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

  • Staffing at SBMC

    The SBMC Joint Labor/Management Staffing Committee is currently underway. NJNU holds meetings monthly in our office so that members can discuss the many staffing issues that plague their units. The NJNU Staffing committee members determine which issues they would like to address in the joint meetings with management and sends their recommendations with the four members of the Joint Staffing Committee, which meets the second Tuesday of the month.

    Every month the NJNU Staffing Committee will provide updates as to status of the many issues on our staffing agenda. The goal is to ensure the safety of the patients as well as protect the licenses of our members, all while providing quality care to our patients.

    To date, the committee has begun the arduous process of implementing the new acuity system called "Opti-Link". We feel confident that this is a very important first step to addressing the staffing crisis at SBMC. In addition, there have been many issues brought to our attention by our membership. We will try to address every issue, however if there is something of an urgent nature, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 973-992-6568. Any member can be part of this committee, and we encourage you to become involved, together we can find solutions.

  • Mandatory Overtime

    This is what the Department of Labor Says about the Mandatory Overtime Law:

    Q. Is there a law that protects health care workers from being forced to work overtime?

    A. Yes. The New Jersey Mandatory Overtime Restrictions for Health Care Facilities stipulates the conditions under which health care facilities may require certain hourly employees to work overtime. The law is contained in N.J.S.A. 34:11-56a31 et seq. The regulations are contained in N.J.A.C. 8:43E-8.1 et seq.

    Q. Who is covered under the law for mandatory overtime restrictions?

    A. Hourly workers who are involved in direct patient care activities or clinical services and are employed by a health care facility (see below for definition of health care facility). This may include nurses and nurse’s aides, but not doctors. For a list of employees that are not covered, click on N.J.A.C. 8:43E-8-2.

    Q. What is a “health care facility?”

    A. A “health care facility” means a health care facility licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, a State or county psychiatric hospital, a State developmental center, or a health care service firm registered by the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.

    Examples of a health care facility include hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, comprehensive rehabilitation hospitals, residential health care facilities, residential drug and alcohol treatment facilities, adult day health care facilities, assisted living residences, comprehensive personal care homes, home health care agencies, hospice care agencies, maternal and child health consortia, and health care service firms.

    Q. Are health care facilities required to post a notice regarding the mandatory overtime restrictions?

    A. Yes. Health care facilities are required to post the notice “New Jersey Mandatory Overtime Restrictions for Health Care Facilities” (MW-377) in a conspicuous place.

    Q. Can an employer fire an employee who refuses to work overtime?

    A. If the employee is a “covered” health care worker under the law for Mandatory Overtime Restrictions for Health Care Facilities, the employer is prohibited from discriminating or discharging an employee who refuses to work overtime.

    Q. When can a health care facility require certain hourly employees to work overtime?

    A. In order to comply with the provisions of the law, a health care facility must meet the following three requirements:

    • The required overtime must be in response to an unforeseeable emergent circumstance and only as a last resort and not used to fill vacancies resulting from chronic short staffing.

    An “unforeseeable emergent circumstance” means an event that is unpredictable and non-recurring relating to health care delivery that requires immediate action.

    “Chronic short staffing” means a situation characterized by long standing vacancies that remain unfilled over a period of 90 days or more.

    • The employer has exhausted reasonable efforts to obtain staffing. This means that the employer shall:

    • seek volunteers to work overtime
    • contact “on-call” employees
    • seek the use of per diem staff
    • seek personnel from a contracted temporary agency when such staff is permitted by law or regulation.

    • The employer shall provide the employee with necessary time, up to a maximum of one hour, to arrange for the care of the employee’s minor children or elderly or disabled family members.

    Q. What can I do if I was required to work overtime but I do not believe my employer met the requirements of the law?

    A. If you believe that your employer did not meet the requirements of the law, you can file a Mandatory Overtime Complaint form (MW-31OT). Click on the form number to obtain a copy of this form or contact the Division of Wage and Hour Compliance at (609) 292-2305. Submit the completed form by mail, fax, or e-mail to the address shown at the top of the form.

    Q. What happens after I file a Mandatory Overtime Complaint?

    A. After the Division of Wage and Hour Compliance receives your complaint, you will be sent a letter acknowledging its receipt. Your complaint will be reviewed to ensure that the type of work you do and the employer you work for are covered under the law for Mandatory Overtime Restrictions. Your employer will then be notified that a complaint has been filed. Your employer will also be supplied with a copy of your complaint and asked to complete a questionnaire regarding the mandatory overtime.

    After your employer’s response is received, it will be reviewed and a decision will be made whether the employer met the requirements of the law. Both you and your employer will be notified of the outcome. An employer who is in violation of the law will be subject to monetary penalties in accordance with N.J.A.C. 12:56-1. The person who filed the complaint will not be compensated for any damages collected from the employer.

  • 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.