Up to 70 registered nurses at Englewood hospital could be let go in , the union said Wednesday.
“As unionized nurses, we have insisted on negotiations over the impact of these proposed layoffs on nurses and our patients, and have requested financial information that would explain any necessity for such a drastic step,” Michele McLaughlin, president of Health Professionals and Allied Employees Local 5004, said in a statement.
Hospital management’s call to furlough nurses based on patient numbers was a key source of strife in negotiations, according to the union.
“In discussions with EHMC – and after reviewing 2011 financial data publicly available – it is clear that the layoff is nothing more than an attempt to blackmail Registered Nurses into accepting unacceptable working conditions making nurses a transient workforce, and diminishing continuity and quality of care to our patients,” McLaughlin said.
A hospital spokeswoman said the plan was to “right size” the unionized nurses to meet tough economic times, NJ.com reported. The hospital has declined to confirm how many staffers would be impacted or what units.
In a statement Saturday, the hospital said the layoffs were "a difficult but necessary step to best position us for future challenges."
The statement cited the new Hackensack University Medical Center hospital in Westwood as one of the challenges facing Englewood hospital.
“In this challenging economic climate, all hospitals are experiencing dramatic changes. We all are facing the strain of the economic downturn, declining patient volumes, a rise in uninsured patients, inadequate funding for charity care, and decreasing Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates,” the statement issued over the weekend said.
Negotiations are set to continue.
-- Staff Report