Hackensack Meridian Health workers seek to unionize

Health Professionals and Allied Employees union filed two petitions with the National Labor Relations Board to represent more employees at Hackensack Meridian Health's Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, N.J., hospital officials confirmed.

Union President Debbie White, RN, said the workers — which include lab technicians, housekeepers, patient care technicians, food service and catering workers, lab assistants, and pharmacy technicians — seek better wages, benefits and rights in the workplace. 

"Some of these workers, despite serving on the front lines, do not get proper personal protective equipment or training that would keep them safe from becoming infected," she said in a statement.

For the workers to unionize, the NLRB would have to accept the petitions, then schedule an election where workers will vote on whether they want to join the union, according to Hackensack Meridian.

The health system told Becker's it was examining the appropriateness of the bargaining units requested by the union in the petitions.

"We strongly believe that an expansion of the union at Jersey Shore is not in the best interest of our patients, the communities we serve nor our team members," Hackensack Meridian said in a statement. "We are committed to providing the facts about joining a union to our team members, and we will continue to do so while we evaluate these petitions."

The union already represents about 1,200 nurses at the medical center.


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