For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, Ext. 353
PLATTSBURGH, March 15, 2007 – A lot of things can change in one year. This is why healthcare professionals at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) Medical Center need a longer contract.
CVPH management has claimed during contract negotiations that it needs the “flexibility” of a short contract so it can consider changes to the professionals’ defined-benefit pension plan. It has not, however, disclosed what its intentions actually are.
In protest, the professionals will picket from 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, in front of the medical center at 75 Beekman Street. The 600 RNs, physician assistants, pharmacists, social workers, technicians, and therapists are represented by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA). Their most recent three-year contract expired on Jan. 1.
The professional staff overwhelmingly rejected a one-year offer from management on Feb. 7 because they wanted a longer contract that will provide more security. NYSNA members also said management’s salary proposal falls short of what is needed to recruit professional staff.
“There are an estimated 56 vacant RN positions, in addition to vacancies in other professional positions,” said Sandra Guynup, RN, NYSNA nursing representative. “The hospital is so short on staff that many of the healthcare professionals are being required to work overtime in order to cover all the shifts. These are good people who need some help.”
No further negotiation sessions are scheduled.
With more than 34,000 members, NYSNA is the oldest and largest state nurses’ association in the nation. It is an influential union for RNs, representing nurses in New York and New Jersey. Offering a wide range of services to its members, NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education and practice and works to advance the profession through legislative activity. It is a constituent of the American Nurses Association and of the United American Nurses, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
— 30 —