UPDATE: At 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, we ended our 24-hour strike at Terence Cardinal Cooke against unfair labor practices and for Safe Staffing.
Our strike made headlines in New York City all day yesterday. Check out the coverage on NY1 and like and share our strike photo album on Facebook.
Our campaign for quality care at TCC is not over. To get campaign updates on your phone, text "OurTCC" to 877-877.
NYSNA RNs at Terence Cardinal Cooke are raising the alarm about unsafe staffing and illegal employer practices at their facility. Please join us on Friday, August 15th to show solidarity and give support during our one-day strike.
NYSNA RNs at Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center (TCC) in East Harlem have fought for 8 months to improve staffing for our patients. ArchCare, the corporation that runs TCC under the auspices of the Archdiocese, has refused to bargain over any proposals that address staffing.
While ArchCare has refused to engage in bargaining about quality patient care and safe staffing, they have also broken the law – they have threatened to stop contributions to the Pension Fund and to the Benefit Fund, putting healthcare benefits and pensions at risk. They have refused to give relevant information about staffing and other issues during bargaining. And they have withheld RNs’ 2014 experience step increase. ArchCare has committed Unfair Labor Practices in an attempt to force RNs to give up our campaign for safe staffing.
TCC is not a typical nursing home. Once the Flower Hospital on 5th Ave, TCC now provides long-term residential care, short-term rehabilitation, and highly specialized care for people living with Huntington’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, and developmental disabilities. In the Specialty Hospital at TCC, nurses care for children and young adults with developmental disabilities and other complex medical conditions with only 4 RNs for 50 patients in two units. Now, TCC has begun to float one of the night shift nurses to other parts of the hospital – sometimes leaving just one RN to care for as many as 26 or 28 patients.
"I cannot be everywhere at once."
Nurses are concerned that management refuses to staff enough RNs to safely care for TCC’s patients. Rosamond Cuello, RN, who works in TCC’s HIV/AIDS unit, said that she is sometimes the only Registered Nurse in the entire unit, caring for up to 26 patients at once. She said that nurses often skip lunch and even forgo bathroom breaks so that they can stay on the floors to care for patients.
“Safe staffing for our patients is our number one priority. We’re concerned for the safety of our patients and we want to make sure that they get the care that they need,” said Cuello. “When I’m working by myself as the only Registered Nurse caring for 26 patients, patient care is at risk. Even when I don’t take breaks and I stay late, I still cannot be everywhere at once.”
Show your support
Please join TCC RNs on Friday, August 15th to fight back against TCC’s illegal campaign and to fight for safe staffing and quality patient care.
TCC is located on 5th Ave between 105th St and 106th St right across from Central Park.
The picket line will begin at 7AM on Friday, August 15th until 8PM.
Please come from Noon - 3pm on Friday.
Contact NYSNA Representative Ben Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or want to find out more ways to support our NYSNA colleagues at TCC.