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

  • Happy Nurses Week

  • Covid-19 Update 4-10-20

    On March 31st NJNU proposed a new Memorandum of Understanding to address our members’ concerns.

    As of today, the hospital refused to recognize the nurses with a proposed hazard pay incentive which was given to them on March 31st; it took them 2 weeks to say NO!

    We also proposed language on the hospital’s Attendance Policy to address our nurses concerns regarding absences during this time, and no surprise – they refused.

    The hospital states that they are recognizing the nurses by what they are being “told” we are doing: but exactly what does that mean? We feel that actions speak louder then the words “we recognize you”.
    A hazard pay would be the recognition for all of the intense assignments that our nurses have been made to perform in the most horrific of conditions.

  • NJNU Townhall Covid Call March 30th 7:30pm

  • Covid-19 Update 3-18-20

    NJNU along with other unions and hospital systems had a phone call today with the Governor and the NJ Health Commissioner. Unions called for standardizing of quarantine mandates, standard disaster plans for all healthcare systems in NJ, childcare assistance, adequate PPE for all healthcare workers.
    Here are some of the highlights from the call:
    Supplies are coming from the federal strategic stockpile:
    13,000 gloves
    4500 masks
    2200 face shields
    1082 gowns
    42 coveralls
    1 million N95 masks in 3-4 weeks.
    Predictions are there will be too few beds and there will be a surge. There are capacity plans now to secure 260 beds; 200 North, 11 Central, 50 South. In 3-4 weeks they will secure 227 more beds. A facility in Underwood-Memorial Hospital, Woodbury, NJ will be redesigned and equipped for 300 general acute care beds to absorb the surge. EMS workers will be supplementing nursing staff.
    Testing centers will be opening in Bergen County on Friday; plans for Monmouth County near the PNC Arts Center probably next week. The priority for testing will be for symptomatic healthcare workers, but you must make an appointment.
    The Governor called for standardized plans from all healthcare systems in the state. He urged the Unions and the healthcare systems to work together on that.They spoke to several nursing associations to “call upon" active and inactive licensed RNs in NJ for staffing.
    The Governor stated “we are at war” but that we will “row the boat together”. He praised all of the healthcare workers at the frontlines as heroes. He thanked all of the Unions and healthcare systems on the call multiple times for bringing our concerns and suggestions to them.

  • Covid-19 Update 3-15-20

    Dear Members,
    NJNU is in constant communication with the hospital and we are collaborating with other unions in the state that represent healthcare workers to make sure our members are protected. Things are changing hour by hour, and when members send NJNU their concerns we are addressing them with management quickly. NJNU along with the other unions had a call last week with NJ Health Commissioner and because of that call the Governor's office announced this past Friday that extra N95 masks are coming into our state from federal stockpiles as well as faceshields, which was in direct response to the collaborative union effort from the call. We have another call with the Commissioner tomorrow; we will keep you updated.
    As for the RWJBH System update, those are posted daily via your rwjbh email and on The Bridge. NJNU requested that the rwjbh email be accessible from outside, they are looking into that as it needs a two identification process.
    As you may know as of yesterday at 2pm, there is no visitation policy in effect. Exceptions are Peds, PICU, NICU, L & D, FCC, will have 1 visitor and end of life and critical care situations case by case. NJNU has reached out to management on how our members will handle the anticipated increased influx of phone calls about loved ones to the units. As it is a HIPPA violation to give any medical information over the phone, we are waiting for a response. NJNU also suggested to the hospital that there be a designated manager to field these calls on all shifts.
    As for PPE; the hospital has N95s right now but may run out and they are on back order, although now that the governor is getting a supply, possibly that won't happen. However in the meantime the hospital is requiring fit testing for the HALYARD Duckbill masks. For those members that failed the fit testing for the N95 and need the PAPR, management is saying everyone must now be fit tested with the Duckbill masks and fail that testing before classified as PAPR users. Fit testing of these masks have begun with these areas first: ED, CCU/ICU, 5200 and floats that go to these areas. At MMCSC it should be the same units ED, CCU/ICU, 3H. We have asked for the schedule for fit testing and for more sessions to accomodate the night shift. They will be there for that around 6pm and 7am, but we are still asking for more sessions and when we get the schedule we will share it with our members.
    Many of our members want to know if our members in general will be tested even if not directly exposed to a patient that is positive for the virus. As of right now no but that may change as things progress, this may go on for awhile and things will change on a daily basis. If you have symptoms or are sick please stay home, we have made it clear to management we don't want our members coming to work for fear of any disicplinary actions.
    As of yesterday, there has not been a positive case at SBMC or MMCSC yet, some test results are pending though for some patients.
    If you have a spouse that is military and is going to be deployed and this causes child or adult care issues, you can apply for a military LOA, it would be the same application source as if applying for FMLA. If you do not have the hours required (1250 hours past 12months FMLA, 1000 hours past 12 months for FLA) than you can apply for a personal LOA for 30 days. You can call HR with any questions on this.
    Finally as NJNU is updated we will pass the information on to our members. Our main concern is safety and protection our members. We have been addressing specific issues with management so we encourage you to email NJNU at or call the office at 973-992-6568, or call your delegates or officers with questions/concerns. We will get through this together, please take care of yourselves and your families.

