For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
Brooklyn, Nov.8, 2011 — More than 200 nurses at Brooklyn's Interfaith Medical Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant have been demonstrating over the past week, demanding that hospital managers reinstate the health insurance plan the hospital unilaterally ended by stopping payments.
The hospital stopped paying into the NYSNA Benefits Fund health insurance plan in August 2011, forcing the dedicated nurses - members of the New York State Nurses Association - to have to pay their entire health care costs on their own.
"We are outraged by management's decision to leave nurses and their families without health care coverage," said Elaine Charpentier, NYSNA representative. "The only acceptable solution is to reinstate the health benefits for these families immediately."
The hospital has promised they would cover costs and reimburse for out-of-pocket expenses but no payments have been made yet, despite their promises.
The union is currently negotiating a contract with the hospital, seeking to preserve pensions and benefits, address staffing issues and provide for competitive wage increases, while recognizing that the hospital, located in one of the highest-poverty zip codes in the entire nation, is facing a tough economic situation.
"It's time for the hospital to act," said Charpentier. "We cannot negotiate an agreement for this dedicated staff without their basic right to health care being addressed first."
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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