For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
Mount Sinai nurses approve new contract
MANHATTAN, March 24, 2008 – A new three-year contract was ratified on March 20 by registered nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital. The 1,900 nurses are represented by the New York State Nurses Association. The contract runs from Jan. 1, 2008, to Jan. 1, 2011, and contains several provisions that the RNs believe will help the hospital recruit new hires and retain experienced RNs.
Highlights of the agreement:
- Compensation – Besides increasing base salaries 3% each year, the contract substantially increases experience pay and increases the cap on the experience scale. The amount paid for experience outside of Mount Sinai also will increase, as will differentials for certification, education, teaching, working off-shifts, and working in-charge.
- Patient and employee safety – A labor/management interdisciplinary task force on safe patient handling will be established within 60 days of ratification. RN-to-patient staffing guidelines will be posted on each unit, so that nurses will be aware of the number of patients for which they can safely care. Managers will be held in closer accountability for their responses or lack of response when RNs fill out a protest an assignment form due to safety concerns.
- Health and pension – The RNs will continue to receive health and pension coverage through the NYSNA Pension and Benefits fund, which is run jointly by the union and local employers. The amount that RNs can receive if they wish to opt out of health coverage will also increase, as will the annual stipend to pay for post-retirement health insurance.
- Time and leave – The nurses can keep their current sick, vacation, and personal-time structure, but have the option of taking part in a paid time off (PTO) program starting in January 2009.
RNs who do not participate in the PTO program can receive up to $750 if they use little or no sick leave. RNs who choose to trial the PTO option would have a one-time opportunity to change their minds before Dec. 31, 2010.
“This contract helps to set the standard for ensuring quality working conditions, by improving staffing and conditions for patient safety,” said Lucille Sollazzo, NYSNA nursing representative. “Mount Sinai RNs have maintained all along that these contract talks were about safety, staffing, and respect.”
With more than 36,000 members, the New York State Nurses Association is the nation's oldest and largest state nurses’ association. NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education, research, and practice; engages in legislative activity; and provides collective bargaining services to registered nurses. Its mission is to advance the profession of nursing and protect the public's health.