RNs - New Jersey

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Nurses march to hold union vote

New York organizers help spread message. Andrea Alexander, Asbury Park Press, December 12, 2006 Toms River - More than 20 nurses at Community Medical Center who said they are fighting for more staffing and better working conditions picketed in front of the hospital Monday to demand they be allowed to vote on a proposal to unionize. Hospital administrators released a statement after the picketing to inform the public that nurses were not on strike or involved in a work stoppage. The informational picketing "did not affect hospital operations or staffing levels in any way," according to the statement from Community Medical Center. ... Nurses

Judge rules in favor of nurse's union

Matt Dunn, Today's Sunbeam, November 7, 2006 Vineland - The vote is 303 to 287 in favor of the union. That's the end result of an election to unionize all 800 of the South Jersey Healthcare's registered nurses including those at Elmer Hospital with Health Professionals and Allied Employees AFT/AFL/CIO. SJH challenged the original results of the election, which favored the union 299 to 279, and 67 votes were disputed by either SJH or HPAE. After countless hearings conducted over the last couple of months, it was an administrative law judge who decided this week that SJH's nurses have the right to join the 11,000-member HPAE. ... Judge

Christ Hospital, nurses agree on pensions

Ali Winston, Jersey Journal, October 21, 2006 Four days before nurses were to go on strike at Christ Hospital in Jersey City, a tentative agreement was reached yesterday. "There will be no strike, terms were reached and settled on an amicable basis," said Peter A. Kelly, president and CEO of Christ Hospital. Representatives from Health Professionals and Allied Employees, the nurses' union, handed in a notice on Oct. 14 that they would strike in 10 days if an agreement on a pension plan was not reached. ... Christ

Filipino nurses lead strike at hospital

Rita Villadiego, Philippine News, October 18, 2006 Negotiations between management and employees, mostly Filipinos, of Christ Hospital over retirees’ benefits failed Wednesday, pushing the union to submit a notice of strike set for Oct. 24. “We didn’t get a settlement, nothing happened. We will go on with our plan to strike,” said Filipino American Carmen Manebo, president of Health Professionals and Allied Employees of Christ Hospital. There are 1,500 employees, nurses at the hospital, about 50 percent of them are Filipinos. ... Filipino

Nurses ill over pension

Ali Winston, Jersey Journal, October 14, 2006 Nurses at Christ Hospital in Jersey City have given notice that they will go on strike in 10 days if negotiations over changes to their pension plan are not resolved. Further talks are scheduled for Tuesday and a union official said if no progress is made nurses will walk out on Oct. 24. Christ Hospital and the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union, which represents 450 nurses at the hospital, have been at loggerheads over the administration's proposal to switch pension plans from the current federally insured and regulated plan to a "church" option that is not insured and does not cover all current and former employees. ... Nurses

New Brunswick nurses win strike

Sue Davis, Workers World, October 13, 2006
It took a 25-day strike for 1,300 nurses at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ, to win a decent three-year contract. The big issue, ironically, was health coverage, which the union says was “greatly improved.” A joint worker/management committee was set up to look into continuing health-care issues. The nurses, represented by United Steel Workers Local 4-200, also won 3-percent pay raises for each year of the contract and new employee rights and safety provisions. This strike just goes to show why all nurses need collective bargaining rights to fight off the bosses’ attacks.

Menendez endorsed by nurses, ministers

Pete McAleer, Press of Atlantic City, October 12, 2006 Trenton - Sen. Bob Menendez picked up key endorsements Wednesday from a group of nurses unions and from leaders of the Black Ministers Council. Both groups could play a crucial role getting voters to the polls in a tight Senate race between Menendez, a Democrat, and his Republican challenger, state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. At separate press conferences in Trenton, both groups cited Menendez's support for an increase in the federal minimum wage as a reason for the endorsement. “We're thrilled,” Menendez said of the endorsements. “And we're thrilled because of who these people are.” ... Menendez

Focus on nurses' pension plan

Ken Thorbourne, Jersey Journal, September 22, 2006 In light of positive movement at the bargaining table, 450 nurses at Christ Hospital in Jersey City suspended a strike vote yesterday in order to hammer out a pension plan agreement with management before a Sept. 30 deadline, union officials said. At issue is whether the hospital will switch to a "church" pension plan under the IRS code or remain with the current federally insured and regulated pension plan, union and hospital officials said. The "church" plan would allow the hospital to invest less in the pension accounts than the current Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan, but the pay-out to retirees would remain the same. ... Focus

