In a summer of discontent, organized labor strikes back

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Maria Bennett is a labor and delivery nurse at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville where she has worked for 10 years. In her unit, she can go from having no patients to having five patients who must be actively managed. When there are few patients, managers can send nurses home to help the hospital save money. But when Bennett leaves, her pay stops and a skeleton staff is left to handle any sudden increase in patients. The outcomes are stressful for nurses and unfair to the babies and mothers they care for. “We want more nurses on shifts all the time,” Bennett says, and adds that unless t…

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