Multi-employer framework to be explored

Karine Raymond, RN and NYSNA Board Member, works at Montefiore Weiler campus. She spoke about demands for safe staffing at a rally this fall during the Biennial. About 2,000 members were present outside offices of the League of Voluntary Hospitals and the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS).

NYSNA Nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital, Montefiore Medical Center, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and New York Presbyterian Hospital – 9,000 strong - achieved a breakthrough on December 23 by reaching an agreement with management of the hospitals to meet together with all of our bargaining committees to explore the possibility of instituting multi-employer bargaining.

Our nurses in bargaining, throughout the five boroughs, have shown the focus and commitment – and the unity – that support our demands for respect in all our dealings.

Agenda unchanged

Our agenda remains unchanged: safe and enforceable staffing ratios, better working conditions for nurses, optimum quality of care for our patients, improved education, welfare, healthcare and pension benefits, and a stronger union.

But a discussion of a framework for multi-employer bargaining of agreed upon core or common issues is actively underway. This is an important prospect.

The parties would agree on lists of bargaining issues to be discussed in joint negotiations and of local issues to be discussed at the individual hospital level.

9,000 RNs unified

The advantages of multi-employer bargaining include combining more than 9,000 nurses in unified bargaining on staffing and other key issues, retaining all of our options in such multi-employer negotiations, and giving us greater power to exert collective pressure in support of our bargaining goals.

Taking this road does not mean that we are guaranteed anything and we will still have a struggle before us to attain safe staffing and our other core goals. By taking this first step, however, we believe we can engage in a more effective campaign for a new contract.

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