May-09-17 JNESO URGES PA LEGISLATORS SUPPORT THE HOSPITAL NURSING STAFF REPORT CARD ACT (Press Release) HARRISBURG -On Tuesday, May 9th, JNESO District Council 1 representatives joined nurses, legislators and other health care unions to urge the legislature to pass The Hospital Nursing Staff Report Card Act (House Bill 833 & Senate Bill 336). HB-833/SB-336 would create a public reporting system for nurse staffing in hospitals and other acute care facilities aimed at improving patient safety and giving patients and their families the information they need to make important choices when it comes to potentially life-saving medical care. JNESO District Council 1 represents over 700 registered nurses at health care facilities in Pennsylvania.
May-08-17 St. Mary's laying off 20 nurses, medical techs (NorthJersey.com) Twenty nurses and medical technicians will be laid off at St. Mary's General Hospital in Passaic, union officials said Monday. News of the cuts comes during National Nurses Week, the largest event recognizing nurses and their contribution to health care. "It's kind of like saying, 'Thank you, you're fired,' " said Doug Placa, executive director of JNESO District Council 1, the union representing more than 400 nurses and technicians at St. Mary's. "I think 'ironic' is a very apropos word here."
May-08-17 St. Mary's Hospital to Nurses and Professional Techs: This Nurses' Week, You're Fired (Press Release) PASSAIC -As the nationwide recognition of Nurses' Week kicked off on Saturday May 6, h, St. Mary's General Hospital in the City of Passaic first violated their employees' rights to union representation and then notified them that they would be laid off. JNESO District Council 1, the union representing more than 400 nurses and professional technical employees at the Hospital, responded by filing an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Mar-23-17 JNESO Announced Support for Phil Murphy for Governor (Press Release) NORTH BRUNSWICK -JNESO, the union representing 5,000 hospital and clinical workers, including nurses, LPNs and licensed technical employees, this morning endorsed Phil Murphy for governor. The endorsement comes on the seventh anniversary of President Barack Obama’s signing of the Affordable Care Act, and as President Trump and the House Republicans try to undo the law.
Jan-27-17 LVHN-POCONO ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL LAYOFFS, HEALTHCARE UNION CONDEMNS! (Press Release) EAST STROUDSBURG, PA - Today, JNESO District Council 1 Executive Director Doug Placa and PMC Local President Mona Hartle issued the following statements following a second round of layoffs at LVHN-Pocono. “Back in December Pocono Medical Center initially announced that 61 (sixty-one) nurses would be laid off.” said Doug Placa, Executive Director for the union. “JNESO impressed upon them that it was ill advised, and that staffing remains paramount at the hospital.
Jan-03-17 NURSES' UNION DEMANDS SAFE STAFFING AND QUALITY PATIENT CARE AT POCONO MEDICAL CENTER (Press Release) EAST STROUDSBURG, PA - Today, Pocono Medical Center (PMC) Registered Nurses voiced their continued support for quality patient care at Pocono Medical Center. “The recent layoff of Registered Nurses at Pocono Medical Center was difficult for all of us. The loss of one nurse is a tragedy; the hospital needs to ensure nurses are staffed adequately and have the resources needed to provide quality patient care,” said Mona Hartle, President of the PMC Local Chapter of JNESO.
Dec-22-16 NURSES' HEALTHCARE UNION BLASTS LAYOFFS AT POCONO MEDICAL CENTER FOLLOWING PMC $3.8 MILLION ER MODERNIZATION (Press Release) EAST STROUDSBURG, PA - Today, JNESO District Council 1 Executive Director Doug Placa and PMC Local President Mona Hartle issued the following statements following the December 13th announcement that 61 Registered Nurses [RNs] would be laid off at Pocono Medical Center (PMC). The targeted units for lay-offs are: Emergency Department, Rapid Treatment Center, and a Medical/Surgical unit [3B] that cares for orthopedic patients.
Dec-14-16 NURSES' Pocono Medical Center to lay off 61 Registered Nurses (Pocono Record) Pennsylvania and New Jersey healthcare union JNESO was informed of the planned layoffs Tuesday, Douglas Placa, district council executive director, said. The union represents registered nurses at PMC, and has had members employed there since 1994.
Oct-13-16 NURSES' UNION CONTINUES THE FIGHT TO CREATE AWARENESS REGARDING THE DANGERS OF LEAD POISONING (Press Release) NEWARK -Today, JNESO District Council 1 nurses at Newark's Department of Health and Community Wellness and other members joined community leaders and elected officials on the steps of Newark City Hall to host an event to create awareness regarding lead poison prevention in our communities.
Sept-21-16 JNESO DISTRICT COUNCIL 1, RELEASES PA LEGISLATIVE ENDORSEMENTS (Press Release) NORTH BRUNSWICK – On Wednesday, September 21st, JNESO District Council 1, representing more than 5,000 nurses and other healthcare workers, released the following endorsements for the Pennsylvania State Senate and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The candidates were unanimously approved by the Board of Directors, led by Board President Elfrieda Johnson and Pocono Medical Center Local President Mona Hartle.
