For Immediate Release
Contact: Bernie Mulligan, 518.782.9400, ext. 371
MANHATTAN, Oct. 25, 2011 — Registered nurses at Manhattan's New York-Presbyterian Hospital will cast ballots from Monday, October 24 until Wednesday, October 26 to decide if they will strike the hospital in the coming weeks.
The 3,000 nurses, members of the New York State Nurses Association, have been at the table with hospital management for more than a year -- but have been unable to reach a settlement, due to the hospital's recalcitrance on issues important to the hospital's working families.
One major issue separating the parties is employee premiums for health benefits.
Hospital management wants to start charging families, including single mothers covering their children, more for health coverage, even though the hospital does not pay any more for family coverage than it does for single coverage -- in effect, making money from nurses with families.
“The hospital says it is a family-friendly workplace, but this proposal shows the opposite attitude,” said NYSNA Negotiator Thomas Darby. “This key issue affects thousands of nurses' families.”
The association has proposed reasonable financial packages that address the health care costs, but the hospital has rejected them.
“This is a perfect example of the big squeeze working families are facing,” Darby said. “It's why people are occupying Wall Street, and are mad at greedy corporations. These hard-working nurses need and deserve better treatment than they are being offered by hospital management.”
“We hope that when we return to the table on October 27, management will offer a proposal that doesn't hurt nurses and families,” Darby said. “We are committed to quality care for our patients and community, by having a hospital whose working conditions can help recruit and retain the best nurses possible.”
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is New York’s largest professional association and union for registered nurses. The association represents registered nurses, and some all-professional bargaining units, in New York and New Jersey. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.
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