HPAE workers walk away from table with HMH - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

HPAE workers walk away from table with HMH

HPAE Reaches Agreement with Cooper and Englewood Hospitals, But HMH is miles apart from the rest.

HPAE healthcare workers walk away from the Negotiations Table with Hackensack Meridian Health to discuss Strike plans with their membership.

After several months of negotiations, HPAE Local 5030 walked away from the negotiations table just as the contract with their employer, Hackensack Meridian, expired. Although HMH is the most profitable of the three employers in bargaining with HPAE, HMH proposals failed to compare to the tentative agreements reached with Cooper University Health Care and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.

“HPAE members have been crystal clear about the important issues: enforceable safe staffing ratios and fair wage increases. Englewood and Cooper understood that addressing both issues will help retain nurses in their hospitals. Hackensack Meridian is one of the wealthiest corporations in the state but addressed neither issue in any meaningful way. HMH should have come to the table with proposals that go far beyond what Englewood and Coooper have already agreed to in these negotiations. This is an insult to healthcare workers who gave their all during the pandemic,” said Debbie White, President of HPAE.

HPAE Local 5030 represents approximately 800 nurses, health professionals, technical staff, license practical nurses, service workers and skill maintenance staff at HMH Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, NJ.

Earlier in the evening HPAE Local 5118 reached a tentative agreement with Cooper University Health Care, while HPAE Local 5004 reached a tentative agreement with Englewood Hospital closer to midnight. Fifty years ago, the first of our locals, HPAE Local 5004 at Englewood voted to unionize. Since then, HPAE has grown to become the largest union of nurses and healthcare workers in the state.

“We know that working understaffed has resulted in nurses and healthcare workers leaving hospital jobs. We know from decades of studies that mandated staffing ratios have a positive effect on the delivery of care for patients. Healthcare workers have reached their limit, and they can no longer work under these conditions,” White added.

“Union contracts must set new standards for workers and patients. We know having a union contract with enforceable staffing ratios will help to retain our healthcare workers at the bedside. We can no longer just accept the status quo. We saw last year with USW nurses striking that we are in a new era, and it is time for large non-profit corporations, like Hackensack Meridian to listen to their workers who are demanding better conditions for their patients and for staff,” White added.

Details on all of the agreements reached between HPAE Local 5118 and Cooper University Health Care and HPAE Local 5004 with Englewood Hospital and Medical Center will not be released before the members vote to ratify.

For more information, contact: Bridget Devane, (732) 996-5493, bdevane@hpae.org