‘We need a fair contract’

To the Editor:
As a resident of Bayonne and a long term employee of Bayonne Medical Center, I would like our city residents and patients to realize that we, as employees of the Medical Center, are one group of people attempting to keep on working at what we like to do and do best – serving our community. Whether our bargaining unit title is registered nurse, professional, technical, service/clerical, or business office, we are all grouped together to voice our concern – we need a fair and equitable contract now.
We are not greedy and we truly understand the climate of the economy, especially in the health care arena. However, money is not the utmost goal. It is respect for the role we as healthcare providers play. It is the acknowledgment that experience plays an important part in a healthcare facility. Employees who do their job every day to keep departments up and running are attempting to maintain benefits they worked hard to build. If it is necessary to leave their job, they should be able to leave with a severance package that says thank you for your service, not being penalized for remaining faithful.
We have made concessions to keep the facility afloat and assisted in the acquisition by the current owners through our give backs of sick and vacation time. We accepted the 3.1 percent raise this past spring after having our contracted raises held back in 2007 and 2008. We cannot be the little guys in the big pond who will again be made to feel that we must help the quest for a contract by giving back.
I hope that those of you who read this will realize that all of the employees of Bayonne Medical Center are important to our healthcare facility. A large majority of us are your neighbors. We hope you feel that we have been and will be here for you whenever you need us. Thank you for your support.

Registered Nurse

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