For Immediate Release
Contact: Randi Hoffman, 212.785.0157, ext. 118
Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
QUEENS, May 1, 2008 — More than 100 registered nurses and supporters marched outside of Peninsula Hospital Center this afternoon, demanding that management get serious about resolving contract issues.
The RNs at Peninsula are represented by the New York State Nurses Association. Their most recent contract expired on April 30. They were joined at an informational picket by nurses from Our Lady of Mercy, New York Methodist Hospital, Saint Vincents Manhattan, St. John’s Riverside, the former Cabrini Medical Center, Southside Hospital, and St. Catherine’s in Smithtown. Union members from the New York State United Teachers also walked the line.
“This show of solidarity demonstrates that the nurses mean business,” said Glenda Newman, RN, chair of the Peninsula bargaining unit. “We are determined to improve working conditions and benefits so the hospital will be able to retain its experienced nursing staff and recruit new staff members as well.”
The RNs are seeking contract provisions that will ensure they have health coverage in after they retire. Nursing is a physically demanding profession and many nurses are unable to continue working until the traditional retirement age of 65. NYSNA has negotiated contracts at many facilities that allow early retirees to receive healthcare benefits until they become eligible for Medicare.
This struggle is not unique to Peninsula. As healthcare facility managers continue to cut their labor costs by leaving RN positions vacant, nurses throughout the state are finding they need to speak out to preserve the quality of care they provide to their patients.
With more than 36,000 members, the New York State Nurses Association is the nation's oldest and largest state nurses’ association. NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education, research, and practice; engages in legislative activity; and provides collective bargaining services to registered nurses. Its mission is to advance the profession of nursing and protect the public's health.