NEW YORK NURSE: March/April 2012
The tough fights continue for nurses at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, NJ. These NYSNA members are battling both management negotiators intent on tearing their contract apart, and a decertification effort aimed at weakening their voice on the job.
The Shore nurses will have their vote to stay in NYSNA on May 2 when the decertification vote is held. Shore nurses are sticking together, receiving support from every corner of NYSNA and telling their story to a supportive community.
They all came together in a massive picket line outside the hospital on March 10 to support the nurses’ contract fight.
After the picket, participants went to the grand opening of the Shore Nurses Union hall, a NYSNA satellite office near the hospital. It will serve as a base for Shore union activities, like bargaining unit meetings, continuing education and workshops and community outreach events.
Shore nurses protested management’s refusal to consider NYSNA’s proposal to bring their nurses into the NYSNA Benefits Plan – this alternative that will save the hospital more than $1 million over a three-year contract, provide better coverage for the RNs, and save the RNs money in contributions and co-pays.
Management wants the RNs to keep their current plan and increase their contribution rate from 12% up to between 20% and 25%. Combined with low salary offers management has put on the table, this would effectively result in an overall cut in the nurses’ take-home pay.
Not only is Shore management not listening to nurses’ concerns, it continues to waste time at the table and disrupt talks with rude behavior and insulting comments, including: “Your contract is so good that anything you give back is a win,” and: “No one’s taking anything away. You just have to adjust your expectations.”
Negotiations have been underway since November 2011. Their most recent three-year contract expired on Dec. 31, 2011.