(Camden, New Jersey) Cooper University Hospital and the Health Professionals & Allied Employees (HPAE), the union representing Cooper nurses, have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. The contract is scheduled to be voted on by nurses Tuesday, May 26, 2009.
“People turn to Cooper for their health care needs when they face the most serious injuries and medical conditions. And when they come to Cooper, very often, the first health professional they meet are the outstanding Cooper nurses,” said George E. Norcross, III, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Cooper. “This tentative contract agreement proves our continued commitment to our nurses.”
The two-year contract, which starts June 1, 2009, was negotiated upon in good faith between both parties to ensure quality patient care, patient and nursing safety, and fair compensation.
“There is no greater asset to our organization then the quality nursing care delivered to our patients,” said John P. Sheridan, Jr., President and CEO at Cooper. “We are pleased to have a tentative contract that maintains Cooper’s high standards for the patients and the nurses.”
Cooper University Hospital has nearly 1,000 HPAE nurses who treat patients throughout the Delaware Valley in both in-patient and out-patient facilities.
The tentative agreement at CUH is among the first of eight contracts being negotiated around the state by HPAE and NJ hospitals affecting more than 5000 nurses and health care workers, and is the first to represent what nurses say is vital during the current economic – focusing the use of scarce patient care funding on bedside care and policies to recruit and retain qualified nursing staff.
“It is significant that we were able to come to a tentative agreement more than 10 days before our current contract expires, that maintains our high standard of care, and the policies that make CUH the best place for nurses to work, and for patients to heal,” said Kate Grohe, president of the 1000 member HPAE local union. “In these truly difficult times, every hospital, nurse and health care worker should recognize the importance of focusing our efforts at bedside care. We believe this contract does that, and we are proud of our members’ participation and of the cooperation that the nurses and CUH management achieved with this tentative agreement.”
Details of the tentative agreement are being withheld until the members’ vote on Tuesday, May 26.