For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext 353
SARANAC LAKE, April 1, 2011 – Health insurance costs are the main issue in a contract dispute between Adirondack Medical Center’s registered nurses and management.
The 140 RNs, represented by the New York State Nurses Association, are trying to maintain the affordability of their current health coverage. But management wants to increase the nurses’ share of the cost.
In protest, the RNs will conduct an informational picket from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in front of the hospital at 2233 State Route 86, Lake Colby Drive, in Saranac Lake. The RNs are currently negotiating a new contract. Their most recent three-year agreement expired on Dec. 31, 2010.
Management claims its contract offer is “competitive.” However, the RNs say it would be financially damaging to them and put the hospital at a competitive disadvantage. Adirondack Medical Center pays the full premium for individual coverage for full-time RNs under its basic healthcare plan. RNs who opt for higher coverage pay only the difference. However, medical center management is demanding that RNs start paying a percentage of the individual premium under the basic plan. All other regional hospitals currently cover the entire individual premium for their full-time employees.
The hospital is also demanding that the practice of compensating RNs using both a step system and across-the-board salary increases be stopped. Nurses say this would put Adirondack Medical Center behind the other hospitals by the end of the contract.
“We want to keep experienced nurses at Adirondack Medical Center, and we know the best way to do this is through a fair contract,” said Sandra Guynup, RN, Nurses Association nursing representative. “Nurses need to be able to take care of themselves and their families so that they can be here to take care of their patients.”
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is New York’s largest professional association and union for registered nurses.The association represents registered nurses, and some all-professional bargaining units, in New York and New Jersey. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.
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