.
For more information, contact: Michael Allen, (646) 436-7556