The announcement follows an earlier vote in June by HPAE members who ratified another agreement covering 1,900 health professionals at the university. The contract comes after a year of bargaining by health professionals of Local 5094 and the Registered Nurses of Locals 5089 and 5135.
The contracts include a combination of across-the-board wage increases and step movements averaging 3 percent a year, up to 13 percent for some professionals and up to 15 percent for some staff nurses over the life of the agreement; placement of Medical Health Nurses working for Rutgers University Correctional Health Care on a higher wage scale to create parity with other HPAE nurses at Rutgers; the establishment of a professional advancement pilot program for nurses at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey; the expansion of eligibility for professional employees to participate in the Rutgers free tuition remission program; equalized benefits with other Rutgers employees with additional sick days, bereavement days and vision care; incorporation of issues raised by new state legislation including the Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act and Earned Paid Sick Leave; and an agreement to re-open negotiations to address health care benefits and contribution rates, and employment issues related to the impact of the Rutgers affiliation with RWJ Barnabas Health.
HPAE is New Jersey’s largest union of nurses and health care workers. Local 5094 represents researchers, social workers, dietitians and other professionals. Local 5089 represents Registered Nurses of Rutgers University working in the Cancer Centers and Family Health Service. Local 5135 represents registered nurses working in the Correctional Health Care Division.