May-10-16 JNESO SUPPORTS TRANSPARENCY REPORTING NURSE-PATIENT STAFFING RATIOS IN HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CARE FACILITIES (Press Release) HARRISBURG – On Tuesday, May 10th, JNESO District Council 1 Executive Director Douglas A. Placa joined JNESO members, legislators, and other health care unions to urge the legislature to pass Senate bill 1081, the Hospital Nurse Staff Report Card Act. JNESO District Council 1 represents over 700 registered nurses at health care facilities in Pennsylvania.“
Apr-21-16 JNESO HEALTHCARE WORKERS GATHER FOR CONVENTION, HONOR ASSEMBLYMAN MORIARTY AS ‘LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR’ (Press Release) ATLANTIC CITY – This week, more than 200 JNESO District Council 1, healthcare workers gathered in Atlantic City for their biennial convention where they earned Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by attending seminars on emerging issues in health care. The union also honored New Jersey State Assemblyman Paul Moriarty with their first annual “Legislator of the Year” award. “Every other year, JNESO membership gathers for our Convention and it really demonstrates the strength and unity of our organization,” said Elfrieda Johnson, Board President of JNESO District Council 1. “Our successes at the bargaining table and in the legislative arena are rooted in the participation and active engagement of our members, and I am thrilled with the record turnout at this year’s Convention.”
Mar-09-16 JNESO RESPONDS TO ELEVATED LEAD LEVELS IN NEWARK SCHOOLS' WATER, ENCOURAGES FUNDING OF LEAD HAZARD CONTROL FUND (Press Release) On Wednesday, March 9, 2016, JNESO District Council 1, Executive Director, Douglas Placa released the following statement regarding the DEP's announcement of elevated lead levels in Newark’s schools’ water. JNESO represents the nurses at Newark's Department of Health and Community Wellness who serve on the front lines of providing lead screening and education in Newark.
Feb-23-16 JNESO URGES ASSEMBLY HEALTH COMMITTEE TO PRIORITIZE ADDRESSING LEAD CONTAMINATION IN NEW JERSEY (Press Release) On Monday, February 22nd, JNESO Executive Director Douglas Placa and Community Organizer Thurese Calhoun were invited to appear before the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee for a hearing on the impact of lead contamination in New Jersey. Placa and Calhoun spoke to the efforts undertaken on a daily basis by JNESO’s members at Newark’s Department of Health and Community Wellness, and delivered the following testimony.
Feb-04-16 Sale of Newark hospital to for-profit chain gets green light (NJ.com) TRENTON -The Christie administration should allow a for-profit hospital chain to buy the bankrupt St. Michael's Medical Center in Newark, a state panel recommended Thursday. The decision by the State Health Planning Board is the first positive sign the deal may go through since Prime Healthcare Services first announced its intentions to acquire the troubled hospital. A state-funded consultant's report last year recommended closing St. Michael's because there are too many hospital beds in the Newark area, and re-open it as an outpatient center. That report galvanized community support from religious, community and elected officials to support the sale in order to protect the jobs and medical services for the low-income community.
Jan-05-16 Newark Coalition Says it will Back Saint Michael’s sale, with conditions (Politico.com) NEWARK -The leader of a community coalition indicated during a public hearing Tuesday evening that the group's support for the proposed sale of Saint Michael's Medical Center is contingent upon "at least two" of its members getting seats on the hospital's board of trustees. The Save Saint Michael’s Medical Center Coalition is led by three Newark clergymen and counts among its members Newark elected officials, union representatives, hospital staff and patients. The organization held several rallies over the summer and delivered a petition with close to 50,000 signatures to Gov. Chris Christie urging the state to approve the sale to California-based for-profit Prime Healthcare Services.
Dec-16-15 HOW TO HANDLE SALE OF NEWARK HOSPITAL PRESENTS DILEMMA FOR STATE OFFICIALS (NJSpotlight.com) Saint Michael’s sale to Prime Healthcare receives unanimous support at public hearing, but others raise serious questions about proposal. If the voices of Saint Michael’s Medical Center doctors and staff, patients, and local elected officials were all that mattered in deciding the hospital’s fate, the outcome would be clear. State officials would approve the hospital’s sale to California-based for-profit chain Prime Healthcare, under terms similar to those for other sales that have allowed Prime to rapidly expand its footprint in the state.
Dec-16-15 At public hearing, widespread support for sale of Newark hospital (POLITICO New Jersey) NEWARK -Supporters of the proposed sale of Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark turned out in force Tuesday for a state Department of Health public hearing. Everyone who testified urged the state to approve the sale of Saint Michael’s to California-based for-profit hospital chain Prime Healthcare Services, including Newark and Essex County elected officials, union representatives, local clergy, doctors and patients.
