JNESO nurses at Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark became the first in the state to ratify a contract that guarantees safe staffing ratios and prohibits shift cancelations. Both of these provisions are essential to patient safety and maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of care.
The agreed to staff ratio will be a minimum of one nurse for every five patients on a unit. By contrast, there are certain medical units in the state where one nurse is responsible for nine patients – a proportion that is deemed unsafe for patients and by medical professionals alike. Achieving a contract that provides for safe staffing ratios speaks to the professionalism and dedication of the union nurses at Saint Michaels.
Furthermore, the provision that prohibits management from cancelling the shift of a nurse, who is scheduled to work, serves a dual purpose. Essentially, it provides nurses with greater predictability and financial stability in their lives, which is vital to peak performance on the job. This in turn yields the highest quality patient care. Guaranteed shifts are also the right and fair thing to do for the medical professionals, who we depend on for our health needs.
Once again, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO congratulates our JNESO brothers and sisters on this groundbreaking victory for patient safety and worker justice. This is yet another perfect example of how when workers are able to exercise their voice on the job, they are the greatest allies to both business and the community. The fact is that when we work together, we share in our success together.