For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext 353
MANHATTAN, July 18, 2011 – Registered nurses at Terence Cardinal Cooke are looking for a fair contract that includes fair wage increases, and preserves their health and pension plans. They are being reasonable.
These requests are designed to help the hospital retain experienced nurses and recruit new hires. Management, however, seems focused solely on the bottom line and not at all on maintaining an RN staff.
This is why the nurses will conduct an informational picket from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, in front of the hospital at 1249 Fifth Ave. The nurses will be available to discuss the issues during the protest.
The New York State Nurses Association represents 112 registered nurses at Terence Cardinal Cooke. Their most recent, two-year contract expired on Dec. 31, 2010. There have been 10 negotiation sessions since talks began in December of 2010.
Health care center negotiators are demanding that the nurses agree to a reduction of 30 RNs. This is 26% of the current RN workforce – a staggering number that could cripple the facility’s ability to deliver quality patient care. RNs provide care and handle emergencies that other health care professionals cannot. Studies show that patient care suffers when healthcare facilities cut RN positions.
Management is also trying to decimate the nurses’ pension and healthcare coverage and is refusing to offer any salary increase for this year. These actions are unconscionable when one takes into consideration that nurses often develop health problems because of their working conditions.
The nurses are concerned that not only is management seeking a significant reduction in the number of RNs who provide care at the facility, it is also seeking to decimate their working conditions to a point where it will become difficult to recruit and retain highly skilled registered nurses. The nurses feel that they cannot and will not let this happen to them, their patients and the communities served by their facility.
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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