Dec-11-15 BATTLE CONTINUES OVER NURSE-TO-PATIENTS RATIO AS MEASURE ADVANCES (NJSpotLight.com) Nurses cite patient safety while hospitals say they need staffing flexibility. Labor unions representing the state’s nurses have won a key legislative skirmish over reducing the registered nurses-to-patients ratio allowed in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. But it remains very uncertain whether the unions will win the long-running battle over a bill the measure, which they say would improve patient safety but which hospital executives contend would make it harder for them to determine how many nurses and other health workers are needed to meet patients’ needs.
Dec-10-15 Should N.J. hospitals be forced to add more nurses? (NJ.com) TRENTON -Hospitals and same-day surgery centers would be required to meet minimum nursing-to-patient requirements or face fines by the state Department of Health under a bill approved Thursday by a state Assembly committee. The Assembly Health and Senior Citizens Committee voted 7-4 to allow the legislation to move to the full Assembly for a vote.
Oct-30-15 NURSES AT HOBOKEN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER REJECT CAREPOINT’S FINAL CONTRACT OFFER (Press Release) HOBOKEN – JNESO District Council 1 – the professional healthcare union representing approximately 400 nurses at Hoboken University Medical Center – On Thursday, October 29, 2015, nurses at Hoboken University Medical Center voted overwhelmingly to reject CarePoint Health’s final contract offer. The Union conducted all day meetings with members and presented them with CarePoint’s final offer. After careful deliberations, the members considered the Hospital’s final contract offer, but did not feel that it met their needs, particularly around patient care issues and their own health care options. “The Union was disappointed that after months of negotiating, the Hospital’s terms were not acceptable for our members and our members’ families,” said Executive Director Doug Placa, JNESO District Council 1. “This contract asked too much from our members, particularly on issues surrounding patient care.”
Oct-29-15 Workers Rally for the Future of Saint Michael’s Medical Center (NewarkInc.com) Union protesters filled the streets of Newark on October 27, parading to the steps of City Hall to demand that Saint Michael’s Medical Center remain open. Chanting “Save Saint Michael’s!” members of 1199J, JNESO and Local 68 Operating Engineers marched from the hospital on MLK Boulevard to City Hall. Nearly 100 protesters were waving flags and chanting, as motorists beeped their horns in support and residents cheered the effort. The union members are joining about 45,000 members of the grassroots “Save Saint Michael’s Coalition” to urge the state to permit the sale of the hospital to Prime Healthcare. The company, which operates a number of quality hospitals in northern New Jersey, has been waiting three years for the state to complete its review.
Sep-21-15 JNESO District Council 1 Releases Legislative Endorsements (Press Release) NEWARK – Today, Newark residents and healthcare workers from JNESO District Council 1, IUOE Local 68, and District 1199J took to the streets in the fight to save St. Michael’s Medical Center with a rally and march throughout the city. The message from the demonstration was clear: reject the recommendations of the Navigant Report, and approve the sale of St. Michael’s Medical Center. “We are engaged in a fight to save our hospital - to save our healthcare - and we will not back down,” said Douglas A. Placa, Executive Director for JNESO District Council 1. “We have been to City Council meetings, to Freeholder meetings, to our legislators, and now we are in the streets. We will not rest until our message is heard and our hospital is saved.”
Aug-13-15 St. Michael's Hospital files for bankruptcy (NJ.News12.com) VIDEO St. Michael's Medical Center in Newark has announced the facility is declaring bankruptcy. However, President David Ricci says that this is actually good news that will keep the hospital's doors open. President Ricci, hospital executives, doctors and former patients are calling on the state to approve the sale of the hospital to Prime Healthcare. Hospital executives say the deal would allow poor patients on Medicaid to continue receiving care and would also boost the local economy.
Aug-13-15 St. Michael's supporters knock Christie for absence as they await decision on hospital sale (NJ.com) Clergy members joined elected officials, community activists and dozens of employees Thursday to urge Gov. Chris Christie to sign off on the long-awaited sale of St. Michael's Medical Center. Speakers at the press conference at the downtown Newark hospital repeatedly knocked Christie for pursuing what appears to be a long shot presidential bid while the proposed sale of the hospital to California-based Prime Healthcare Services has awaited approval for more than two years. "We're calling on presidential candidate Chris Christie, to come home. How are you going to run healthcare for a nation, and you can't run healthcare for the largest city in your state?"
Aug-11-15 WITH BANKRUPTCY FILING, SAINT MICHAEL’S OPENS UP NEW FRONT IN BATTLE OVER SALE (NJSpotlight.com) Hospital CEO points to lengthy state review while state argues it must act in best interests of community. The decision by Saint Michael’s Medical Center officials to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday opens a new opportunity for the hospital to argue for its proposed sale to the California-based for-profit chain Prime Healthcare Services. The Newark facility voluntarily filed for reorganization under federal law, which hospital officials said would enable it to maintain viability. They point to the state’s extended consideration of the sale to Prime -- which has been ongoing since it was announced in December 2012 -- as the chief reason for the filing. While the hospital hopes to wrap up the sale by year’s end, state officials will ultimately decide if the deal is to go through.
