NEW YORK NURSE: November/December 2011
Even with the upcoming layoff of 250 nurses, management at the Valhalla facility is still seeking cuts to nurses’ health benefits in contract negotiations. In protest, the nurses held an informational picket on Nov. 21. Management has refused 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 RNs are trying to resolve problems such as scheduling and staffing, but the medical center’s negotiators have said they’re not going to discuss quality at the table. Meanwhile, managers are requiring RNs to work overtime in situations that do not fit the legal exceptions to the state’s mandatory overtime ban. Nurses are also being disciplined severely for minor errors – most of which resulted from the poor staffing and lack of support.