In a statement issued by the Bayonne Medical Center, management decided to end the lock out of their hospital employees effective 7 a.m. on June 12.
“This decision was driven by our commitment to the community and our paramount concern, patient care,” said Alyson Miller, spokesperson for BMC. “We have advised our workers’ union leadership that we will be implementing the terms and conditions of the contract we presented to them on June 3, as we believe that contract is a fair and appropriate one for our employees. Their union has also been advised we remain willing to sit down and continue to bargain in good faith toward reaching a settlement on a new collective bargaining agreement. Again, our paramount concern is the health and well being of the community and bringing our employees back on the job is the best way to do that."
BMC locked out workers on June 9 after talks broke down on June 7.
Ann Twomey, president of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees Union, which represents about 900 employees at BMC, claimed the announcement by owners of Bayonne Medical Center “is their admission that they were unable to run the hospital without the real healthcare workers; that the lockout was illegal at every level; and that replacing dedicated healthcare workers with replacement workers was a terrible idea from the very inception. This is a victory for the strength of the healthcare workers, who stood together against an enormous onslaught against their rights; a victory for patients who will now receive quality health care. It is also a testament to the support we received from our Mayor, Mark Smith, from our Congressman Albio Sires, and from our County Executive Tom DeGise, and our County Freeholders.”
Twomey, however said, under the law, our workers will be working under the original contract, and any attempt to impose the hospital's last offer during bargaining is illegal.
“We will challenge them every day, in the hospital, in the public and in the courts if they attempt to strip our members of their rights and working conditions. We are ready to get back to our patients' bedsides, and ready to get back to bargaining,” she said.
"I was happy to hear that the members of HPAE staff would be returning to work,” said Rep. Albio Sires. "Once again it is imperative that both sides return to the negotiating table and continue negotiations until a successful conclusion of this bargaining process is reached. I will continue to work with Mayor Smith to ensure quality health care for the residents of the City of Bayonne and Hudson County."