For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext 353
KINGSTON, June 23, 2011 – Benedictine Hospital RNs took another step toward winning a first contract tonight when they voted resoundingly to keep their professional nurses union, the New York State Nurses Association. Originally voting for professional representation in 2008, this election reaffirmed the nurses' commitment to their profession, their patients, and their community.
“This election has demonstrated our unity and commitment to our professional affiliation with the Nurses Association,” said Ann Krom, RN, a member of the union's negotiating committee. “It shows hospital management that we intend to stay the course. Benedictine nurses deserve respect for the crucial role we play in the healthcare system. So, it's time they acknowledge us as a legitimate force and work with us.”
The Nurses Association represents 200 RNs, employed by Benedictine Hospital, who work in both Benedictine and Kingston hospitals. The hospitals are a part of the Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley.
Benedictine Hospital, led by Health Alliance President and CEO David Lundquist, launched an aggressive campaign to persuade nurses to vote “NO” for professional representation. This energy could have been put to better use – such as by agreeing to a contract that enhances patient safety by adopting staffing guidelines and by agreeing to parity with Kingston Hospital nurses.
“When we get back to the table on June 30, we are going to be very clear with the hospital that we are demanding a first contract,” said negotiating committee member Sharon Miller, RN. “We are prepared to take any steps necessary to ensure a successful outcome. We will give the hospital a tight time within which it must comply, and rally the many supporters that aided our election to send a clear and decisive message: ‘First contract now!’”
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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