For Immediate Release
Contact: Bernie Mulligan, 212.785.0157, ext. 140
NEW YORK CITY, May 2, 2012 - The Trustees of the New York State Nurses Association Benefit Fund have addressed an important issue for thousands of working bedside nurses and their families.
On April 30, the employer trustees agreed with the NYSNA union trustees to develop a new plan option – a no-cost plan available with a zero contribution rate for NYSNA members covered under the plan.
This is a major modification of a 2011 health benefits arbitration decision, which had mandated that every nurse in the plan had to contribute to pay for their health benefits.
“This is a major victory for working nurses and their families,” said Nancy Kaleda, NYSNA's Deputy Executive Director (Labor). “Our members will have the ability to negotiate contracts with a zero contribution rate, giving them one of the strongest benefit plans in the country.”
This gain came after an intense six-month period of hard bargaining with many major hospitals in the metropolitan area over the benefit fund issue.
NYSNA members were strong and visible with an unprecedented contract campaign - from strike votes to major media coverage - to bring their issues into the public eye.
Those efforts created ongoing pressure on the employer trustees to address the issue that had been the primary sticking point in much of the bargaining.
In addition, the contract agreements at New York-Presbyterian, Gracie Square and St. Joseph's were accepted by the fund, and the new plans at Mt. Sinai and St. Luke's-Roosevelt were also accepted. Those two plans contain provisions to address the needs of nurses with extraordinary out-of-pocket prescription expenses.
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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