Nurses at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital are set to go on strike August 4th, if contract negotiations continue to fail.
United Steelworkers Local 4-200, the union that represents the hospital’s more than 1,700 nurses, filed a strike notice notifying the hospital that nurses will start picketing at 7 a.m. that day. The union has been calling for higher staffing levels, pay hikes, and improved health benefits.
“In a final effort to avert a strike, the union met with the hospital for 7 hours. Unfortunately, the hospital was unwilling to offer any changes worthwhile to the membership,” read a statement on the Union’s website.
If the nurses do end up striking, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital previously said in a statement that the facility will remain open and operational with an “extensive contingency plan in place” so that there is minimal interruption of patient care.
The hospital said in a statement, “We have not received any counter-offer in writing or any credible sense of where the union stands, let alone what they would or could agree to. Further, we have agreed to enter into a binding arbitration, and the union has refused. RWJUH nurses are currently the highest paid in New Jersey, based on publicly available salary data, yet have rejected a generous settlement at a time when hospitals nationwide are struggling to recruit and retain nurses.”
Union leaders have said that is not the case, and no other meetings have been scheduled with the hospital.