Source: NJ.com Health
The Jersey City City Council adopted a resolution tonight urging CarePoint Health to withdraw its threat to lockout registered nurses at Christ Hospital as contract negotiations between CarePoint and the Health Professional and Allied Employees workers continue.
“CarePoint has issued an unprovoked threat to lock out the registered nurses of Christ hospital if a settlement is not reached. This is a threat to the public health of the community of Jersey City and other Hudson County communities CarePoint serves,” the resolution reads.
The resolution says the threat was issued even though the HPAE has pledge to continue bargaining without a threat of strike, even though its contract at the hospital expired on May 31.
It states that HPAE workers at Carepoint’s Hoboken University Hospital and Bayonne Medical Center are also in contract negotiations and “CarePoint’s actions could potentially disrupt care in our communities in Hudson County.”
The resolution “strongly urges CarePoint owners to withdraw the threat to lock out any members of the workforce who are participating in contract negotiations” and to “respect the rights of the workforce at all three hospitals, to pledge to bargain in good faith, and to refrain from threats that would interrupt care.”
CarePoint spokesman Spencer Baretz said in a recent statement that the company is in “a very challenging reimbursement environment” that leaves “future performance” uncertain.
Baretz said CarePoint has deep respect for its nurses and the HPAE and views them as true partners. He said CarePoint does not want to get into a war of words and it desires to continue negotiations amicably toward a reasonable agreement that is mutually beneficial for both sides.
The 375-member Christ Hospital nurses union was working under a 22-month contract that expired on May 31, according to a union spokeswoman. She said the union would want to continue negotiating beyond June 15, but that CarePoint told the union it had to agree to CarePoint’s demands by then or be locked out of the hospital the next day.
One of the demands, according to the nurses union, is for staff to agree to work at any of the three Hudson County hospitals owned by CarePoint Health, not just at Christ Hospital.