SOMERS POINT, N.J., Oct. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nurses at Shore Medical Center today announced a massive outpouring of support in their battle for a fair contract as over 700 members of the community - including business, union, and religious leaders - sign letters of support.
Members of the Shore Nurses Union reluctantly authorized a one-day strike scheduled to begin on October 22nd at 7am after management failed to offer a fair deal, refused to bargain in good faith, committed multiple unfair labor practices and demanded deep cuts for nurses.
The hundreds of letters of support came today from all across New Jersey including:
- St Katherine Drexel Parish in Egg Harbor Township
- St Peters United Methodist Church in Ocean City
- Absecon Lions Blind Center in Absecon
- Health Professionals & Allied Employees
- District 1199J
- UNITE HERE
- Atlantic City Professional Fire Fighters
- Ocean City Firefighters Association
Just last week, NJ Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-3rd District) issued the following statement, "It should always be about what is best for the patient. That is what Shore Medical nurses want and why they are fighting for a fair and reasonable contract. They deserve good benefits and the knowledge that they can be secure in their retirement. It is time that Shore Medical management do the right thing."
Today New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech said, "It is important that we all stand with the Shore Nurses as they battle for a fair contract and try to stop the massive cuts proposed by the hospital. The nurses have basically been forced to call a one-day strike in the hope of getting hospital executives back to the table. The questions we should all be asking: does the hospital really think out-of-state, replacement nurses can substitute for our quality, local nurses? Should executives like CEO Ron Johnson who make over a million dollars per year take even more away from nurses? The answer is clearly no, and we cannot let that happen."
Under the terms of the most recent contract, Shore Medical Center made millions of dollars in revenue, and its CEO was paid over $1 million according to 2013 data. Shore Medical would continue to make millions under the terms of a new contract proposed by Shore Nurses Union.
Shore's management wants more and has demanded changes to health benefits, retirement benefits, wages, and time-off benefits that would cost each nurse thousands of dollars per year.
The proposed numbers from hospital management are staggering from 125 fewer hours in time-off benefits per nurse to slashing the salaries of new nurses by 10% while hospital revenues and executive salaries increase.
These unrealistic demands will hurt the nurses, their families and, in the end, the whole South Jersey community, making it harder to recruit the best of the best for critical healthcare services.
While refusing to engage in good faith bargaining, management has:
- Delayed the release of vital information to union members for bargaining purposes;
- Prohibited nurses from wearing union buttons or insignia, while allowing employees to wear other buttons and insignia;
- Paraded strike replacements throughout the hospital, stating that these are your replacements when you go on strike.
The National Labor Relations Board has set a hearing date for these unfair labor practices for December 10, 2015.
To learn more about the fight for a fair contract, go to: http://www.patientsaboveprofits.com/
The Shore Nurses Union, an affiliate of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 37,000 members in New York and New Jersey. For more information, please visit our website at www.nysna.org.
SOURCE Shore Nurses Union/NYSNA