Jersey City Council endorses a $15 an hour minimum wage for NJ
On a national day of action in the fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage, the Jersey City Council passed a resolution by a vote of 8-0 at its Nov. 10 meeting. They called on the state legislature and Gov. Christopher Christie to act. The resolution, which also endorses the right of all workers to organize and form a union, was praised by workers, labor leaders, and advocates from around New Jersey, and gives additional momentum to the fight to raise the wage statewide.
It follows endorsements from the Essex and Hudson County Boards of Chosen Freeholders last month.
“In New Jersey, a minimum-wage worker has to work more than 13 hours a day, seven days a week just to afford the cost of living. That’s wrong. We absolutely must raise the minimum wage,” said Mayor Steven Fulop.
Despite being one of the highest cost states in the country, the New Jersey minimum wage is just $8.38, a little more than a dollar above the federal floor of $7.25, according to information supplied by the activists sponsoring the rally. Though the recent increase indexed the minimum wage to inflation, the state Department of Labor announced in September that workers will see no increase in 2016.
New Jersey has become a major front in the fight for higher wages and workers rights thanks to robust union organizing campaigns and grassroots activism around progressive policies. In 2013 voters overwhelmingly approved a minimum wage increase from $7.25 to $8.25. In September 2013, Jersey City became the first city to pass a bill that guaranteed workers right to earn paid sick days. Nine cities have followed Jersey City since 2009, and just recently Jersey City expanded its paid sick days ordinance to include nearly all private sector workers.
Christ Hospital gets quality award
Christ Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
“CarePoint Health – Christ Hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke helps us achieve that goal,” said Jeff Mandler, chief executive officer at CarePoint Health. “This recognition further demonstrates our continued commitment to ensuring patients receive care based on nationally-respected clinical guidelines.”
According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.
Sires resolution on global health passes key committee
The Global Health Innovation Act H.R. 2241, introduced by Rep Albio Sires, was successfully passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week.
“Each year, millions of people in the developing world die of infectious diseases, malnutrition, and complications of pregnancy and childbirth. To improve the United States’ leadership in global health care, my colleague Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and I introduced legislation to promote the development of health products that are affordable, culturally appropriate, and easy to use in low-resource health systems.”
The Global Health Innovation Act is a bill that will provide the oversight needed to gain a clearer picture of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) global health research and development. Over the years, research and development projects have greatly expanded at USAID, searching for advancements towards an HIV and AIDS free generation, preventable maternal and childhood deaths, and preventable infectious diseases.
H.R. 2241 was approved in the committee unanimously and now awaits floor action in the full House of Representatives.
First class of volunteer EMTs hits the Jersey City streets
On Nov. 12, the nation’s first community-based emergency response program graduated 50 volunteers who will help dramatically reduce emergency response times in Jersey City.
The program, which leverages citizen volunteers and GPS mobile app-based technology to reduce emergency response times for ambulatory calls, is expected to give Jersey City the fastest EMS response time in the country.
A partnership between the Jersey City Medical Center–Barnabas Health and the City of Jersey City, United Rescue follows the highly successful and innovative model designed by United Hatzalah of Israel, where average emergency response time is just three minutes.
Training included how to effectively obtain vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, respiration, lung sounds), how to recognize the signs and symptoms of chest pain and cardiac emergencies, obtaining CPR/AED certification at the professional level, how to perform oxygen administration and have awareness of respiratory emergencies (asthma, COPD, emphysema), and the response for large scale incidents and mass casualty emergencies that require the cooperation of multiple agencies.
Through the program, when residents call 911 a dispatcher will immediately deploy both an ambulance and a community-based emergency responder. The United Rescue technology uses a GPS-enabled mobile app to track and deploy the nearest volunteer responders who are able to quickly navigate through dense urban areas on ambucycles or on foot, whichever is fastest.
CBEC volunteers begin treatment in order to stabilize a patient’s condition until the Jersey City Medical Center EMS arrive on the scene, with an objective of reaching patients within 150 seconds from the time of the emergency call to treatment. The national standard for ambulance response times is eight minutes and 59 seconds; the Jersey City Medical Center ambulance response time is currently about six minutes.
Jersey City’s United Rescue program – which is funded exclusively through private charitable donations – is expected to be a model for other cities across the country. Although the model has been successfully deployed in locations in Argentina, Brazil, Panama and Lithuania, Jersey City will be the first city in the United States to deploy the program.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a Jersey City Community Based Emergency Caregiver can continue to register at the program’s website at http://www.unitedrescue.us.
Santa to visit autistic kids
Santa Claus will meet with children with autism on Dec. 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jersey City Museum, 350 Montgomery St.
Several local organizations in Hudson County have helped provide an autism-friendly day for children with autism to not only meet Santa but participate in several fun holiday activities.
One in 45 children is currently diagnosed with autism in New Jersey. For more information about the event or autism go to www.kerrymagro.com, bit.ly/AutismFriendlySantaVisits and https://www.facebook.com/events/1051784581520386/.