New Jersey Nurses Union, CWA Local 1091
260 South Livingston Ave. Livingston NJ 07039
p: 973-992-NJNU (6568) f: 973-992-8410
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Mobilizing for Safer Care in New Jersey

The New Jersey Nurses Union (NJNU), was created by working nurses at Saint Barnabas Medical Center who desired strong representation in all areas of professional concern. Since its inception in 1991, NJNU has proven effective in negotiating their contracts as well as making certain the terms and conditions are upheld. Read More

Maria Refinski, NJNU President

New Jersey Nurses News

  • Know Your Weingarten Rights!

    Weingarten Rights apply during investigatory interviews. An investigatory interview occurs when (1) management questions an employee to obtain information; and (2) the employee is being asked to defend his or her conduct and/or has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he or she says.

    When a supervisor calls an employee to the office to announce a warning or other discipline, is this an investigatory interview? The NLRB says no, because the supervisor is merely informing the employee of a previously arrived at decision. Such a meeting becomes an investigatory interview, however, if the supervisor asks questions that are related to the subject matter of the discipline.

    Investigatory interviews relate to such subjects as: Absenteeism, Accidents, Non-Compliance of work rules, Damage to company property, Drinking, Drugs, Falsification of records, Fighting, Insubordination, Lateness, Poor attitude, Poor work performance, Sabotage, Slowdowns, Theft, and Violation of safety rules.

    Under the Supreme Court's Weingarten decision, when an investigatory interviews occurs, the following rules apply:

    • The EMPLOYEE may request Union representation before or during the interview.
    • After the request, the employer must choose from among three options:
    1. Grant the request and delay questioning until the Union representative arrives.
    2. Deny the request and end the interview immediately.
    3. Give the employee a choice of (a) having the interview without representation (usually a mistake) or (b) ending the interview.  

    If the employer denies the request for Union representation, and questions the employee, it commits an unfair labor practice, and the employee may refuse to answer.

  • Memorandum of Agreement between SBMC and NJNU ratified 12-02-09

    Memorandum of Agreement between

    Saint Barnabas Medical Center and NJNU

    duration November 2, 2009 -November 1, 2011

    ratified 12-02-09

    **See attached document for the contract agreement.**

  • Memorandum of Agreement between SBMC and NJNU ratified 12-02-09

    Memorandum of Agreement between

    Saint Barnabas Medical Center and NJNU

    duration November 2, 2009 -November 1, 2011

    ratified 12-02-09

    **See attached document for the contract agreement.**


    NJNU wants to remind our members that any access into a patient’s confidential information that is not under your direct care is a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This is a federal law that all health care providers must abide by. No matter what good intentions you may have for looking up any information for a visitor, doctor, relative or friend, the minute you access that information you are breaking the law. When you log onto a computer with your password, everything you do is recorded into the computer's database of the patient's medical record. Violating HIPAA can result in members being disciplined or terminated in worse case, despite your best intended action(s)

  • Short Staffing Forms

    Please continue to send your Short Staffing forms to NJNU, however due to the large amount of short staffing forms that we receive, we cannot respond to each individual form. Each and every short staffing form is addressed by both NJNU and SBMC and MMCSC management.   

    The purpose of these forms is to provide information for negotiations and arbitrations in regards to staffing issues. Also, by notifying management about unsafe conditions and filing a short staffing form, you can help protect yourself and your license. 

    Fill out all the information on the Short Staffing Forms. It is important to have the number of staff and the census with every form.  For a copy of the form see your Officer and/or Delegate or call the NJNU office at 973-992-6568.

    When you have completed the Short Staffing Form fax it to 973-992-8410.

    You can also complete the form online. Click on the link Short Staffing Form, fill the form out and click on submit.  

    Keep those forms coming!

  • Your Rights


    If you are called into a meeting with management and the meeting could in any way lead to your being disciplined or terminated, or affect your personal working conditions, inform management that you request that your Union Delegate be present at the meeting.  Until your Delegate arrives, explain that you choose not to participate in their discussion.   


    You cannot be punished for making this request.  If management denies this request and continues to question, it will have committed an UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE, which is a violation of Federal law, and you then have a right to refuse to answer their questions. 

    Management can not discipline you for such a refusal, if you have followed these steps.   

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your local delegate.


    Many of the nurses at the MMCSC/BHBHC are forced to work without the luxury of a break or lunch during their 12 hour shift due to the chronic short staffing that plagues their facilities.  The current staffing issue leaves nurses unable to take full breaks except briefly for the rest room or to get something that they can eat at the nursing station. 

    Management has stated that if a nurse is forced to eat their meals at the nursing station, that it is not considered a lunch and they would therefore be entitled to their "30-minute" pay. 

    As a result the following process should be utilized with respects to breaks and/or lunches:

    1. Contact your Director or Head Nurse, and notify them that you would like to take a break/lunch.  If they are able to provide coverage, then you should go.  If not, proceed to next step.
    2. Notify them that you will then write "+30 minutes" on your time card, and then please fill out a short staffing form here.

    It is extremely important that every member take their break or lunch if it is offered to you.  NJNU understands all of your responsibilities, however your health and well-being is more important to us, being that you can not otherwise provide the quality level of care that your patients deserve.

    Should you have any questions concerning this issue or would like assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our office or click here.

  • MMCSC Violence in the Workplace

    Nurses, particularly those who work in psychiatric units and ERs, care for patients who are verbally or physically abusive. Nurses at both facilities have been involved in violent incidents, including patients with possession of knives, and even patients who are physically and verbally abusive.


    “Recent studies and news reports suggest that when agitation escalates into full blown assault, nurses are often the victims. Accordingly nurses are protesting what they say are inadequate protections in the workplace” (AJN, Feb. 2007).

    This article also sites that few nurses file a formal incident report because “they don’t feel supported by their managers or administrators when incidents arise and because work pressures don’t allow time for staff to report.”


    NJNU members at MMCSC and BHBHC need to be responsible and file detailed incidents reports with NJNU as soon as possible, so that NJNU can work with management to formulate practices and create a safer work environment. NJNU cannot attempt to fix what we are not made aware of. As the above mentioned article states, “Being assaulted is NOT in our job description!”

    Incident reports can now be filed with NJNU by faxing to (732)987-7703 or click here.

    For more information regarding this issue please visit: OSHA Guidelines for Workplace Violence.