The New Jersey State AFL-CIO stands for our front-line heroes fighting the coronavirus pandemic every day. We are outraged by ongoing retaliation against health care workers for using personal protective equipment they acquired themselves or for speaking up on behalf of patients and co-workers amid this unfortunate PPE shortage, and we condemn these unjust actions.
Management officials at some New Jersey Hospital Association member facilities have taken drastic disciplinary measures against nurses for proactively going “above and beyond” to acquire lifesaving PPE while supplies are dangerously limited. These PPE protect patients, the health care workers putting their lives on the line for total strangers, and the health care workers’ families, without whose loving support the workers could not carry on.
The NJHA should be publicly disciplining these managers and executives, not caregivers.
The most egregious examples to date are Adam Witt, Dawn Kulach and Olga Matievskaya. Adam is a nurse and local union president with Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE) who was fired from Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune after defending a colleague complaining about a shortage of protective equipment.
Dawn is a nurse represented by JNESO who was fired by Virtua Voorhees Hospital in Camden County for not agreeing to comply with a policy to ration protective equipment, and for wearing gloves she brought from home.
Olga is a nurse who was suspended for a day by Newark Beth Israel Hospital for bringing in equipment paid for through online fundraising.
We find these cases extremely troubling. They are a distraction and detriment to the lifesaving work that health care professionals are doing on behalf of patients.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO demands that NJHA member health care facilities immediately cease retaliation against health care professionals during these difficult circumstances. Please CLICK HERE to tell the NJHA this must STOP NOW!