For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
SOMERS POINT, NJ, May 2, 2012 — Shore Medical Center's registered nurses took a step toward winning a new contract tonight when they voted resoundingly to keep their professional nurses union, the New York State Nurses Association.
Originally voting for professional representation in 2001, this election reaffirmed the nurses' commitment to their profession, their patients, and their community.
“This election has demonstrated our unity and commitment to our professional affiliation with the Nurses Association,” said Christina Colletti, RN, a member of the union's negotiating committee. “It shows hospital management that we intend to stay the course. That what was meant to divide and weaken us simply served to unite and strengthen us.”
The Nurses Association represents more than 400 RNs, at Shore. The nurses have been trying to negotiate a new contract since November 2011. Their most recent three-year contract expired on Dec. 31, 2011. Even though a mediator has been at several negotiation sessions, a mediator alone cannot force the parties to reach an agreement.
The hospital had launched an aggressive campaign to persuade nurses to vote "NO" for professional representation. This energy could have been put to better use – such as by agreeing to a contract that provides affordable and comprehensive health coverage and protects patient safety by ensuring the hospital’s ability to recruit and retain nurses.
“We are prepared to take any steps necessary to ensure a fair contract for our members,” said bargaining unit chair Joanne Venice, RN. “We will give the hospital a tight timeline within which it must comply, and rally the many supporters that aided our election to send a clear and decisive message: Fair contract now!"
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is New York’s largest professional association and union for registered nurses. The association represents registered nurses, and some all-professional bargaining units, in New York and New Jersey. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.
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