Westchester Medical Center (WMC) administrators have laid off hundreds of nurses and skilled caregivers… and now they’re recruiting our replacements on Craigslist?!?
That’s right. A recruiter working for WMC is looking for caregivers on the online classified ad website – right next to ads for used furniture, apartments for rent, and “casual encounters.”
Today, from 6:30 to 11:30 AM, a mobile billboard will blast management for laying off caregivers and hiring their replacements off of Craigslist. You can see the shameful Craigslist ad for yourself, right here.
“Administrators don’t need to look to Craigslist to staff this hospital,” said Sam Caquias, RN, president of NYSNA chapter at WMC. “They should start with the hundreds of caregivers they’ve laid off.”
When sent an inquiry, the recruiter who placed the ad replied, “I'm working directly with the CEO of Staffing for Westchester Medical Center and am targeting specific areas of talent. OR [Operating Room] Staffing is now on my radar.”
The ad also advertised for LPN, NP, CNA, dental assistant, anesthesia, operating room and imaging technicians.
“This is just another example of how WMC administrators are taking our great hospital in a wrong direction,” Caquias said.
Last December, WMC administrators laid off 139 nurses, and they’ve been using outside staffing agencies to hire temporary replacements.
This summer, administrators laid off hundreds of other skilled caregivers – and they’re also using outside agencies to hire temps.
Nurses have filed more than 900 reports of unsafe incidents since the layoffs began.
At a recent Westchester County Board of Legislators hearing, Legislator Mary Jane Shimsky called what is going on at the hospital, “an ideological experiment in bringing in private companies to run a public hospital. History shows ideological experiments don't end well.”
At the same time as they cut staff and claim financial hardship, WMC administrators are telling Wall Street a different story. WMC predicted it was in a “strong long-term competitive position” in a bond offering underwritten by Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and other major financial players.
The hospital is making plans for major expansion and capital improvement – but nurses worry that the changes administrators are making will hurt the long-term health of the facility.
Westchester Medical Center is one of four major hospital systems considering an affiliation with Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle. The mobile billboard will be making a stop at that hospital, too.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is New York’s largest professional association and union for registered nurses. The association represents registered nurses, and some all-professional bargaining units, in New York and New Jersey. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.