16 November 2011
HUMC LOCAL HISTORY
The Local Chapter started in 1980 after a long but successful organizing campaign to improve the working conditions of the RNs at its Hoboken, New Jersey acute care facility. While low wages and a lack of professional status were overt problems, patient care and staffing were the primary organizing and contractual issues.
Sister Grace Francis, CEO at the time, had promised for many years that nurses would have their turn, however nurses and their concerns were always on the bottom of the priority list. Standing together and against the trend the nurses voted to be represented by the District Council.
1984 brought the 1st and only (to date) strike which lasted three-months, unheard of at the time. While difficult and disruptive the Registered Nurses were finally taken seriously. Since then labor-management relations have improved.
Wages and benefits have greatly increased across the board, keeping pace with a highly competitive market for qualified nurses. Staffing is better although there is room for improvement with each contract.
The real benefits of being organized are the ability to resolve disputes in a standard fair way and to be assured that our working conditions are stable, for at least a contract term length. A fair and stable environment has brought great improvements to our daily work lives. Today, we are constantly involved in building and strengthening our Local union to assist the members, negotiate ever better contracts, and enforcing and protecting the members’ rights obtained in those contracts.
We are working towards the future, and to its many challenges, advancing our profession, improving patient care, maintaining open communications with management and increasing membership participation. In unity, we have found strength.