The new three-year contract improves wages, health and sick time benefits, and violence prevention
HPAE Local 5147 members—Registered Nurses, Professionals, Technical Staff, and Service Workers—have ratified a new three-year union contract with Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus, NJ.
The new contract sets nurse to patient staffing ratios and commits the employer to develop a Staffing Committee with union members. The purpose of this committee will be to evaluate the contractual ratios and to make recommendations for new staffing standards for nurses and for other healthcare workers such as nursing assistants. The new contract provisions not only benefit patients and workers, but will also give the Employer an advantage in recruiting and retaining healthcare workers who have been rapidly leaving the profession due to untenable working conditions.
HPAE Local 5147 President Emer Frani, RN, said he was gratified that the work of the bargaining committee on behalf of the local’s membership has been rewarded with a contract with historic protections for patients as well as healthcare workers.
“We went into this contract renewal with the goal of improving safe staffing ratios,” Frani said. “It was, across the board, a primary issue confronting our members because it affects patients and workers. Safe staffing, for me as a someone responsible for direct patient care, would allow me to take care of my patients the way that they need to be taken care of.
“That is why I am so proud of what we accomplished in this contract renewal. The negotiations were tough. We did not get everything we wanted but we feel the new safe staffing provisions and other improvements that we negotiated will help us retain staff providing bedside care.”
HPAE President Debbie White, RN, congratulated Frani, Local 5147’s negotiating committee and the membership for their resolve in negotiating language that will help solve the hospital’s staffing crisis.
“This contract is part of a multi-front effort to help solve the hospital staffing crisis,” White said. “We will continue bargaining safe staffing provisions into our contracts while fighting for a law to mandate staffing ratios statewide. Safe staffing saves lives, saves money for hospitals, and is the top solution to recruiting and retaining nurses in hospitals.”
Some other highlights of the new contract include:
- Develop and expand Violence Prevention Training to address the increasing incidents of violent incidents occurring in the healthcare industry.
- Increases the amount of sick time allowing workers to fully recover from illnesses or disability.
- Mandating the employer to post staff positions when employees are working too much per diem, agency and overtime hours.
- Expanded the types of jobs which are eligible to become a member of HPAE Local 5147 and receive the benefits of union membership.
For more information, contact: Michael Allen, (646) 436-7556.