For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext 353
GLOVERSVILLE, May 27, 2011 – Registered nurses at Nathan Littauer Hospital need a fair contract that supports their commitment to giving the best care to their patients.
Yet, after nearly eight months of negotiations, hospital management has refused to make improvements in working conditions that will help to recruit and retain nurses.
As a result, the RNs will conduct an informational picket from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 2, in front of the hospital at 99 East State Street. The most-recent four-year contract for the 144 RNs, represented by the New York State Nurses Association, expired on Dec. 31, 2010.
The RNs say the most critical issue is RN-to-patient staffing on high-volume or critical care units. The hospital’s emergency room now has 60 percent more beds since its expansion last year, yet hospital management continues to schedule the same number of staff. Management has refused the nurses’ request to bring back ward clerks in Maternity and Pediatrics. This has left many nurses with responsibility for the clerks’ duties, which can take them away from their direct-care duties.
“We’re making every effort to negotiate in good faith. Our relationship with the hospital is very important to us,” said Nathan Littauer emergency nurse Charles Eschler, RN. He noted that 61 percent of Nathan Littauer RNs have 10 or more years of service. “Yet we question how much hospital management really values us, our concerns about patient care, and our dedicated service to this community.”
The nurses hope the picket will encourage community support for their contract negotiations and lead to the settlement of a fair contract. In addition to the picket, the nurses’ campaign will include community outreach and advertising in local media.
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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