For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext 353
SCHENECTADY, Feb. 24, 2011 – Registered nurses at Ellis Medicine have stood by the hospital through thick and thin over the years. Now they believe hospital management should show the same commitment toward quality patient care by maintaining a stable RN workforce.
To show hospital management that the community supports their efforts, the nurses will start a petition drive on Saturday, Feb. 26. The nurses will be available to discuss the issue with local residents and collect signatures, starting at 10 a.m. at St. James Square in Niskayuna. From there, the nurses and their supporters will move to other locations in the community.
Susan Savage, chair of the Schenectady County Legislature, has already confirmed she will be on hand to support the nurses. Other local elected public officials have been invited to attend as well.
The 670 RNs, represented by the New York State Nurses Association, are currently negotiating a new contract with management. Their most recent, four-year contract originally was to have expired on Feb 28, 2010, but was extended to June 21. The hospital has refused to extend the contract since then.
The nurses want to make sure Ellis continues to attract and keep the best RNs in the area. But to do this, Ellis management must treat its nurses with respect and respond to their concerns about their ability to provide safe patient care and their concerns that their nursing licenses are in jeopardy every time they report to work.
Enforceable staffing guidelines are an important factor, but the RNs are also concerned about wages that keep pace with inflation, the ability to use their sick time, and affordable health insurance.
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 union for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.
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