Nurses gear up for possible strike at New Brunswick hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital nurses gathered in New Brunswick Thursday to vote on a contract proposal that could decide whether or not they strike.

At issue is a health care plan that many nurses complain forces those who don?t live near the hospital to fork over enormous co-pays, some as high as $1,000. The nurses and the United Steelworkers of America, the group representing the nurses' union, say it?s likely the nurses will reject the hospital?s latest proposal.

State law requires the union to give 10 days notice if the nurses decide to strike so the hospital can recruit replacement nurses. Hospital spokesperson John Patella says the hospital has contingency plans should the nurses strike. He added that the hospital?s offer was a fair one with improved wages and benefits.

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