For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
KINGSTON, Dec. 23, 2011 – Registered nurses at Benedictine Hospital approved their first-ever union contract last night – a contract that will help provide for stable and fair working conditions and protect nurses’ workplace rights.
The RNs first elected the New York State Nurses Association their collective bargaining representative in November 2008. Contract negotiations started on Dec. 22 of that year. And now, three years to the day, they have a contract.
“Initial agreements can be difficult to negotiate, and this one was especially so, because of the determined effort by the Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley to deny the nurses the right to a fair contract,” said Thomas Darby, Nurses Association negotiator. “Management used one stall tactic after another and even tried to decertify the union last year. Still, the nurses won out!”
Highlights of the agreement:
Research has shown that the level of patient care is better at hospitals in which the RNs are represented for collective bargaining and Nurses Association members at Benedictine are looking forward to working toward achieving the highest levels of care. They also anticipate that this agreement will also bring a quick conclusion to contract negotiations for their colleagues at Nistel, Inc. Talks there have been underway since June 15, 2009.
“Through their persistence Benedictine nurses have achieved an initial contract that they can all be proud of,” Darby said. “This contract provides nurses with a means working to improve patient care and guarantee economic fairness and equity. It will lay the foundation for many improvements in years to come.”
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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