For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
NYACK, Jan. 21, 2010 – Registered nurses at Nyack Hospital have stood by the hospital through thick and thin over the years. Now they believe hospital management should show the same commitment toward quality patient care by maintaining a stable RN workforce.
To prove to hospital management that the community supports their efforts, the nurses will start a petition drive on Saturday, Jan. 23. The nurses will be available to discuss the issue with local residents and collect signatures from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at two area shopping centers:
“We’ve been dedicated to this hospital and to caring for our patients,” said Anna Marie Perkins, RN, bargaining unit president. “The way to keep good nurses at Nyack is through a fair contract. But management doesn’t seem to understand this.”
The 520 RNs, represented by the New York State Nurses Association, are currently negotiating a new contract with management. Their most-recent, three-year contract expired on Dec. 31, 2009.
More than 300 RNs recently signed a petition themselves, objecting to the diminished – and more expensive – health plan proposal presented by the management team. The nurses say hospital management has been deliberately avoiding discussing the nurses’ concerns at the table – threatening to increase their out-of-pocket costs for health coverage, and engaging in intimidation tactics. The nurses feel they’ve had no choice but to file charges of unfair labor practice with the National Labor Relations Board.
“We believe we’ve been reasonable in our proposals and have modified most of our economic proposals after they were rejected in total by the management negotiation team,” Perkins said. “But Nyack nurses do not plan to regress in any area – including wages, benefits, and working conditions that affect registered nurses.”
“In recent hospital publications, management has praised the dedication and professionalism of Nyack nurses,” Perkins added. “We are asking that the intent of these statements be demonstrated at our negotiations.”
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.