HPAE Local 5030 Members Ratify Contract with HMH to Institute First Staffing Ratios in Hospital’s History - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

HPAE Local 5030 Members Ratify Contract with HMH to Institute First Staffing Ratios in Hospital’s History

HPAE Local 5030 members have overwhelmingly ratified a historic contract with Hackensack Meridian Health, the owner of Palisades Medical Center, that establishes patient-to-staff ratios for the first time in the hospital’s history.

HPAE President Debbie White, RN, congratulated HPAE Local 5030 President Tara Rojo and her members for their resilient and principled fight for a contract that improved care to the hospital’s patients as well as making significant progress in enhancing workplace conditions.

Over the life of the contract, employees will see 9 to 15 percent wage increases, along with other economic gains. The contract will institute the following staffing ratios in hospital departments:

  • Med/Surg: 1:5
  • Critical Care: 1:2
  • 3 East-Intermediate Care Unit (step down) 1:4
  • Special Care Nursery 1:4

The Emergency Department will have one triage registered nurse along with five other registered nurses at 7 a.m.; eight RNs from 11 a.m.to 7 p.m.; and five RNs at 11 p.m. The contract also includes a new staffing side letter to hire as many as 50 additional staff, including 29 RNs.

Additionally, along with a stronger staffing committee language, the contract calls for the hospital’s Chief Nursing Executive and the Local Union President to meet within thirty days of ratification to discuss staffing guidelines for other departments and units and the steps that will be taken to augment staffing where they are found to be lagging.

“The staffing and economic gains in this contract will significantly reduce stress on the job for these dedicated healthcare workers and go a long way in helping us retain staff in this hospital,” White said. “We hope this agreement means that HMH recognizes that the staff are the hospital’s most valuable asset and should be nurtured and supported.”

HPAE Local 5030 represents approximately 800 Registered Nurses, Professionals, Technical Staff, License Practical Nurses, Service Workers, and Skilled Maintenance Staff at HMH Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, NJ.

“We demanded safe staffing ratios in our contract to benefit our patients, to help us better care for them,” Rojo said. It is a relief to finally put this behind us so we can get back to our jobs.”


For more information, contact: Michael Allen, (646) 436-7556.