New Jersey Nurse Fired From Hospital After Questioning Coronavirus Safety

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NEPTUNE, NJ – Adam Witt,  a nurse at New Jersey’s Jersey Shore University Medical Center is claiming he was fired because he was asking too many questions about safety.

The hospital, according to the New York Times put out an all-points bulletin (APB) on Witt, even posting signs with his picture on them.

“It was the fliers bearing his photo that made Adam Witt suspect something had gone deeply wrong. Last week, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he worked as a nurse, posted the fliers at two security stations, declaring that he was persona non grata,” The New York Times Reported.  “Mr. Witt is not allowed on property at JSUMC,” The times reported about writing beneath a picture of him looking tired and pained. “If he is seen on property please contact your supervisor immediately.”

Jersey Shore Medical Center denies that account saying, “There hasn’t been an instance of a team member being disciplined or terminated for expressing their views regarding PPE anywhere in the network, including Jersey Shore University Medical Center.”

 

Last night, Adam Witt penned this open letter:

My name is Adam Witt. I’m a nurse who has been working at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, part of The Hackensack Meridian Health network, since 2016. I’ve been in the emergency department for the last two years. I was fired last Tuesday, 4/7/2020.

You can read about my termination here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/business/coronavirus-health-workers-speak-out.html

Last May, I became president of our nurse’s union, HPAE Local 5058. Being president of a local means spending a lot of my non-working hours advocating and fighting for the nearly 1300 nurses in our facility. Adding to this responsibility were a number of attempts to “harmonize” benefits, standards, etc across our recently merged hospital system. Since last April, this has resulted in missing pay, impossible to understand paychecks, and a hacking of our health system that took down our computers for days. Most recently, the hospital decided to “audit” our paid time off in late March (during this pandemic), with many people losing time or going into negative balances. For example, my account said I had -111 hrs.

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Needless to say, there’s been a lot to deal with, and I’ve done everything in my power to try and ensure that the staff is respected and our issues are resolved. Problems multiplied during the hospital’s response to Covid-19 and I, and the other nurses on the board, became increasingly outspoken. I guess some people didn’t like that.

As you likely know, this is happening across the US and it has to stop. I’m not worried about myself, but I am worried about our nurses and staff (and all workers in this country) who are risking their lives for their jobs right now.

If you feel compelled to do something for our nurses, please sign this petition:

https://www.coworker.org/p/HPAECovid

You can also contact NJ’s Governor, Murphy, who recently called my hospital system’s CEO, Bob Garrett, a good friend:

https://www.nj.gov/governor/contact/all/

Hackensack Meridian social media:

https://twitter.com/HMHNewJersey

https://www.instagram.com/hmhnewjersey

https://www.facebook.com/HackensackMeridianHealth

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