Steelworkers Union Strike Jeopardizes Patient Care at RWJ University Hospital: Patients Must Come First

At 60Plus, our top priority is to ensure that patients and seniors are receiving quality care across New Jersey. As we enter the third month of the United Steelworkers Union strike and with the winter season quickly approaching, it’s time that the Union stops playing politics with patient care and remembers the true mission of caring for New Jerseyans.  

RWJ University Hospital has provided numerous good-faith deals to the Steelworkers Union. The hospital has met the union’s initial demands, which would have kept RWJUH nurses as the highest-paid in New Jersey, and increased staffing, including accountability measures that put even more money in nurses’ pockets if staffing levels aren’t met.

Yet the Steelworkers union continues to encourage nurses to walk the picket line rather than accept a fair deal so they can get back to doing what they love – caring for patients.

While everyone agrees that nurses should be compensated fairly, the reality is that RWJUH nurses are already the highest paid in New Jersey and maintain one of the best patient-to-nurse ratios in the state.

Like all political attacks on behalf of the Steelworkers Union, this is simply a distraction from the primary issue at hand: guaranteeing that patients in New Jersey receive the highest-quality healthcare in the nation. The Steelworkers Union should stop using patient care for political gain, return to negotiations, and prioritize patients’ well-being.