For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext 353
STATEN ISLAND, June 15, 2011 - The New York State Nurses Association represents 620 registered nurses employed at Richmond University Medical Center. The RNs are currently negotiating a successor to a contract that expired in August 2010.
Medical center management is demanding that the Nurses Association and two other unions agree to a furlough plan. The medical center is seeking to take 67.5 unpaid hours from every nurse. Management has said that, if the Nurses Association doesn’t agree to the furloughs, it may have to eliminate 21 full-time equivalent RN positions.
Reducing the number of registered nurses at the hospital is not in best interest of the community’s health, because it could result in fewer RNs at the patients’ bedside. Studies have shown that the fewer RNs on duty at a healthcare facility, the higher incidence of adverse patient outcomes.
The Nurses Association also believes that medical center management has not provided a reasonable accounting of the $10 million revenue shortfall has forecast. It is not willing to agree to furloughs because hospital management has refused to provide any assurance that it will not implement the layoffs if furloughs are accepted. In the Nurses Association’s experience, furloughs do not successfully prevent layoffs.
Medical center management has already reneged on one promise to the nurses. During contract negotiations in 2008, management agreed to include the RNs in the Nurses Association pension plan on April 1, 2010. But a few days before that date, the medical center notified the Nurses Association that it would not make the required contributions to provide the medical center RNs with a pension. The Nurses Association has taken the medical center to arbitration over its failure to honor its contractual obligation. The Nurses Association believes the medical center must offer alternatives to furloughs and layoffs and bargain a fair contract with its nurses that supports providing the quality patient care the community expects and deserves.
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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