Please attribute the following statement to HPAE President Debbie White, RN:
HPAE, New Jersey’s largest union of healthcare workers, stands in solidarity with our New York nursing colleagues as they fight to improve working conditions, salaries and staffing policies at their hospitals.
Chronic understaffing by hospital employers prior to the pandemic, exacerbated by the added stress of the pandemic itself, have caused nurses to migrate out of hospital nursing. Currently we are facing a staffing crisis unlike any other in history. As a result, the healthcare system is at risk. We must forge pathways that address both recruitment of both new nurses and nurses who have left the field and retention of nurses who remain at the bedside.
As we now face the trifecta of R.S.V., flu and Covid-19, some employers continue to propose the same practices that caused this staffing crisis in the first place; practices that jeopardize both nurse safety and, ultimately, patient care. Employers need to listen to unionized nurses, who know what their colleagues and their patients need.
Nurses never want to go on strike. Unfortunately, they have no alternative. So, we urge elected officials and regulators, rather than coerce the striking nurses back to work, to find equitable resolutions to the issues that forced these dedicated professionals away from their patients.
For more information, contact: Michael Allen, (646) 436-7556.