We commend and thank the Senate for passing S-3215 (Sarlo D-36/ Madden D-04) which concerns unemployment insurance benefits during labor disputes. Senators Diegnan (D-18) and Turner (D-15) joined in supporting the bill as cosponsors.The bill reduces the waiting period for striking workers to receive unemployment insurance from 4 weeks to 2 weeks.
Additionally, the bill closes several loopholes in current law that result in workers being denied unemployment insurance when they go on strike or are locked out.S-3215 passed the Senate by a vote of 25 to 11 with all Democrats present supporting. Republicans Polistina (R-02), Singer (R-30), Stanfield (R-08), joined Democrats to support the pro-worker measure.
Republicans Bramnick (R-21), Bucco (R-25), Connors (R-09), Corrado (R-40), Durr (R-03), Holzapfel (R-10), O’Scanlon (R-13), Oroho (R-24), Pennachio (R-26), Schepisi (R-39), and Testa (R-01) voted “no.” Click here to see the final vote on the bill.The bill will now go back to the Assembly for concurrence.
We thank Senate President Scutari for posting the bill for a vote today, the sponsors and cosponsors for their work to move the bill and all of the members who voted in favor of the bill. We especially thank our affiliates and our members for the phone calls they made, the emails they sent, and the committee meetings and voting sessions they attended to make sure that S-3215 had the support it needed at each stage of the legislative process.
We urge our members and affiliates to pay close attention to which legislators supported or did not support this bill. This important piece of legislation will factor heavily into our recommendations for endorsement at our Legislative/ COPE Endorsement Conference in June. Together, we made sure that labor’s voice was heard in the New Jersey State Senate.Additionally, New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech participated in a press conference alongside members and leaders of unions representing nurses and healthcare workers to call for the passage of S-304, which establishes minimum staffing standards for hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Union members visited Speaker Coughlin’s office to discuss a new report by HPAE titled CODE RED: Understaffed. Overworked. Unsafe for Everyone. The Urgent need for Safe Staffing Legislation in New Jersey,
which highlights the severe negative impacts of understaffing on our state’s healthcare system.President Wowkanech issued the following statement for the press conference:
“Our nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system. But current staffing levels are threatening our healthcare system’s ability to provide the level of care we need, and it is taking its toll on already strained healthcare workers. Unfortunately, some hospitals are opposed to improving staffing ratios because they are choosing to prioritize profits, even as we reach a post-pandemic healthcare staffing crisis point. S-304 would establish the fair patient-to-nurse ratios we need to improve our healthcare system.”