BAYONNE – Health care workers represented by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE) at Bayonne Medical Center voted on Thursday night by 98 percent to ratify a new 26-month contract starting on June 1, 2012. 800 nurses, technicians and health care workers are represented by the union.
Some of the highlights of the new contract include: expanded orientation for new staff and additional educational opportunities; increased sick time policy to 7 days per year, with no restriction on usage of single sick days; employer match for retirement account from 1 to 2 percent; tuition reimbursement increase by $1,000; committee established for workplace change including HIT; improved staffing ratios in specialty units; new policies to limit downstaffing of regular and full-time staff; wage increases of 2 percent on June 1, 2012 and a half percent in 2013, with annual experience credit averaging 2 percent a year.
“We reached a strong agreement that will ensure safe staffing for our patients, help retain qualified staff, and enable health care workers to set a standard for care in Hudson County in the future”, said Donna Benjamin, president of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees Local 5185. “Improving staffing levels in specialty care units like telemetry and Intensive Care, improving orientation and training and sick leave policies were essential in reaching this agreement, as was being able to collaborate for patient care and workplace standards for all of the Hudson County hospitals.”