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Striking nurses hold candlelight vigil as they fight for better work conditions

The nurses have been on strike for five days. They say that their main concern is staffing at the hospital.

Matt Trapani and Naomi Yané

Aug 9, 2023, 12:18 AM

Updated 314 days ago

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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital nurses who are on strike held a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening as they continue to demand better work conditions.
The nurses have been on strike for five days. They say that their main concern is staffing at the hospital.
The staff has told News 12 New Jersey that they are hoping to get back to work sooner rather than later. They are urging management to meet them at the bargaining table to negotiate urgent concerns like adequate staffing.
"It shouldn’t be a struggle for nurses to just want to give their patients exceptional care… unsafe staffing, just puts our patients at risk for poor outcomes," says registered nurse Junerose Gambito
More than 1,700 nurses went on strike Aug. 4. No resolution has been reached yet between the nurses and management. Their recent contract expired on July 21.
Some of the nurses who spoke with News 12 say that the strike is reminiscent of the nurse's strike in 2006. Sheikha Gambito and her sister Junerose are both nurses. She says that their parents participated in the 2006 strike.
“We were there to support them, even before we were nurses with our parents. We stood strong with them in solidarity along with the other [United Health Care Workers] workers now. It has definitely come full circle and now it’s us and our parents are actually supporting us too,” Sheikha Gambito says.
A spokesperson for RWJ University Hospital said that they’re willing to return to the negotiating table, and they’ve welcomed an invitation from the mediator to meet on Wednesday.


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