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Jersey City is today’s stop for the Staff the Front Lines bus

Photo credit: Nick Voutsinos.
Jersey City is today’s stop for the Staff the Front Lines bus
By Nick Voutsinos ·

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Elissa McBride and members from Council 63 and District 1199J NUHHCE were joined by local officials and a private health care provider today as they discussed the urgent need to fill vacant public service positions.  

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Chief of Staff for the Hudson County Executive’s Office Craig Guy and CarePoint CEO and President Dr. Achintya Moulick joined McBride and AFSCME members at the latest stop for AFSCME’s Staff the Front Lines bus. Also present were employers from Jersey City and Hudson County.  

From nurses to sanitation workers to corrections officers, chronic short staffing is undermining the effective delivery of public services that New Jersians across the state rely on. That’s why AFSCME launched the Staff the Front Lines initiative this year, to partner with elected officials on recruiting and retaining the essential workers who keep our communities running. The Staff the Front Lines bus will stop and hold recruitment events in more than 20 major cities across the country this summer. 

“A job in public service is about strengthening your community. It’s a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of your neighbors – and make a decent living with excellent benefits while doing it. Every day that these positions remain unfilled, our communities struggle,” McBride said. “AFSCME members had to shoulder a heavier load because of current staffing shortages. But they refuse to give up because they were called to serve with excellence. And they know that a union job means stability and a voice in the workplace.” 

Fulop and Guy invited people to apply for open positions, saying they want to provide residents with the services they need for which they need to fill open positions.  

Fulop said his goal is to make sure Jersey City residents receive the best services possible.  

“And that starts with having good people who are motivated and feel good about their jobs,” he said.  

Guy praised AFSCME for sounding the alarm on the need to fill public service vacancies. 

I think, and I hope, that this roundtable and this awareness campaign that AFSCME is taking part in is going to raise awareness for the front-line workers. Raise awareness for people who need to fair wages and good working conditions,” he said.  

NUHHCE/AFSCME National President Craig Ford, who’s also an AFSCME vice president, stressed that front-line positions in the public and private health care sectors are going unfilled.  

“NUHHCE represents health care workers across the country, in the private sector as well as the public sector – from nurses, doctors, food service workers, to therapists. We have so many opportunities to Staff the Front Lines, especially in health care right now,” Ford said.  

AFSCME New Jersey Executive Director Steve Tully said public service vacancies are a problem throughout the country, not just in New Jersey.  

There are hundreds of open positions right here in Hudson County alone. These are good union jobs with good pay, great health benefits, pension, and job security. The people of this community can make a difference and get paid for doing it,” he said. “That is why we are here today: To raise awareness about these public service jobs and Staff the Front Lines.” 

District 1199J NUHHCE President Susan Cleary said her union offers training to new health care hires.  

“1199J is proud to have our own Youth Transitions to Work Training Fund where we help high school juniors and seniors get trained and certified to become certified nursing assistants and physical therapy aides. And we also have a program for adults as well. Both programs have a 100% job placement record,” she said.  

Dr. Moulik, who said CarePoint is Hudson County’s top health care provider, thanked front-line workers for their dedication and hard work.  

Being a front-line worker myself, I really understand the issues that you all face,” Moulik said. “We need to get you an environment that is conducive for work. That’s why we are the only health care system in the entire nation that has opened a hotline for front-line workers. We will support you as you support us.” 

To learn more about AFSCME’s national bus tour, visit 

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