RWJ University Hospital reaches tentative contract deal with nurses union
Nurses at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital say they are feeling optimistic after their union, United Steel Workers 4-200, reached a tentative contract agreement with the hospital.
This comes after more than 120 days on strike.
Dawn Salmon has been a nurse for almost 30 years.
"Of course, I am hopeful. We are all hopeful," she said.
The new contract would raise wages, cap insurance costs and provide safe staffing ratios.
"Our union leadership has found that this is the first response from the hospital that has positive outcomes for the nurse because the ones in the past have not," says Cathy Murphy, another nurse with almost three decades of experience.
However, nurses are still gathering outside of the hospital. They say the strike is not over yet.
"We don't know if we are going back or not yet. We have to vote on it. So we are still on strike we have to see whether the contract is fair or not," said Salmon.
The nurses union president wrote in a statement, “After more than 120 days on the picket lines, we are pleased to announce that USW nurses have reached a historic agreement with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital that includes enforceable safe staffing standards in our collective bargaining agreement for the first time."
"We are grateful for it, yes. But it still needs to be seen in black and white and if it is what we asked for it. We will vote," said Murphy.
News 12 learned from a spokesperson of the hospital that a memorandum of agreement was signed by both parties and will be presented over the next several days to union members through informational meetings as part of the ratification process.