By Tracey Leong

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The debate for nurses to unionize at Johns Hopkins is heating up, with the contentious issue splitting people in the medical community.

Over the weekend, a group of Johns Hopkins nurses and community leaders held a town hall to address major concerns at the hospital.

This week, Baltimore City Council introduced a resolution for the hospital to not interfere with unionizing efforts. A nurses union will impact nearly 3,200 nurses at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

A change some nurses believe will improve patient care and working conditions.

“There are issues hospital-wide with retention short staffing, high patient loads for nurses…” said Derek Jannarone, a R.N. in the comprehensive transplant unit.

Jannarone has worked at Johns Hopkins for two years but said many of the issues have been going on long before he started and ultimately hurts the patients.

[WJZ Reporter: “Has the hospital had a chance to respond?”]

“In addition to over the years nurses going to management and voicing concern and not being heard, we hear a lot of, ‘We’re listening to you, we want your input,’ but nothing happens so I think enough of us were tired of that,” Jannarone said.

WJZ reached out to Johns Hopkins, and they said they have an open communication with all of their employees, and aim to provide the highest quality care.

They also released a statement to WJZ saying in part, “We deeply respect the contributions nurses make to our organization and all of their rights as employees, including their right to support or oppose a union,”

The effort to unionize started last summer, but not all nurses are on board.

Some nurses took to social media commenting on our media partner the Baltimore Sun’s Facebook page.

One post states in part, “I am a nurse of nearly two decades at Hopkins and am not management. Johns Hopkins values nurses and is a wonderful place to work. We are well represented at the leadership level, have many professional development opportunities and develop our own standards and policies,”

Another comment read, “I have been a nurse at Hopkins for 31 of my 33 years, and I am not management. The report shared on Saturday by NNU is not the voice of all of the nurses at Hopkins,”

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Comments
  1. Kristina Hope says:

    Thank you for sharing that there is another side to this story. The union supporters would have you believe that the only nurses that have not joined their cause are those that are in fear of management. I have been a nurse for over 30 years with 19 of that at JHH and I can honestly state, there is a very large voice of nurses at Hopkins who want the union to go away because we, as educated, highly experienced nurses who have worked at other institutions, believe we already have a voice at the table. It is fellow nurses who are telling the union to go away. It is fellow nurses saying I don’t want you in my break room. It is fellow nurses that are saying I don’t want your literature at my house. The choice to unionize or to not unionize is a federally protected right of the employees. I am saddened and shocked that union supporters are attempting to instill fear into the people of Baltimore and the patients and families in our care in their attempts to unionize instead of accepting that not all Hopkins nurses agree with their stance. Instilling fear into the community in attempts to force Hopkins to give union supporters their way shows a total and complete lack of regard for their colleagues whose opinion does not match those of the union, is a blatant attempt to prevent nurses from our federally protected rights to challenge unionization efforts, and most importantly increases the stress on our patients and their families at a time when they are most vulnerable. Playing on their emotions for personal gain is immoral and unethical.

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