Hanging nurses make their case at Rutgers assembly

Hanging nurses from Robert Wooden Johnson College Hospital in New Brunswick took their case to the Rutgers-Newark campus on Thursday, staging a rally and attending a gathering of the college’s board of governors, the place they known as for the hospital president’s removing from the board.

The goal of the 1,700 placing nurses belonging to Native 4-200 of the United Metal Employees union was RWJ President and CEO Mark E. Manigan, whom they accuse of violating their proper underneath the state structure to strike and cut price collectively when he minimize their well being advantages halfway by means of the 2-month strike on Sept. 1.

“Mark Manigan, you’re no good/Deal with your nurses like it’s best to,” three dozen nurses chanted as they and their supporters left the afternoon board assembly within the Paul Robeson Campus Middle.

Earlier than the assembly, a crowd of about 200 nurses and union members from Native 1199 of the Service Workers Union, the Rutgers unit of the American Affiliation of College Professors-American Federation of Academics, and different labor teams rallied exterior, talking and carrying indicators studying “Solidarity with RWJ Nurses,” “NJ Wants Protected Staffing Now!” and “Truthful Contract Now!”

Thursday’s present of solidarity comes after the nurses walked off the job on Aug. 5, demanding what they name “secure staffing” ranges on the hospital, which is affiliated with Rutgers’ Robert Wooden Johnson Medical College.

The Rutgers board varies the placement of its common conferences amongst its primary campus in New Brunswick and people in Camden and Newark. Thursday’s assembly within the state’s largest metropolis was the board’s first because the strike started.

The nurses have collected 600 signatures on a petition asking Gov. Phil Murphy to rescind Manigan’s appointment to the board with assist from the AAUP-AFT, one of many Rutgers unions that participated final spring within the first strike within the college’s 257-year historical past.

However besides in some situations, state larger schooling regulation says a majority of the board should vote to take away a member following a listening to.

Manigan didn’t communicate throughout the assembly, and afterward, he declined to touch upon the strike or the decision for his removing.

A spokesperson for Murphy additionally declined to remark.

Hospital officers have beforehand stated that staffing has been affected by departures linked to the coronavirus pandemic and vowed to return to an settlement as quickly as doable.

Offering an instance of what he stated was insufficient staffing on the hospital, Travis Learn-Giase, 26, of Avelon, a nurse within the intensive care unit, stated nurse-to-patient ratios within the unit ought to be 1:1 and, in some conditions, 1:2, however in observe is 1:3.

He and others contend that understaffing hinders their means to do their job and threatens sufferers’ well being and security.

Jacob Chaffin, an organizer with the American Affiliation of College Professors-American Federation of Academics union, held up a petition calling for the removing of Robert Wooden Johnson College Hospital CEO Mark Manigan from the Rutgers College Board of Governors throughout a board assembly on Oct. 5, 2023. The AAUP-AFT is supporting placing union nurses from the hospital.Steve Strunsky | NJ Advance Media For NJ.com

Whereas the RWJ is the instructing hospital affiliated by contract with Robert Wooden Johnson Medical College, the hospital is privately owned and operated by RWJBarnabas, the state’s largest healthcare system, which runs greater than a dozen different hospitals and care amenities statewide.

As a result of the hospital is RWJBarnabas’ flagship facility, strikers say the corporate is decided to withstand decrease staffing ratios to stop comparable calls for from nurses systemwide.

“No matter occurs at this hospital, it can trickle down to each different hospital,” Learn-Giase stated.

Addressing about 80 nurses and supporters ready for the assembly to start out contained in the campus middle, Native 4-200 President Judy Danella stated hospital administration had extended the two-month strike by refusing to barter in good religion.

“We would like our jobs again,” Danella insisted. “We’re asking Robert Wooden Johnson to allow us to come again to work with a good contract. That’s the underside line.”

The union’s supporters included Dr. Tzeidel Brown-Eichenberg, a resident at College Hospital in Newark and up to date graduate of its affiliate, New Jersey Medical College, additionally a Rutgers establishment.

“I simply wish to voice my union solidarity with the nurses who’re out right here immediately,” Brown-Eichenberg informed the board throughout the assembly. Turning to the New Brunswick hospital’s nurses, she added, “You might be wonderful.”

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Steve Strunsky could also be reached at sstrunsky@njadvancemedia.com