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Nurses union says CarePoint is threatening lockout

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A nurses union said Thursday it has been threatened with a lockout by Hudson County’s CarePoint Health, where the nurses are in contract talks at Christ Hospital in Jersey City and Bayonne Medical Center.

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith sent letters to CarePoint urging good-faith negotiations.

CarePoint spokesman Spencer Baretz said: “Our goal is to create an environment where employees and the hospitals can continue to thrive together, but also have a prudent cost structure that allows for flexibility in this time of uncertainty. We remain committed to bargaining in good faith and we are awaiting the union’s response on our most recent proposal.

“We respect the right of political leaders to voice concern over avoiding a lockout, as that is preferred for everyone.”

The Health Professionals and Allied Employees union represents nurses at Christ Hospital, whose contract expired May 31, and nurses and other workers at Bayonne.  Nicole Mankowski, president of the HPAE local at Christ Hospital, said the union is fighting “to protect patient care, and secure safe nurse staffing levels for our patients.”

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Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald reports on health care, small business and higher education. She joined NJBIZ in 2008 after a 34-year career at the Star-Ledger and has been reporting on business in New Jersey since 1978. Her email is beth@njbiz.com and she is @bethfitzgerald8 on Twitter.

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