For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
VALHALLA, Nov. 1, 2011 – Concerned about the proposed 19% reduction in direct patient-care staff at Westchester Medical Center, four local elected officials will call for a halt to the upcoming layoff of more than 250 registered nurses at the facility.
The elected leaders – county legislators Peter Harckham, William J. Ryan, and Judith A. Myers; and New York State Assemblymember Thomas J. Abinanti – will discuss the impact of the layoffs during a news conference at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the conference room of the medical center’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.
The four will join the RNs in a march across the medical center’s campus to its administration building to address members of the Westchester County Healthcare Corporation Board of Directors before their meeting that evening. Some of the elected officials have said they plan to attend the board meeting to speak in support of the nurses’ concerns.
They will also demand that management to fulfill its obligation to the public by holding a meeting of the Joint Review Committee to discuss the center’s finances and operation. Despite being required by an agreement between the medical center and the county, this committee has been convened infrequently.
The RNs say that a 19% cut in the direct-care nursing workforce is simply too much for the remaining staff to cope with, especially after layoffs in 2003 and 2004. In the nurses’ current contract negotiations, medical center management is aggressively seeking cuts to nurses’ benefits and wages, that could deter RN recruitment and retention.
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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