RNs - New Jersey

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McGreevey calls union head

Lourdes' nurses walkout raises governor's concern.
Jeanne Ridgway, Courier-Post, May 1, 2004

Willingboro - Gov. James E. McGreevey telephoned the head of JNESO, the labor union representing striking nurses at Lourdes Medical Center, to express concern about the work stoppage which will enter its third week on Monday.

Virginia Treacy, executive director of the New Brunswick-based union, received the call Thursday evening. She declined to speak in detail about the conversation with the governor.

"He did not commit to any specific action, but he said he was aware that there is a problem and that he is very concerned about it," said Treacy. "He wants to know what's going on, and he wants a fair assessment before he commits to anything."

Doctors praise fill-in nurses' care

Lourdes physicians take out newspaper ad.
Jeanne Ridgway, Courier-Post, April 30, 2004

Willingboro - Sixteen physicians at Lourdes Medical Center say patient care "has never been better" at the hospital where temporary nurses from a Colorado staffing agency have been filling in for 250 striking nurses since April 19.

"We wanted to assure and reassure our patients that the quality of care at the hospital is excellent. They should have no fear about the quality of care," said Dr. Stuart Mest, head of the Lourdes medical staff.

Last week, JNESO, the union representing the striking nurses, urged the community to boycott Lourdes over patient safety issues.

Mest, along with 15 other physicians, signed an open letter to the community in the form of a full-page ad that appeared Thursday in the Burlington County Times.

Lourdes announces plans to lay off 33 in Willingboro

2 departments face restructuring.
Angela Rucker, Courier-Post, September 30, 2003

Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County says it will lay off 33 employees and modify the work schedules of others in a bid to restructure two departments at the Willingboro community hospital.

The changes will mean greater efficiency in the obstetrics and surgical areas of the hospital, officials said.

But the union that represents the hospital's 300 nurses - affected by both the layoffs and the scheduling changes - is girding to battle parts of the plan.

"We regret that these changes will result in the loss of some valued employees, and we do not minimize the impact on others who are having their schedules and hours changed," Alex Hatala, president and CEO of Lourdes Health System, said in a statement. "Our goal is to provide quality care to our patients in an efficient and effective manner, and these changes help us to achieve this goal."

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