For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
VALHALLA, Nov. 17, 2011 – As registered nurses at Westchester Medical Center start negotiations for their next contract, corporation management continues to be unresponsive to their clinical and work environment concerns. Even with the upcoming layoff of 250 nurses, corporation management is still seeking to cuts to nurses’ health benefits.
With such a lack of respect from management for the important role they play, the nurses are asking: “How much more abuse can working people take?”
In protest, the nurses will hold an informational picket from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, in the oval behind the medical center’s main building on the Grasslands Reservation.
In contract negotiations, management refuses to acknowledge the contribution to the medical center’s financial turnaround by the nurses who worked extra hours, day-after-day, for months with a smaller workforce. The nurses are trying to resolve issues with scheduling and staffing, but the medical center’s negotiators have said they’re not taking the nurses’ proposals seriously.
Nurses say their working conditions continue to deteriorate, with managers requiring RNs to work extra shifts in situations that do not fit the legal exceptions to the state’s ban on mandatory overtime. Nurses are also being disciplined severely for minor errors – most of which resulted from the poor staffing and lack of support.
The nurses are concerned about their ability to provide quality patient care and practice in an environment that supports nursing. But they ask: with 20% of the nurses being sent out the door, how can the medical center continue to provide world class care?
Nurses will be available to speak about the issues at the event.
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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