Aug-02-15 Opinion: Mona Hartle, RN and JNESO PMC Local President: Bill Would Make Pennsylvania Hospitals Safer (PoconoRecord.com) Are you safe in Pennsylvania’s hospitals? That’s a question that our Commonwealth sought to answer, and after months of research and evaluation, it did. Sort of. Admittedly, determining patient safety is a complex undertaking. It depends on a variety of factors and in many cases the information to evaluate those factors is lacking. So when Pennsylvania’s Joint State Government Commission conducted a study on bedside nursing in our state, it began by acknowledging that “the evidence reviewed in this study demonstrates a clear relationship between nurse staffing and patient outcomes.” It went on to explain that adverse events – situations in which patients’ health, safety, and even their lives are compromised –largely occur when nurses are understaffed.
Jun-25-15 OSHA to crack down on hospitals that don't protect nurses from injury (FierceHealthcare.com) Noncompliant hospitals will face fines up to $70K The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has announced a new initiative to drastically increase scrutiny of injuries among hospital nursing staff. Earlier in the month, OSHA announced plans to step up regulation of occupational risks in healthcare settings in the wake of an April report that found a sharp uptick in healthcare workplace injuries. Under the initiative, OSHA inspectors will monitor and investigate steps hospitals take to avoid injuries to nurses during patient lifting. The agency has issued numerous recommendations to prevent such injuries, but the new program will potentially fine noncompliant healthcare providers, according to National Public Radio.
Jun-11-15 OP-ED: SAINT MICHAEL’S EDUCATING NEXT GENERATION OF HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS (NJSpotlight.com) For sake of Newark community, NJ needs to approve pending sale to private operator. The debate over the future of Saint Michael's Medical Center in Newark has, to date, completely ignored the central role this hospital plays in medical education. As citizens, we should all be concerned about making tomorrow's health care better than today and training the healthcare providers who will take care of our children and grandchildren.
Jun-01-15 Newarkers rally to keep Saint Michael's, N.J. setting tone in speech rights protection (NJ.com) More than 200 employees, physicians, patients, community members and local officials joined several labor unions – including JNESO, District 1199J and IUOE Local 68 - for a rally in support of Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark on Wednesday. According to organizers, protesters are fighting keep the medical center open as a full-service, acute-care hospital. “On behalf of JNESO, representing nurses and technicians at Saint Michael’s, we are so happy to have partners in 1199J and Local 68 in this fight,” said Douglas A. Placa, executive director for JNESO District Council 1.
May-29-15 Union Members Rally in Support of St. Michael's Medical Center (Patch.com) The people have spoken: we need our hospital. On Wednesday, May 27, 200 residents, healthcare workers, doctors, clergy and elected officials rallied in the streets of Newark in support of the sale of Saint Michael's Medical Center.
May-27-15 NEWARK RESIDENTS AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS TAKE TO THE STREETS TO SAVE ST. MICHAEL’S MEDICAL CENTER (Press Release) NEWARK – Today, Newark residents and healthcare workers from JNESO District Council 1, IUOE Local 68, and District 1199J took to the streets in the fight to save St. Michael’s Medical Center with a rally and march throughout the city. The message from the demonstration was clear: reject the recommendations of the Navigant Report, and approve the sale of St. Michael’s Medical Center. “We are engaged in a fight to save our hospital - to save our healthcare - and we will not back down,” said Douglas A. Placa, Executive Director for JNESO District Council 1. “We have been to City Council meetings, to Freeholder meetings, to our legislators, and now we are in the streets. We will not rest until our message is heard and our hospital is saved.”
May-11-15 Fighting to Keep Saint Michael’s Medical Center Open (NJTVNews.com) VIDEO This time it’s religious leaders stepping out to lend support in the fight to keep Saint Michael’s Medical Center open in Newark. “This is a moral issue. This is a moral issue,” said Rev. Ronald Slaughter, senior pastor at Saint James AME Church Newark. The state-commissioned Navigant study has recommended that Saint Michael’s restructure as an outpatient ambulatory center. But Saint Michael’s is countering that report with one of its own after hospital management says Navigant used faulty data.
May-11-15 Religious leaders rally to save St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark (Fios1news.com) Hospital recently released report challenging plans to convert facility into outpatient ambulatory/emergency care center
May-11-15 NEWARK LEADERS SUPPORT SAVE ST. MICHAEL'S MEDICAL CENTER COALITION (WBGO News) The Save Saint Michael’s Coalition is voicing opposition to the state-commissioned Navigant Study, which recommends the hospital be restructured as an ambulatory center. That recommendation immediately kills the sale of the hospital to Prime Healthcare, which has committed to keep St. Michael’s open. Rev. Ronald Slaughter of St. James AME Church says the closure of yet another hospital in Newark is a moral issue that further limits residents’ choice of healthcare.
May-08-15 Saint Michael’s Ramps Up Attack on Report That Says It Should Scale Back (NJSpotlight.com) Hospital questions consulting firm data, notes more Newark residents would seek care elsewhere It’s increasingly clear that if Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark closes or is transformed into an emergency and outpatient facility, it won’t go down without a fight. The hospital released its second blistering report countering recommendations from the consulting firm Navigant, which the state had hired to help it plan for future healthcare needs in Newark.
