For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
MANHATTAN, Nov. 4, 2009 – The New York State Nurses Association today expressed its support for registered nurses at Lenox Hill Hospital, who are preparing to strike on Monday, Nov. 9.
The 800 members of the New York Professional Nurses Union (NYPNU) are refusing to accept the hospital's staggering demand for cutbacks of $6.5 million in wages and benefits. The inflexible position of hospital management has forced its RNs to take drastic action to maintain quality nursing care.
The Nurses Association, which is a member of the National Federation of Nurses (NFN) union, commended the Lenox Hill RNs for their courage.
"We share their concern that noncompetitive wages and benefits at Lenox Hill will make it difficult for the hospital to recruit and retain nursing staff. 'Short staffing' results in fewer nurses at the bedside and puts patients at risk," said NFN President Barbara Crane, RN, a critical care nurse from Smithtown, N.Y.
The Nurses Association also is concerned about the hospital's decision to hire temporary nurses to cross the picket line if the strike occurs.
"Lenox Hill promotes itself with the slogan, 'Smart People, Smart Healthcare,'" said Lorraine Seidel, RN, director of the association's collective bargaining program. "Hiring 'scab' nurses is not smart. It is extremely costly to the hospital and brings in nurses who are unfamiliar with the facility and its patients. Other hospitals have tried to break the will of union nurses this way. It doesn't work."
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 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.