A month later, striking nurses agree to return

Hospital's terms rejected before. Ralph R. Ortega, Newark Star-Ledger, September 18, 2006 A 25-day strike by nurses at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital ended yesterday when nurses overwhelmingly voted to approve a new contract, which essentially kept the terms of a tentative agreement originally rejected by the union membership. The vote was 769 in favor to 117 against the contract, according to Jerry Collins, president of United Steelworkers Local 4-200, which represents the nurses union at the New Brunswick hospital. Collins claimed victory for the upstart union, which he said did not agree to any "give-back" concessions. ... A month later

NJ nurses stand up to union-busting threats

Nagesh Rao, Socialist Worker, September 15, 2006 New Brunswick - As their strike entered its third week, nurses at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) were holding strong. The strike by 1,330 nurses, members of United Steel Workers Local 4-200, began August 25 following management’s refusal to provide the nurses with adequate health coverage. The nurses are currently covered by a health plan administered by Qualcare that forces the nurses to come to RWJUH for their medical needs, and only to a small group of "in-network" doctors. Those who seek care elsewhere face harsh penalties of $1,000 for each hospital admission and $800 for each outpatient procedure. ... NJ

Nurses, hospital to meet

Mediator spurs Tuesday talks. David Stegon, Home News Tribune, September 9, 2006 New Brunswick - The federal mediator involved in negotiations between officials at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the nurses union has called the two sides together for a meeting Tuesday in what will be the first official talks since the nurses went on strike Aug. 24, hospital and union officials confirmed. Union officials told the hospital's more than 1,300 nurses of the scheduled meeting at a membership meeting Thursday night. The announcement was met with both caution and optimism in the context of what has been a contentious negotiation involving allegations of bad-faith labor practices by both sides. ... Nurses

Hospital chief stepping down

Stephenson led RWJ-Hamilton to industry prominence. Darryl R. Isherwood, Trenton Times, September 8, 2006 Hamilton - Christy Stephenson, who oversaw the ascen sion of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton to the pinnacle of the region's health-care industry, is resigning from her position as chief executive officer, a spokesman for the hospital announced last night. Stephenson, who has been the chief executive of the hospital since 1998, said she was resigning to move to a new, less intense, phase in her life. "I've been at the hospital for eight and a half years as CEO and it's time for me to balance my life a little bit more," she said. "I have loved the organization and my time here has been absolutely wonderful." The resignation will be effective on Jan. 1, and Stephenson said her replacement would come from within the organization. ... Hospital

Colorado firm provides nurses

David Stegon, Home News Tribune, September 8. 2006 New Brunswick - US Nursing Corp., the nation's largest supplier of temporary replacements for nursing strikes, is providing the replacement nurses currently staffing Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, hospital officials confirmed. The Denver-based company provides replacement employees for roughly 95 percent of all health-care labor disputes nationwide and is actively recruiting for nurses to fill the ongoing Robert Wood Johnson strike, which entered the start of its third week yesterday. ... Colorado

Nurses' strike hits Week 3

David Stegon, Home News Tribune, September 7, 2006 New Brunswick - With trash bags wrapped around her legs and a sign rubber-banded to her chest, Mary Lynn Dupuis picketed in front of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital as Tropical Depression Ernesto soaked Central Jersey Saturday afternoon. Despite the weather, a contingent of nurses maintained their post on the streets surrounding the hospital in a show of solidarity. "I looked over and there was a man with water running straight off his hat into his coffee cup," said Dupuis, a nurse at the hospital for 18 years. "I asked him if it tasted a little watery and just started to laugh." ... Nurses

Nurses confront Corzine

No bargaining sessions planned. David Stegon, Home News Tribune, September 6, 2006 Piscataway - Gov. Jon S. Corzine said he hopes to "bridge the gap" between Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital officials and leaders of the nurses union to bring a conclusion to the nurses' strike, which starts its third week tomorrow. Although no bargaining sessions are planned between the two sides, a group of nurses said Corzine told them before yesterday's town hall meeting at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey that the two sides "are not that far apart." ... Nurses

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