Apr-05-15 Sale of St. Michael's Medical Center is good for Newark and its residents -Esther Bediones (NJ.com) It's no secret that St. Michael's Medical Center in Newark has faced some tough financial times. That's undisputed. But the recently released Navigant Report commissioned by the state unflinchingly recommends that the hospital be closed. It takes a look from the outside in, and it deems our hospital unworthy of existence - without community input or any consideration for the lives that will be affected. We've seen it before - the reduction in valuable services to the community, the escalation in unemployment in a city that already outpaces the national average and the critical blow that people like me are forced to sustain because a report says that my hospital simply must go.
Mar-24-15 LEADING HEALTHCARE UNION PRAISES NEWARK CITY COUNCIL FOR SUPPORT OF SAINT MICHAEL’S MEDICAL CENTER (Press Release) NEWARK – Today, JNESO Executive Director Douglas A. Placa appeared before the Newark City Council to urge them to support a resolution which would reject the Navigant Report’s controversial recommendation to close St. Michael’s Medical Center, and would instead urge the State to support the sale of the hospital. This vote comes just weeks after the release of the Navigant Report, which the union has publicly rejected. “Today’s vote shows that the Newark City Council is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with labor on keeping this hospital open,” said Placa. “Saint Michael’s Medical Center has a measurable impact on the health and safety of the City’s residents, the local economy, and on the City’s employment rate. We cannot let this hospital close simply because an out-of-touch report recommends limiting access to quality health care.”
Mar-16-15 NJ Nurses Rally on statehouse steps for Safe Staffing Ratios (PolitickerNJ.com) TRENTON — More than 300 nurses representing six different unions from across New Jersey mulled about the statehouse halls today in a lobby day rally to rouse support for a bill that would set nurse-to-patient standards for hospitals and allow flexibility to increase staffing based on patient needs. “The point is we want to make sure each patient has more than one nurse to take care of them. We want to make sure we get the best care we can give to them — so that the patients can be taken care of properly, infections can be reduced. mistakes will be less, and the staffing will be better,” said Elfrieda Johnson, a registered nurse at St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark and president of JNESO’s board of directors, a professional health care union that represents over 5000 health care workers.
Mar-04-15 Health Care Consultant Recommends Dismantling Three Newark Hospitals (NJTV News Video) “We’re not going to stand down, we’re not going to sit down. We are going to fight!” said Newark Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins. The gloves are off. Supporters of Saint Michael’s Medical Center are swinging. And recommendations made by a state commissioned health care consultant to effectively dismantle three of Newark’s five hospitals and turn them to ambulatory care centers is being met with fire.
Mar-03-15 SAINT MICHAEL’S HEALTHCARE UNION REJECTS RECOMMENDATIONS IN NAVIGANT REPORT (Press Release) NEWARK – JNESO Executive Director Douglas Placa responded to the recently released “Greater Newark Healthcare Services Evaluation,” commonly referred to as the “Navigant Report,” noting that it ignores critical needs of the City of Newark and the surrounding community. The union specifically expressed concern with the recommendation to eliminate St. Michael’s Medical Center as an acute care facility, and instead reduce it to an ambulatory care facility. “The recommendation to reduce services at Saint Michael’s Medical Center is severely flawed,” said Placa. “It ignores the needs of Newark and the many people from the surrounding areas who utilize this hospital regularly. People deserve a choice when it comes to healthcare – they shouldn’t be told where they can and cannot seek care. By limiting their access, you have to question the motive behind the recommendations.
Mar-03-15 THREE NEWARK-AREA HOSPITALS MAY SWITCH TO OFFERING ONLY OUTPATIENT SERVICES (NJSpotlight.com) A state-ordered report has recommended dropping inpatient services at three of the five Newark-area hospitals, turning them into ambulatory care centers. If the plan is adopted, many city residents would live farther from the nearest hospital -- and some healthcare workers could be out of a job. East Orange General Hospital, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Saint Michael’s Medical Center would become ambulatory care centers, providing emergency and outpatient services but not inpatient services, under Navigant Consulting’s recommendations released yesterday.
Feb-20-15 Is the bid to save an ailing Newark hospital the right move? (fios1news.com) A cash-strapped Newark hospital is hoping a for-profit company will be able to financially resuscitate it, but some activists are wary of the health system that has appeared at the ailing institution's bedside.State regulators are considering a bid by Prime Healthcare Services to buy St. Michael's Medical Center (SMMC) on Central Avenue for $50 million.
Feb-10-15 NURSES URGE STATE TO INCREASE MANDATED STAFFING LEVELS AT HOSPITALS (NJSpotlight.com) Unions say it would improve patient safety, but hospital managers say they must have flexibility to assign staff to according to circumstances. Whether New Jersey hospitals should be required to have more nurses – and whether this would lead to improved safety or less flexibility for hospital managers – is at the center of a policy debate brewing in Trenton. A coalition of labor unions is pushing the state to revise its minimum nurse-staffing rules for the first time since 1987, and to add teeth to the mandates by including penalties for hospitals that don’t follow the rules. They point to studies finding a link between improved patient safety and lower patient-nurse ratios.
