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

  • 2020 Year End Message from NJNU President

    Dear Members,
    As we close out a year like no other in our personal and professional lives, I cannot help but be grateful to you all for your perseverance as nurses through the worst pandemic in our lifetime. The strength, compassion, and camaraderie with each other during the worst of days was and continues to be the only way to get through these times. I am so proud of each and everyone of you.
    2020 was designated the Year of the Nurse and Midwife by WHO, and never has this country or the world realized that this designation would have so much more meaning than now. We were there for our patients as their nurse and so much more as families were restricted from visiting. We rose to the challenge of nursing during a pandemic when no one really knew how to treat this disease and that is a testament to our profession. We came to work even with our own fears of this unknown disease and our own family crises and illness. We took off our scrubs and shoes at the doorway or garages to protect our families, persevered through multiple long shifts wearing PPE for 13 hours and hardly eating, witnessed so much death and sickness. No one will really realize the extent of what happened inside those walls except us as nurses. And it is because of each other to lean on that we got through and are still getting through. I thank you with a full heart.

    As I close my tenure as President of NJNU, I can only hope that I have served you well since 2009. I have made it my lifelong mission to represent nurses when they have been disciplined, to police the contract when management violates it, and to negotiate the best contracts possible. On a day to day basis NJNU continues to alert management to issues beyond the contract, and during major crises we’ve dealt with such as Hurricane Sandy/Irene/Swine flu/RSV/Ebola/Covid-19, as a Union we sought information from the system shared it with our members and brought safety issues to light for resolution.
    I will continue as an officer when elections come next month, and when a new NJNU administration comes into 2021, my hope is that you become involved and work with them to strengthen our Union. Read your contract, keep it with you. One person cannot carry this Union, but together we can be strong.
    It has been my great honor to serve you, thank you for your support over the years. You know you can always reach out to me for anything.
    May you all have a Happy New Year and wishes for a brighter healthier year for all!
    In Unity,
    Maria Refinski MSN RN CPAN
    President NJNU


    October 8, 2020
    Share This Article:
    Today, CWA joined other labor unions and environmental groups to sue the federal government over its failure to provide adequate reusable respirators, N95 masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment to essential workers. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., says Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf should immediately use the Defense Production Act to ensure adequate PPE supply for frontline workers. The agencies failed to respond to an August petition from the groups that demanded emergency action.
    "It's difficult for healthcare workers to get supplies on a daily basis because employers are conserving what they have, and having to ask or find PPE on our own is a horrible practice," said Denise Abbott, an emergency room nurse in Buffalo, N.Y., and a member of CWA Local 1168. "Staff still have to reuse masks for the entire day unless they're dirty, damp, or damaged. PPE must be at the ready and used properly if we're ever going to see an end to this crisis. With the flu season fast approaching, healthcare workers are again facing great risk from this administration's failure to act."
    Steady growth in COVID-19 cases nationwide has led to a shortage of lifesaving equipment – including gloves, masks, gowns, and sterilizing supplies – for millions of essential workers. This shortage has left CWA members without adequate respiratory protection throughout the pandemic in healthcare, telecommunications, airlines, public sector, manufacturing, retail, law enforcement, education, and broadcasting, media, and the news. People of color are more likely to be part of the essential workforce and at higher risk of death from the coronavirus.
    "People are dying, and more people are going to die because the Trump administration has totally failed to protect Americans who have been on the job throughout the pandemic keeping our country running," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "Workers are terrified about the possibility of having to face a potential third surge of this COVID-19 virus during flu season without having access to adequate protective equipment. Trump and his cronies need to focus on the real problems people are facing and use every tactic within their power to get PPE produced and distributed to workers."


    We are pleased to announced that the 2019-2022 contract between New Jersey Nurses

    Union, CWA Local 1091, and Saint Barnabas Medical Center has been RATIFIED!!!

    We want to thank you all for your patience and support.

    More details to follow.

    Again thank you,

    In Unity,

    Negotiating Team


    For this ratification vote NJNU will be utilizing a program called “Election Buddy” due to current restrictions with the state mandate of social distancing. You will receive an email and/or text message with a voter key which is a randomly generated code on Tuesday, September 8th at 9am. The key is single use, only allowing your vote to be cast once.
    Voters do not need an Election Buddy account to vote.
    You will receive a confirmation receipt after you vote.
    Voting is anonymous and voters cannot be linked to their choices.

    1. Tuesday, September 8th 2020 voting begins at 9am.
    2. Wednesday, September 9th 2020 voting ends at 4pm.

    VOTING is open from 9am on Tuesday continuously through Wednesday 4pm. (you can vote anytime day or night)

    It is vitally IMPORTANT that NJNU has your current personal email address and/or your mobile phone number to be able to vote. Please either call the office at 973-992-6568 or email NJNU at

    The office will be available from 8:30am-5:30pm Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:30am-4pm for any technical issues.
    Voting closes exactly at 4pm on Wednesday, September 9th.

  • SBMC Negotiation Update #11

    Negotiations Update #11
    August 26, 2020

    Dear NJNU Members,

    NJNU is pleased to announce that we have reached a new and improved tentative agreement with the medical center for the Contract, based your feedback. Details of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) will be sent out next week via email.
    It is vitally important that NJNU has your personal email address and phone number because we will be conducting the ratification vote electronically, due to COVID restrictions on gathering numbers. Members in good standing are eligible to vote; if you have any questions as to your voting status please call the office.
    If you are not receiving emails from NJNU or we do not have your email address please call the office at 973-992-6568 or email
    Please sign up for text updates “nursesnj” to 69866.
    We will be having multiple Zoom meetings on September 1st and September 3rd, to explain the MOA and answer any questions you may have related to it. Times and details for these meetings will be sent out. The actual MOA and wage scales will be sent out electronically once they are finalized, so you may have the opportunity to review it and formulate your questions for the meetings.
    We thank you for your patience, dedication, and support during this process.

