NEW YORK NURSE: March/April 2012
by Mark Genovese
A new 2½ year contract at this Bronx nursing home, approved Feb. 3, will ensure the 234 RNs will continue to be covered by the NYSNA pension and will be protected by NYSNA Health Plan A, Option 1. RNs will receive $500 upon ratification and a 1% increase on Jan. 1, 2014. Tuition reimbursement will increase to $4,000 in September 2012. RNs will have the right to request a re-opener on wage increases. The contract runs through July 31, 2014.
Stronger limits on floating were a part of a new 40-month contract at this Brooklyn facility. RNs will also receive $5 per hour for each hour they’re floated. Ratified Feb. 8, the contract increases salaries by 7% over its term. The 950 RNs will be covered by NYSNA Health Benefit Plan A, Option 1, and will retain their NYSNA pensions. The contract, which runs through May 1, 2014, also protects RNs rights during disciplines related to incidents that occur because of a violation of the staffing ratios.
Approved on Feb. 9, a four-year contract extension for the 54 RNs at this Manhattan hospital will increase salaries by a total of 7.5%. Steps will be added to the experience scale as well. RNs will remain in NYSNA benefit Plan A and will not be paying individual premiums. The extension will also improve the RNs’ retirement health coverage. RNs will have a supplemental disability plan starting in 2013. In addition, staffing guidelines were improved. The extension runs through May 31, 2015.
A new three-year agreement for the 299 RNs at this New Rochelle hospital, ratified Feb. 9, will retain the RNs’ health coverage with minimal cost, as well as NYSNA Pension Plan A. Twelve-hour shifts will also be retained. Salaries will increase across the board by 2% in October 2013. The contract removed a sunset provision for a limitation on shift rotation. RNs also turned back management’s push to cut back on experience steps. The contract runs through Dec. 31, 2013.
Stricter staffing guidelines are included in a new four-year contract for the 325 RNs at this Port Jefferson community hospital. Ratified Feb. 10, the contract increases the amount available to retirees to purchase health insurance. Salaries will increase 7% over the term and RNs will be eligible earlier for experience credit. Committees will be established to clarify responsibilities of preceptors and charge nurses. A trial program for training to intervene in violent situations will be available for all hospital RNs. The contract runs through March 31, 2014.
RNs at four New York Dialysis sites have won their fight to protect their pension benefits from being taken away by their for-profit corporate parent. In this round of negotiations, the Fresenius Group had threatened to refuse to sign the standard extension for RNs’ pensions and even withdraw entirely from the NYSNA Pension Fund. NYSNA, believing that all nurses should be afforded their current level of pension benefits, fought with the RNs through several months of tough negotiations. “The committee demonstrated perseverance and grace under pressure,” said one NYSNA staff representative, “and was able to preserve the NYSNA top tier Pension Plan and the NYSNA Benefits Plan for the term of the agreement.”
As we go to press, NYSNA members have ratified new contracts at Interfaith Medical Center, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home, and Corizon/Prison Health Services. Check the next issue of NY Nurse for more information on these important settlements.