Feb-09-15 Nurses, hospitals find themselves in opposition on staffing-level bill (NJBiz.com) A bill that mandates new, more extensive nurse staffing levels at hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and other health care facilities was supported by nurses and opposed by hospitals at a legislative hearing Monday afternoon in Trenton. State Sen. Joseph F. Vitale (D-Woodbridge), chair of the Senate health committee, sponsored S1183 and convened the 1 p.m. hearing before his committee. The state Department of Health currently requires hospitals to have a patient acuity system in place to determine the number of nurses needed per shift, based on the level of patient illness; on certain units, such as intensive care, DOH requires specific nurse/patient ratios.
Feb-09-15 LEADING HEALTHCARE UNION TESTIFIES THAT UNSAFE STAFFING IN NJ HOSPITALS PUT PATIENTS’ LIVES AT RISK (Press Release) JNESO District Council 1 President Elfrieda Johnson testified before the Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee in support of Senate bill 1183, which would mandate safe registered nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in hospitals throughout the state. Johnson urged the Committee to update the ten year old legislation and pointed to the growing body of research as well as her own experiences to illustrate the critical impact that unsafe staffing ratios can have on patient care. “The research is clear,” Johnson testified.
Feb-02-15 Nurses at Pocono Medical Center avoid strike, agree on three-year contract (LehighValleyBusiness.com) Hundreds of Registered Nurses at Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg have a new three-year contract that took effect on Sunday. JNESO -District Council 1, the professional health care union representing nurses at PMC, announced Friday that a tentative agreement has been ratified on a contract that covers about 500 Registered Nurses in the health network.
Jan-29-15 Pocono Medical Center nurses union won't strike; contract OK'd (MorningCall.com) The registered nurses union at Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg approved a contract Thursday, averting a threatened srike, the union announced late Thursday. Talks between the JNESO union and Monroe County's only hospital had for months focused on nurse staffing levels. The union said the staff often was too small for safety, while hospital administrators said it was at a level appropriate to the patients there.
Jan-28-15 Report: Pocono Medical Center staff shortage put patients in 'jeopardy' (PoconoRecord.com) A report from the state Department of Health says Pocono Medical Center repeatedly failed to provide enough nurses to adequately care for patients in two of its units. The deficiencies occurred in the cardiovascular telemetry (CVT) unit and the emergency room, according to the department's report. The report came about after unannounced inspections at the hospital in August and November 2014. After the second visit on Nov. 13, regulators determined that understaffing in the emergency department presented "immediate jeopardy" to patients' health.
Jan-23-15 Nurses May Strike in the Poconos (PAHomepage.com) East Stroudsburg, Monroe County – About 500 nurses at Pocono Medical Center may strike. They say they are working under dangerous conditions. If their union, JNESO, can’t reach an agreement with hospital leaders, the nurses could strike February 1st. JNESO representatives say they have been negotiating with hospital officials for eight weeks without reaching an agreement. The union claims chronic understaffing is a major problem at the hospital in East Stroudsburg. A JNESO press release states there aren’t always enough nurses to take care of everyone safely. Additionally, it claims hospital proposals would force nurses to take care of non-nursing duties because there aren’t enough support workers.
Jan-22-15 Newark council members support debated Saint Michael's hospital sale (NJ.com) Some Newark city council members joined the debate on Wednesday over whether the state should approve the sale of Saint Michael's Hospital to Prime Healthcare Services. The California-based firm has offered to buy the struggling hospital for $43 million, which is more than $20 million less than was originally offered. Central Ward councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins said during a city council meeting Wednesday evening that at this point the deal was the most likely route to keeping the hospital open.
Jan-22-15 Pocono Medical Center nurses threaten strike on Feb. 1 (PoconoRecord.com) About 500 unionized nurses at Pocono Medical Center will go on strike Feb. 1 if they are unable to reach a new labor agreement with the hospital. JNESO Local No. 1 represents the PMC's registered nurses. Their contract is set to expire Jan. 31. JNESO officials notified PMC this week that they intend to strike if an agreement is not reached by that date. Under federal law, health care worker unions are required to give 10 days notice before a strike.
Jan-21-15 NURSES UNION AT POCONO MEDICAL CENTER POISED READY TO STRIKE (Press Release) East Stroudsburg – On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, JNESO District Council 1 – the leading union representing approximately 500 nurses at Pocono Medical Center - announced that it was poised to go on strike after more than eight weeks of bargaining with the hospital. Talks broke down after PMC refused to address dangerous staffing levels and critical patient safety concerns raised by the union.
