New Jersey hospital workers reach new deal with county

Healthcare workers at a behavioral health facility in New Jersey have secured pay increases of up to 11 percent over four years as well as freezes on their health premiums, New Jersey news service reported Dec. 28. 

The unionized workers at Berkeley Heights-based Cornerstone Behavioral Health Hospital reached a collective bargaining agreement with Union County officials, with the contract good until Dec. 31, 2025, and the conditions retroactive to Jan. 1, 2022. The workers, who are part of Health Professionals and Allied Employees Local 5112, also received assurances about their job status should the hospital be sold, the report said.

"We reached an agreement that was acceptable to union leadership and its members ratified it, so we are satisfied with the outcome," Unity County Counsel Bruce Bergen told

In addition, the workers' healthcare premiums will remain at a July 2018 rate for the life of the agreement. The contract was unanimously ratified by workers in October.

"Cornerstone nurses have been on the front lines during the pandemic, and we should cherish and protect them," HPAE President Debbie White, RN, said. "This contract is a testament to the value of HPAE union members working together to achieve common goals."

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