    In Unity,
    Negotiating Team

  • SBMC Negotiation Update #10

    August 21, 2020

    Dear NJNU Members:

    The company and your NJNU-CWA bargaining team met virtually again via GoToMeeting on Tuesday and Wednesday ending each day late at night. We apologize for the delay in getting this report to all of you.

    The Team has persisted and discussions continued regarding sick leave during a pandemic or a resurgence of a pandemic, and we were able to reach a tentative agreement that in general terms will provide time off with pay for an employee that is required by the Medical Center to be quarantined due to a work related exposure.

    As for finances, communication has continued. The Medical Center and your Union are still trying to close the gaps in each side’s position to get closer to an agreement. While the Union understands the current economic climate; fair and just compensations have been items in our demands since last year. COVID-19 reaffirmed our commitment to our hospitals, our community and our patients. We worked hard, under extreme physical and emotional distress that was not adequately alleviated, due to the lack of PPE. We need proportionate incentives that will reflect adequate compensation for our members to ratify the agreement.

    We thank you for your patience and support and remind you that we have buttons for those who do not have them, please contact your delegate or contact person so we may get them to you. Those that do have them, WEAR THEM PROUDLY!

    Remember that NJNU needs your personal email to receive updated communications.
    Text nursenj to 69866 on your mobile device to receive text updates from NJNU.

    In Unity,

    Negotiating Team

  • SBMC Negotiations Update #9

    August 14, 2020

    Dear NJNU Members:

    The company and your NJNU-CWA bargaining team met virtually again via GoToMeeting.

    The Team has persisted and we have tentatively agreed on language for PPE yesterday and Staffing the prior session. Discussions have continued regarding Sick Leave during a pandemic to assure certain time paid. For the first time the hospital countered on our proposal, and we responded to that proposal to hopefully come to an agreement.

    We know that our members want details on our financial proposals; we will not be bringing exact number or percentages in these updates. Why you ask? The Team is not being secretive but there is a strategy to negotiations, and as a Team along with CWA direction, we believe this is the best approach for a positive outcome.
    Today we have brought a unique concept to the hospital which they are costing out and currently considering.

    The Team continues innovate to get to something we think our members will be able to accept and eventually ratify.

    We thank you for your patience and support.

    We have buttons for those who do not have them, please contact your delegate or contact person so we may get them to you. Those that do have them, WEAR THEM PROUDLY!

    Keep sending those SOLIDARITY pictures; we need a lot before we can send them publicly.
    Hold your arm held high in strength, take a picture and send it to us 973-975-6764 or You have the entire weekend, let’s get 1000! Let’s show the hospital we are ONE and UNITED! (Remember turn your badge, no patient identifiers or patient care area)

    Remember that NJNU needs your personal email to receive updated communications. Text nursenj to 69866 on your mobile device to receive text updates from NJNU.

    We are scheduled to meet next week.

    In Unity,

    Negotiating Team

  • SBMC Negotiation Update #8

    August 7, 2020

    Dear NJNU Members:

    The company and your NJNU-CWA bargaining team met virtually again via GoToMeeting.

    The Medical Center responded to most of the pending request for information that the Union has made. We are evaluating those responses in order to understand the way the Medical Center provided the necessary time off for our nurses to protect themselves. Is our intent to keep looking for creative ways to address this issue.

    We also continued our lengthy discussions over Personal Protective Equipment, and the ability of the Medical Center to provide our members with enough respiratory protective equipment. Both sides discussed various options, such as reusable equipment and current decontamination practices and procedures. We continue to make proposals to address those issues but we are still not yet in agreement.

    As for staffing, after many discussion the parties reached a tentative agreement that improves communications between nurses and managers, addresses the future EPIC tool that will be implemented in the medical center, improves communication during pandemic emergencies among others.

    Finally after the Union evaluated the employer’s cost analysis and the financial information provided, we made a new Wage Proposal. Now is the Medical Center’s turn to provide a counter proposal to both Wages and Shifts and Differentials.

    As we move forward we need the Members to step up Mobilization efforts. We continue to ask our nurses to join us and take a picture of yourself or you with your colleagues (like the one attached) and text it to NJNU:
    Holding your arm up, hand closed as a sign of strength, support, and solidarity for your team and Union.
    Make sure there are no patient or SBMC identifiers in the picture 
    Any location is fine - it could be taken at home, in the parking garage, in the cafeteria, lounge, etc, but not in a patient care area
    Any attire is fine, but scrubs or other work-related gear, or a CWA shirt will look the most powerful (just remember - no SBMC identifiers)
    Text your picture to NJNU 973-975-6764 or
    We'll be sharing pictures on social media as well as including them in a press release to let the public know NJNU CWA Local 1091 nurses are in full support of our negotiating team and are fighting for a fair contract!

    It will be a message demanding SBMC to bargain with the Union to get a fair contract that recognizes our nurses contribution during the pandemic and that will honor the words from the hospitals: that we were and are heroes. We also received our NJNU and we are ready to distribute those with any member that don’t have.

    We are scheduled to meet next week on Thursday and Friday. Remember that all the terms and conditions of the prior contract remain in place, with the exception of the arbitration provisions.

    Make sure you're signed up to receive news and updates via text message by texting the word "NursesNJ" to 69866.

    An Injury To One, Is An Injury To All.

    Your Bargaining Team.