Strike is over: Nurses at RWJUH ratify agreement

The nurses strike at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital — which lasted much longer than either side expected — is over.

On Friday, officials from RWJUH said officials from United Steelworkers 4-200, the union representing the nurses, told them the union workers had voted to ratify a three-year collective bargaining agreement that was reached between the two sides Dec. 1.

“We are pleased with the outcome of today’s vote and look forward to welcoming our nurses back home,” a spokesperson for the hospital said.

Specific details of the contract were not released, but an RWJUH official said it addresses the issue of staffing, providing what it calls “staffing standards that support the highest levels of care provided at academic medical centers” and compensation that is among the highest in the state.

It is unclear when the approximately 1,700 unionized nurses at RWJUH will return to work. The union went on strike Aug. 4.

“This agreement reflects our shared commitment to providing the highest-quality patient care and creating a safe and supportive working environment for our nurses and all team members,” the spokesperson said.

“RWJUH nurses do incredible work each and every day to heal, treat and assist our patients. They do it with passion and heart and deserve everyone’s support, respect and appreciation. Their value to this hospital, to our patients and to the community is profound.

“We are excited and eager to welcome our nurses back home to their colleagues and their patients, and to continue our important work in improving the health of our patients and community.”