  • Covid 19 Updates

    Dear Members,
    NJNU met with HR, CNO, and DON in a collaborative effort to address the Corona Virus.
    Here are some important points from the meeting:

    1. How is the latest information about Covid 19 being communicated to the employees:
    Required learning module on the Covid 19 released in February to all employees, literature, Q & A’s on the communication portal “the Bridge” as well as emails, webinar employee forums, and daily huddles. In addition, ongoing policies on communicable diseases on the Bridge.
    2. How will payment of employees be handled in case of employees with positive
    Tests? Confirmed exposure? Quarantined?
    This will depend:
    If an employee has a confirmed exposure at work and needs to be quarantined they will be paid by the medical center.
    If the employee is exposed at work, contracts the virus, then a workers compensation claim is filed.
    If the employee is sick; however did not contract the virus at work, sick, vacation, or holiday time maybe used along with disability.
    3. How will absences/occurrences be handled as a result of any incidences in #2.
    According to the policy and/or dependent on actual circumstances. The goal is to encourage minimizing the spread of the virus. If an employee is sick they should contact their personal MD, and then call Corporate Care. Also employees are encouraged to use RWJBH Telemed option.
    4. Does the hospital have enough supplies? N95, hand sanitizer, ventilators, hepafilters, etc
    No way to predict that the hospital won’t run out of supplies, it’s a worldwide problem. Right now they do and the hospital continues to order supplies. 12 more hepafilter machines were ordered. N95s are in short supply and are on back order.
    5. Visitor restriction?
    All children restricted under the age of 16, further restrictions will go in effect on 3/13 (check visitor update). The information desk and security guards have a script to question visitors when they come to the hospital regarding recent travel. If there is any question as to whether a visitor should be allowed the volunteers, receptionist, and security guards have a list of nursing admin cell phone numbers.
    6. Employee training?
    Dunning and doffing guidelines being reviewed, besides information in #1.
    7. Cleaning (with approved CDC cleaning solutions) has been increased to every 2
    hours and every 3-4 hours on the floors. Extra staff brought in for cleaning.
    Self-service sanctions will be in place in cafeteria.
    8. Everyday at 4pm Corporate has a call with the CDC and that information is
    relayed to the leadership and HR.
    9. Testing?
    No capability for testing at the hospital at this time.

    The hospital stated that this is a fluid situation and is changing by the minute and that they are committed to keeping the Union and our members updated. NJNU will keep you updated as we are.

    Also NJNU and other NJ Unions are collaborating to put out a press release. As a group we will be having a social media rally tomorrow from 12n-3pm, further details to follow. Unions are working together to protect and communicate for our members collectively.

    In response to the Covid-19 epidemic, Rep. Robert Scott Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Education & Labor introduced HR 6139, "The COVID-19 Worker Protection Act of 2020. Take action to urge your US Representatives to Support HR 6139.

    This bill directs the Secretary of Labor to issue an emergency temporary standard requiring certain employers to develop and implement a comprehensive infectious disease exposure control plan to protect employees in health care sectors and other employees at elevated risk from exposure to SARS–CoV–2. Although the CDC has issued guidance to protect health care workers, it is not binding and there is no enforceable OSHA standard to protect workers from airborne infectious diseases.

    In addition to the introduction of HR 6139, OSHA has received two petitions calling for an emergency temporary standard to protect workers from COVID-19. This emergency standard is vital for protecting front-line workers in healthcare and other high-risk occupations.

    Take action now: Tell your representative to support H.R. 6139 - the Covid-19 Health Care Worker Protection Act.


    March 5, 2020

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    As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect communities across the globe, CWA leaders are engaging with employers to ensure that they are providing CWA members with comprehensive safety and prevention measures in an environment that encourages open and free communication without fear of reprisal or negative impacts on pay or continued employment.

    CWA's Health and Safety department has established a process for locals to report on what protections employers have put in place as well as for members to report any incidents of exposure or infection. If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms consistent with infection, please contact your CWA Local or District immediately.

    Local health and safety committees are also sharing information with members on protocols for avoiding infection at their workplaces.

    These resources provide more information on how to protect yourself from coronavirus infection, what to do if you are sick, and how to address the risk of infection in your workplace:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease 2019
    Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 Hazard Recognition
    AFL-CIO Coronavirus Resources

  • Union Message

    SBMC Members;
    NJNU has spoken to the hospital about the vote results and we are now awaiting a follow up call regarding future negotiations. We will keep you posted.