Sep-30-14 JNESO District Council 1 Endorses Aimee Belgard for Congress (Press Release) Today, the Board of Directors for JNESO District Council 1 announced its unanimous endorsement of Aimee Belgard for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District. JNESO is a professional healthcare union representing 5,000 workers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including members at Mercer Street Friends and Virtua’s Marlton campus. “Aimee Belgard has a proven record of fighting for working families and for working to ensure that access to quality and preventative healthcare remains a priority,” said Douglas Placa, Executive Director for JNESO. “Through her great work with the American Cancer Society and her time as public servant, Aimee has proven time and again that she will stand up for us in Congress.”
Sep-29-14 JNESO District Council 1 Endorses Bonnie Watson Coleman for Congress (Press Release) Today, the Board of Directors for JNESO District Council 1 announced its unanimous endorsement of Bonnie Watson Coleman for Congress in the 12th Congressional District. JNESO is a professional healthcare union representing 5,000 workers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. “As our state and our country adjusts to the ever-evolving delivery of healthcare, we need someone in Washington who will fight for our members and help ensure that they have the support they need to deliver safe, quality patient care to New Jersey residents,” said Douglas Placa, Executive Director for JNESO.
Sep-26-14 JNESO District Council 1 Endorses Roy Cho for Congress (Press Release) Today, the Board of Directors for JNESO District Council 1 announced its unanimous endorsement of Roy Cho for Congress in the 5th Congressional District. “As healthcare delivery in the United States continues to evolve, we need real leaders like Roy Cho who will fight to make sure that our members are given the tools and support they need to continue providing quality care across the state of New Jersey,”
Sep-25-14 NURSES UNION RATIFIES CONTRACT WITH SAINT MICHAEL'S MEDICAL CENTER IN NEWARK (Press Release) Today, JNESO District Council 1 announced that its members at Saint Michael’s Medical Center have ratified a contract with the Hospital, and that the contract is the first in New Jersey to include staffing ratios without down-staffing language. This is a positive step in the union’s statewide battle for safe staffing at New Jersey’s hospitals.
Sep-17-14 HEALTHCARE UNION LEADS THE FIGHT AGAINST LEAD (Press Release) Today, JNESO District Council 1 Executive Director Douglas Placa joined Newark’s Partnership for Lead Safe Children and Healthy Homes, elected officials, and other community leaders in the City of Newark for the Healthy Homes Lead Awareness Walk, an event that brings attention to the life-altering impact that lead poisoning can have on children. The walk was chaired by JNESO Community Organizer Theresa Calhoun, and began on the steps of Newark City Hall.
Aug-15-14 St. Mary's in Passaic officially is transferred to for-profit hospital group (NorthJersey.com) St. Mary’s Hospital, founded more than a century ago by Catholic nuns to serve the immigrant poor of Passaic, on Friday officially became part of Prime Healthcare Services, a for-profit hospital chain based in California. The change in ownership means survival for the hospital that serves Passaic, Clifton and other towns in lower Passaic and Bergen counties. Prime agreed to keep the hospital open for at least five years and maintain all of its current services as a condition of state approval.
Jul-23-14 THE NJ SUPERIOR COURT APPROVES THE SALE OF ST. MARY’S HOSPITAL IN PASSAIC (Statement) “Today the Superior Court of New Jersey approved the sale of St. Mary's Hospital in Passaic to begin the next phase of its existence. We are grateful the people of Passaic and the surrounding communities will have access to quality healthcare and our members have good jobs."
Jul-21-14 JNESO SUPPORTS FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY FOR ALL HEALTH CARE FACILITIES (Statement) “At a time when many of New Jersey’s hospitals are struggling and when more for-profit entities are providing healthcare, it is critically important that the state ensure that financial transparency is required of all of these facilities. JNESO has long advocated for a level playing field among for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future."
Jun-13-14 LEADING HEALTHCARE UNION APPLAUDS THE SALE OF ST. MARY’S HOSPITAL IN PASSAIC (Press Release) JNESO District Council 1 (IUOE) applauded the Department of Health and Senior Services for finally approving the sale of St. Mary’s Hospital in the City of Passaic. The sale had been waiting for approval for nearly 20 months, an unusually extended period of time. The union advocated for the sale’s approval on behalf of the over 500 nurses and technical employees represented by JNESO at the hospital.
Jun-13-14 State Health Commissioner has approved the sale of St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic to a for-profit California hospital chain. (NorthJersey.com) Prime Healthcare Services, Inc., which owns 26 hospitals in six states, will continue to operate the hospital for at least five years, and will pay $25 million for the 264-bed property. The hospital is the sole survivor in a city that once had three hospitals. To reject the sale would almost certainly have meant bankruptcy and closure, State Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd noted in her letter. It employs 1,200 people, and has committed to rehiring “substantially all” of them, the letter said.
May-08-14 LEADING HEALTHCARE UNION MARKS NURSES WEEK BY THANKING MEMBERS, PUSHING FOR SAFE STAFFING (Press Release) JNESO District Council 1 marked the beginning of National Nurses Week by recognizing its nearly 5,000 members throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and by ramping up its visibility and public education campaign regarding safe staffing ratios. Each year, Nurses Week begins on May 6th and ends on May 12th.
