For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Webber, 518.782.9400, ext. 223;
Mark Genovese, ext. 353
Westchester Med nurses approve new contract
RNs retain retirement health coverage
VALHALLA, May 30, 2008 – A new five-year contract has been approved by registered nurses at Westchester Medical Center. The RNs are represented by the New York State Nurses Association.
The RNs successfully fought back management’s attempts to win concessions in the RNs’ retirement health plan. The plan provides eligible retirees with standard health, Medicare Part B, optical, and dental coverage. RNs hired before Jan. 1, 2007, will be required to work five years to be eligible; those hired after that date will have to work 20 years.
Other highlights of the contract include:
- Staffing – Guidelines for protecting the nurses from being temporarily transferred to other units – a practice called “floating” – were strengthened. Nurses with 20 years or more seniority will be floated only in limited circumstances and volunteers will be sought for floating first. Prior to being eligible for floating, nurses must be given adequate orientation.
- Compensation – RN salaries will increase 3% each year. Because they are in the third year of the contract, they will receive an immediate raise of 9.27%. Salary increases will be calculated on RNs’ base pay plus experience. Differentials for education, evening and night shifts, and charge duty also were increased. With experience pay taken into account, veteran Westchester RNs will earn more than their counterparts at major medical centers in Manhattan.
- Health insurance – There will be no changes in health insurance coverage for the life of the contract.
The agreement is retroactive to expiration of the previous contract on April 1, 2006, and will run through March 31, 2011.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 36,000 members, it is the state's largest union and professional association for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.