Local 5004 Negotiations Update, May 28, 2024 - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Local 5004 Negotiations Update, May 28, 2024

Dear {{ FirstName | commonize | default: “Friend” }},

Today (5/28) we had our 13th negotiation session. Management provided us with responses to our staffing and on-call proposals. While we felt they were inadequate, it was a step in the right direction.

So – we spent the rest of our day working up counter proposals on ALL of our economic and staffing proposals.

We presented these to them late today, but only after your local president read a scathing review of EH management inspired by our membership (see below).

Strike School 2 is TOMORROW! Please make sure you attend so you can understand your role if we need to walk!!

Our next bargaining session is set for Thursday, May 30th. We will keep the membership updated as negotiations proceed.

In Solidarity,

HPAE Local 5004 Negotiations Committee

Our members are angry! They are angry with EH management. They are, as of last Wednesday the 22nd, angry with HPAE Negotiation Team because we did not hand in a strike notice.

Their anger stems from many issues:

  • lack of education to pharmaceuticals and new technologies, procedures
  • lack of equipment – OR not stocked properly; D8 lack of working vitals machines, manual BP cuffs, and doppler devices.
  • lack of inclusion of staff when physical layout changes will occur.
    • Example ICU/CVICU; no input from staff; MC unwilling to discuss alternatives; DON never responded to letters; emails sent from union leadership nor staff. Orientation – poor. Joanne Moldt, care manager asked to put orientation process together – ignored by mgmt.. Lost 89% of staff. EH nursing allowed a nurse who can run rings around any nurse and probably a few doctors, who started this unit, just transfer to PACU.
    • 3 Cohen; unit opened without call bells in rooms, supplies readily available, Pyxis, tube system. Lost 57% of staff.
    • What is the problem with informing union of upcoming changes? Have a discussion! MC can do what they want – but nurses vote with their sneakers! Nurses are angry!
  • COVID – yes unprecedented . Union met with J. O’Dea to talk about upcoming changes; suggestions offered by Union; Friday at 4P/5P email sent by O’Dea to Alice Barden stating what their plan was starting on Monday. Closed units; changed nurses shifts; sent nurses to areas where they could not function; no in-services for displaced nurses to be of assistance; no in-service for nurses whose patient population changed, (PACU becoming the clean ICU), no in-services for new pharmaceuticals. COVID bonus woefully inadequate.
  • After COVID, because hospitals lost so many healthcare worked, they embarked on market research analysis. They increased salaries by almost 5%, 8%, 10%. HPAE requested in December 2021 to re-open contract to address retention, recruitment and wages. HPAE asked every month for 11 months for the MC response. In November 2022, received a woeful wage proposal.

Your intent was to split the membership, but it only served to galvanize the members. Nurses are angry.

HPAE has requested several times for the MC retention/recruitment strategies. What are the established measurable goal needs that are the core component of any retention strategies and the effectiveness of each strategy in meeting EH goals. No response! We receive words on paper.

  • Did EH have:
    • any discussions with the nurses who left the ICU
    • any discussions with the nurses who left 3 Cohen. This unit was touted for their unit-based team initiatives in Kathy Kaminsky September 2023 newsletter. Were these initiatives implemented ? What are the outcomes? Actually they fell by the wayside. 3 Cohen’s turnover rate was 20.3% in 2023.
    • any discussions with nurses who have been identified as a flight risk
    • turnover rate for 2023 is 18%; NJ average is 14.2%, National average is 15%*
    • vacancy rate for year 2023 is 20.4%; National average is 9%*

    *2024 NSI National Healthcare Retention and RN Staffing Report

    When nurses are not valued – they vote with their sneakers! Nurses are angry!