For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
NYACK, March 10, 2010 – All the registered nurses at Nyack Hospital are asking management for is some respect.
“We've been negotiating for five months, we’re growing increasingly frustrated over how management is holding contract talks hostage,” said Anna Marie Perkins, RN, president of the bargaining unit.
To express their displeasure, more than 150 RNs took part in an informational picket on Tuesday, March 9 in front of the hospital. The 520 RNs are represented by the New York State Nurses Association. Their most-recent, four-year contract expired on Dec. 31, 2009.
The nurses have been trying to negotiate a new contract that will improve the hospital’s ability to recruit RNs by offering fair salaries, competitive healthcare coverage, and funding to improve their skills.
But the hospital has not engaged in meaningful discussion about all of the nurses’ proposals. Before it will discuss any workplace improvement issues, it is demanding the nurses drop their health insurance for a plan that would increase their out-of-pocket expenses and provide less coverage.
The Nurses Association believes affordable, comprehensive health coverage is a necessity because nursing is such a physically demanding profession and RNs place themselves at risk everyday of injury and contracting disease. The nurses want Nyack to be an attractive employer to new hires. But a weakened health plan will only discourage RN recruitment and retention.
"We're in a serious nursing shortage and competition is increasing for nurses' services among area hospitals," Perkins said. "Maintaining Nyack’s competitiveness is an important part of ensuring that RN staffing remains stable."
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is the state's largest professional association and largest union for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.