August 11, 2022

Clara_Maass_Victory_1199_SM.jpgBelleville, NJ – Over 500 registered nurses at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, New Jersey, voted to unite in 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.  In a mail-ballot election, nearly 8 in 10 nurses voted in favor of unionization, joining a growing movement of frontline caregivers organizing to improve patient care and working conditions.

After being hailed as “healthcare heroes” during the pandemic, nurses saw management ignore their concerns about unsafe staffing and working conditions. Driven by a commitment to achieve quality patient care and safe staffing, real job security, pay and benefits commensurate with their profession, and respect, nurses came together to win a real voice in their workplace.

“I became a nurse because I love taking care of people. I love what I do, and it was getting hard to love what I do, especially when working conditions were so horrible during the Covid pandemic. Winning our union, we now have a say in how we’re treated and how our patients are treated. United together, we will fight for the staffing, pay, and retirement security we deserve in our first contract,” said Tanya Howard, RN, Clara Maass Medical Center.

In a moment where unions are experiencing unprecedented public approval and healthcare workers are among the most trusted community voices, the road to win a union is still a long one. Clara Maass Medical Center management hired expensive anti-union consultants who directed several meetings and spread misinformation to dissuade nurses from exercising their legal right to unionize. Nurses claimed victory despite management’s anti-union campaign, winning a voice to advocate for themselves and their patients.

“We came together to form our union to improve staffing and nurse and patient safety by having a voice in our working conditions. Now that we’ve won, we can fight for a contract that secures safe nurse-patient ratios, supports us in protecting our licenses and guarantees fair pay and a secure retirement. It is going to take all of us standing together and supporting each other through negotiations to win the contract we deserve, said Silvia Guimaraes, RN, Clara Maass Medical Center.

Like their colleagues, 1199SEIU healthcare workers in New Jersey and across the country, Clara Maass Medical Center nurses embody the spirit of 1199SEIU members: a commitment to compassionate and professional patient care.



More than 450,000 healthcare workers throughout Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Florida, and Washington, D.C. have come together to win a voice in their workplace with 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest and fastest-growing union of healthcare workers in America.