NEW YORK NURSE: April 2010
by Mark Genovese
More than 800 NYSNA members and supporters from Canton-Potsdam Hospital took part in an informational picket on March 18. The nurses say the need to recruit and retain RNs has never been more urgent. The emergency room is handling 3,000 more cases than it did two years ago. Yet the number of nurses on staff has remained the same.
The nurses are asking management to consider reducing the patient workload for graduate RNs, who are often still acquiring the necessary skills to provide effective patient care, yet management has refused.
The most-recent, four-year contract for the 150 RNs expired on Dec. 17, 2009.
Instead of working with the RNs on these issues, management came to the table demanding a freeze in the RNs’ pension. But when the nurses pressed for more information, the hospital admitted that switching to a 403(b) plan would cost the hospital more money. The nurses add that since talks began, management has become more contentious and the number of disciplines and grievances is on the increase.