NEW YORK NURSE: May 2013
Our fight for our patients is heating up at several upstate facilities. Upstate RNs are uniting for quality patient care and to win the good contracts we deserve.
RNs at Olean General Hospital have filed more than 1,500 Protests of Assignments in the past 14 months – and we recently surprised management during contract negotiations by papering the walls of their negotiations room with copies of the POAs.
In addition to their refusal to adequately address the severe staffing issue at the hospital, management has also proposed a plan to cut carryover of earned benefit time to just 82 hours. This unacceptable change will hurt seasoned nurses the most – those of us with twenty years or more on the job – and affects all RNs who will lose hard-earned time off.
The RNs recently canvassed the downtown area and asked Olean business owners to show their support by displaying signs that read “We support the OGH nurses in their pursuit of safe staffing – Our Community. Our Hospital. Our Nurses.”
As we go to press, a candlelight vigil was held to stand up for safe staffing on April 23 in Lincoln Park.
Canton-Potsdam RNs are already making waves in our contract fight at this North Country facility. We leafleted their community on Feb. 16 at an area winter festival – and got results! Our message to the public, asking them to call the hospital’s CEO, has already generated numerous calls and faxes. And management is taking notice.
Like Olean General, the nurses at Canton-Potsdam are facing unilateral changes to their contract including a reduction in benefit time, the threat of a pay-for-performance system and danger to licensure when asked to float without proper orientation.
The nurses at Moses Ludington are not going to sit back and watch management threaten patient care by driving away good nurses.
They picketed on March 5 in front of the hospital to oppose unilateral changes to health benefits and a plan to tie wage increases to hospital revenue. The union rat and supporters from the Greater Glens Falls Central Labor Council helped draw attention from passersby who honked their horns in support of the nurses.