Since this summer, I have been working with staff lead organizer Jacob Chaffin in a coalition of unions to support the nurses’ strike at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and to fight for safe staffing on a statewide level. We have put out a petition calling for the removal of Mark Manigan, the CEO of RWJBarnabas, from the Rutgers Board of Governors, and we have held a town hall meeting in Somerset to spread awareness of what the nurses are fighting for. We will be having another town hall in Maplewood, Manigan’s hometown, on November 6.
I’m writing today to let you know about an event tomorrow (October 27). Sen. Bernie Sanders is holding a hearing on safe staffing in Nicholas Music Hall on the Douglass Campus at 9 a.m. The 700 seats in Nicholas are first come/first served, and we’d like to make sure that as many nurses get in as possible. There will NOT be a spillover room, but you can watch the livestream on the committee website. If you want to come, the signup form is here. This is simply a way of taking a headcount and does not guarantee you a seat.
More importantly, Sen. Sanders’ staff is asking for testimony from people who have been impacted by staffing shortages. If you know a nurse who is overworked and burned out, or if you or a family member have suffered due to overtired and overextended nurses, please send your stories to Sally_Smith@help.senate.gov.
If you are interested in finding out more about what we are doing, please visit our website at safestaffingnj.org.
Department Rep and Assistant Teaching Professor, New Brunswick Writing Program