For Immediate Release
Contact: Randi Hoffman, 212.785.0157, ext. 118
Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
PORT JEFFERSON, June 13, 2008 – “So this is the thanks we get?”
This is what registered nurses at St. Charles Hospital are thinking as they prepare for informational picketing on Tuesday, June 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in front of facility at 200 Belle Terre Road in Port Jefferson.
While state officials debated the past year whether St. Charles would even have a future, the RNs supported their facility, remaining committed to caring for the community. Management even praised them for their dedication.
But now that this ordeal is over, and St. Charles is here to stay, management thinks RNs are no longer worth the investment. In their contract talks, management is refusing to listen to the RNs’ concerns about difficult working conditions and patient safety. Instead of talking about how to recruit and keep good nurses, management is demanding contract givebacks.
The 270 RNs are represented for collective bargaining by the New York State Nurses Association. Their most recent three-year contract expired on March 31.
“The nurses want management to address quality-of-care issues – such as forced overtime, the lack of firm staffing RN-to-patient staffing ratios, and assigning RNs non-nursing activities that take them away from the bedside,” said Denise Dedowitz, RN, Nurses Association representative. “Yet management doesn’t appear to care. It’s not a good plan for the future to discourage experienced RNs from staying here and new graduates from applying.”
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 36,000 members, it is the state's largest union and professional association for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.