For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
SOMERS POINT, NJ, March 5, 2012 – Registered nurses at Shore Medical Center say their contract talks with management are now at a critical stage.
The RNs, represented by the New York State Nurses Association, are fighting for better working conditions and the respect that primary caregivers deserve. Yet, hospital management continues to demand givebacks in healthcare coverage that could drive experienced RNs away from the hospital and discourage applicants.
RNs feel that they have no choice but to stand up for their practice and their patients, and will conduct an informational picket from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 10, 2012, in front of the hospital at One East New York Avenue.
The nurses have been trying to negotiate a new contract since November 2011. Their most recent three-year contract expired on Dec. 31, 2011. Even though a mediator has been at several negotiation sessions, a mediator alone cannot force the parties to reach an agreement.
Management has refused to consider the nurses proposal for a health care plan that would provide the RNs with more comprehensive coverage while saving money for the employer. Management wants the RNs to keep their current plan and increase their contribution rate from 12% up to between 20% and 25%. It also wants to cut the RNs’ current sick leave from 96 hours to 72 hours.
“These proposals don’t recognize that RNs are more prone to illness and injury due to the nature of their job,” said a Shore RN who asked that her name not be used out of concern for retaliation by management. “A better health insurance plan will be a great recruitment and retention tool.”
“Shore Medical's registered nurses are professionals on their units and professionals at the bargaining table,” the RN added. “We believe that meaningful proposals and discussions about staffing, clinical ladders, certifications, nursing education, terminal benefits, and patient care are important enough for both parties to commit to negotiating a fair contract within a reasonable time.”
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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