Special Joint Message from the Presidents of HPAE Locals 5131 and 5621 - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Special Joint Message from the Presidents of HPAE Locals 5131 and 5621

As some of you are aware, INSPIRA at Mullica Hill (MH) has notified the 5621 members that they are restructuring the unit from a LRDP model to a LDP model to mimic Vineland with three separate and distinct units of Labor and Delivery (L&D), Mother/Baby (MB) and the Intermediate Care Nursery (ICN).

Additionally, at the mid-February meeting, management announced they are creating 19 new positions (13.9 FTEs). During this announcement, management stated they would be sending out a survey to identify what preferences staff had to the separate L&D/MB/ICN units. The final assignments to division of these units would have positions granted by seniority.

One week later, we, HPAE and both local presidents, were notified that the entire platform of Elmer Maternal Child Health (MCH) services would be closing in mid-April. Now we are tasked with integrating Elmer MCH staff into the newly reorganized LDP platform. We were assured that there were a sufficient number of positions to accommodate staff from both locals and Elmer staff would be welcomed into Local 5621.

Please be advised to all Local 5131 members, this closure is specific to Elmer MCH. We have been assured repeatedly that there is no intent to close the remainder of the hospital.

During this transition, management opted to give staff, according to the survey, their selected positions via email notification, and circumvent Article 35, the job posting process in our contract (CBA). Thus, allowing for change in positions, as well as status.

Our Demand to Bargain went unaddressed as management claimed they were providing full transparency. This breech, however, has left many of the Mullica Hill and Elmer nurses disillusioned as to positions and shifts at MH.

Please be assured that both presidents have been working closely with HPAE reps to ensure this was a smoother process. Please be advised that when management blames the Union, that is untrue and inappropriate. To ensure that the process was done fairly and correctly, we have filed a grievance that requests management to start over using a fair, equitable and transparent process consistent with the Local 5621 CBA.

As management was only willing to bargain after the positions were awarded, we have negotiated a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to minimize the effects of Elmer MCH staff during their transition to MH.

We have been striving very hard to get the best outcome for all of members in both locals. As we identify as separate locals, we are indeed one Union and have to stay UNION STRONG!!!

In Solidarity,

Caroline Sands, President Local 5131
April Ferrara, President Local 5621