Apr-22-14 LEADING NURSES UNION THANKS SCHAER AND BLANCO FOR SUPPORT, CALLS ON STATE OFFICIALS TO APPROVE SALE OF ST. MARY’S HOSPITAL (Press Release) JNESO Executive Director Doug Placa today thanked both Assemblyman Gary Schaer and Passaic Mayor Dr. Alex Blanco for their continued advocacy in working to keep St. Mary’s hospital in Passaic open and called upon state officials to move forward on the New Jersey State Health Planning Board recommendation that the sale of the hospital be approved. JNESO represents over 480 nurses and professional technical employees at the hospital who find their futures in limbo as the approval process plays out.
Apr-14-14 HUNDREDS GATHER TO HONOR HEALTH CARE LABOR LEADER VIRGINIA "GINNY" TREACY FOR 37 YEARS AT JNESO (Press Release) On Thursday, April 10, 2014, JNESO District Council 1 of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) gathered in Atlantic City to honor labor leader and trailblazer Virginia (Ginny) Treacy for her 37 years as the heart, mind, and soul of JNESO. Three hundred members of JNESO were joined by labor and political dignitaries including IUOE International President Jim Callahan, New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech and Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan, former Governor Jim McGreevey, and Assemblymen Tom Giblin, Troy Singleton, and Dan Benson.
Feb-21-14 JNESO APPLAUDS STATE HEALTH PLANNING BOARD’S RECOMMENDATION TO SAVE ST. MARY’S HOSPITAL (Press Release) Today, the New Jersey State Health Planning Board recommended that the sale of St. Mary’s Hospital in the City of Passaic be approved. The hospital has struggled financially in recent years, and faces potential closure if not sold. “Today’s vote brings us one step closer to ensuring St. Mary’s Hospital’s survival,” said Doug Placa, Executive Director”
JNESO, DISTRICT COUNCIL 1, IUOE-AFL-CIO ENDORSES DONALD NORCROSS FOR CONGRESS (Press Release) JNESO, District Council 1 announced its endorsement of State Senator Donald Norcross for the first district Congressional seat vacated by Congressman Rob Andrews. “Throughout his time in the Legislature, State Senator Norcross has been an ally of working families and a fighter for the issues that affect JNESO’s membership,” said Barbara Jones, President of the JNESO local at Virtua Health. “We are proud to endorse his candidacy for Congress.”
Feb-10-14 A Patient’s-Eye-View of Nurses (well.blogs.nytimes.com) Last June, the month he turned 90, Dr. Arnold S. Relman, the eminent former medical educator and editor, fell down a flight of stairs at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He cracked his skull and broke three vertebrae in his neck and more bones in his face. By the time he arrived at the emergency room, blood was flowing into his brain and impinging on his windpipe, leading to severe choking and dangerously low oxygen levels.
Jan-30-14 St. Mary's supporters push for N.J. approval of sale to guarantee its survival (NorthJersey.com) Supporters of St. Mary’s Hospital told state officials Thursday how much they value the Passaic hospital and want to see its survival guaranteed by state approval of its sale. The hospital has struggled to keep its doors open in recent years, executives said, and desperately needs the infusion of capital that Prime Healthcare Services, a for-profit hospital chain from California, has promised. Prime’s expertise in clinical matters, its clout to negotiate better deals with insurance companies and vendors, and its commitment to upgrade everything from elevators to ultrasound machines offers the hospital a lifeline that will benefit not only the employees but the larger community, they said.
Jan-15-14 JNESO, District Council 1,IUOE-AFL-CIO Participates in Public Hearings's Application Complete to Purchase St. Mary's Hospital (Press Release) St. Mary's has seen its share of buyers and bankruptcy over the last 10 years. “Passaic and surrounding communities deserve a hospital that provides quality healthcare and in the same respect is on financially sound footing,” Virginia Treacy, Executive Director, JNESO District Council 1, said. “St. Mary’s is the last remaining hospital in Passaic. Our hope is that a buyer provides that fiscal stability.
Dec-20-13 NJ Attorney General and Department of Health Deem Prime Healthcare's Application Complete to Purchase St. Mary's Hospital (DigitalJournal.com) PASSAIC, NJ and ONTARIO, CA. -The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Health have deemed the Community Health Care Assets Protection Act ("CHAPA") and the Certificate of Need ("CON") applications for Prime Healthcare Services to acquire St. Mary's Hospital in Passaic, New Jersey complete. The decision by the Attorney General and the Department of Health clears the way for public hearings and final approval of the transaction.
Dec-17-13 Nurses Top 2013 Gallup Honesty and Ethics Poll (WebProNews.com) Americans this year rated Nurses as the most honest and ethical profession. A new Gallup poll released today shows that 82% of U.S. adults rate the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as either “high” or “very high.”
Nov-15-13 Half of N.J. hospitals will pay more to treat Medicare patients based on quality survey (NJ.com) Half the hospitals in New Jersey got bonuses and half got penalized for how they treat Medicare patients in the latest scorecard based on data released by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. Under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, the federal government can withhold a portion of reimbursement money for hospitals that did not meet standards in 24 categories.“