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HUMC Holdco, the new owner of Hoboken University Medical Center, and the hospital's nurses unions have reached an agreement on a contract
New owners of Hoboken University Medical Center and nurses unions reach contract agreement
Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - The Jersey Journal
HUMC Holdco, the new owner of Hoboken University Medical Center, and the hospital's nurses unions have reached an agreement on a contract.
The contract, which covers from this past Dec. 9 through September 2014, was ratified by a local collective bargaining committee composed of HUMC nurses, JNESO executive director Virginia Treacy said yesterday.
Under the new agreement, nurses will receive raises for three years 1 percent this year, 1.5 percent in 2012 and 2 percent in 2013, Treacy said. After 2013, Treacy said, some will be eligible for a 2.5 to 3 percent raise that also serves as an "employee retention incentive."
Nurses can now use sick time as they earn it instead of waiting to accrue a year's worth of sick days, Treacy said. In addition, full-time nurses now cannot be sent home mid-shift without pay and nurses cannot be sent to units where they lack expertise, experience or practice, Treacy said.
The union, she said, made one painful concession.
"We lost our pension, which was a difficult pill to swallow," said Treacy. "It was a major loss well, it was already lost (even before the new owners took over)."
Treacy said while most of JNESO's nurses, who average about 50 years in age, will be hit hard by the loss, it will save the hospital more than $1 million annually.
"We made concessions initially to the old administration because we believe this is a viable and necessary community institution. We were willing to give up economic institutions because we believe this hospital is essential for the city of Hoboken," said Treacy.
"It was a tough negotiation for both sides, but we're hoping for a good working relationship for the next 2 years," she said.
HUMC CEO Phillip S. Schaengold agreed, saying: "We value all of the employees at (HUMC) and are looking forward to working with the members of all of the hospital's bargaining units to provide high-quality patient care."
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