Filipino nurses demand union funding and fair contracts

NORTH BERGEN, NJ — These Filipino nurses are bargaining for fair contracts with the Hackensack Meridian Health System before their contracts expire on July 30th.

They are members of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees or HPAE — the largest union of registered nurses and healthcare professionals in New Jersey, with more than to 13,000 members.

Local 5030 president Lorna Miquiabas says they are demanding patient safety first before corporate wealth through safe staffing.

“Right now we have a chronic staffing issue in the medical-surgical floor, some days nurses have… 1 nurse has 9 or more patients, other days 11 or more patients and that’s not safe,” she says.

Protesters say 5 patients or less per nurse is a safe ratio.

“If your workload is very heavy, it’s really really hard, you cannot take care of your patients effectively and professionally,” said Rene Balahadia.

On the same day of their protest — the Supreme Court dealt a huge blow to union funding, ruling 5-4 in the Janus v. AFSCME case on Wednesday.

In a statement, the HPAE says the Supreme Court just overruled decades of precedent that enabled public sector unions to charge a “fair-share” fee to non-members for the representation they provide.

“We’ve always respected people’s rights to be part of a union or not be part of a union, this is a big national effort by like the Koch brothers and groups, to weaken unions and weaken our representation,” said Ann Twomey.

Union leaders here say the ruling is about defunding the unions.

Union members say — as misinformation and anti-union propaganda spread around the Janus case to break unions, they are campaigning for members to stick to the unions.

While public employees in 28 states cannot be forced to join or pay union fees, union leaders say, this court ruling could affect about 5 million workers who pay dues or “fair share” fees to unions in 22 states, where public employees can be required to pay fees.

 

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  • Mario
    29 June 2018 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    Labor Union will be smaller and weaker after Supreme Court Ruling. Forcing those workers to finance Union activity, is a violation of the 1st Amendment. For Non- Union members it is not Mandatory to pay Union Dues. Unions will be weaker,their membership will be smaller, and donation to Democrat Party campaign funds will be limited. We have a Conservative majority Supreme Court for the next 35yrs. Trump will appoint the replacement of Justice Kennedy, 81 yrs old, before the mid-term election. Sen Harry Reed change the 60 votes to 51 votes ruling in choosing a new Sup Court Justice, thinking that HClinton will be the next Prez. If Trump will choose a 45 yrs old new Justice, will retire at 85, SupCourt will be conservative for 40 yrs. As I predicted after Trump got elected, he will be the most powerful US Prez ever elected. He owns the higher Court(SCUTOS) and soon the Lower Court. Trump inherited 145 lifetime Judges vacancies from Obama. Worse blunder from Obama, thinking HClinton will win.

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