Dialysis Nurses, Healthcare Workers Speak Out at Fresenius Clinic Sites Across Metro NYC

For Immediate Release: December 16, 2015

Contact: (NYSNA) Carl Ginsburg, carl.ginsburg@nysna.org, 917-405-1060
(1199SEIU) Erin Malone, erin.malone@1199.org, 212-603-0016

New York City, December 16 - Demanding fair treatment for its workers, registered nurses and healthcare workers from Fresenius Dialysis Clinics leafleted today at 21 facilities of Fresenius Medical Care (FMC), calling on the largest dialysis company in the U.S. to be fair to its workers. The RNs, members of the New York State Nurses Association, and the healthcare workers, members of 1199/SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, are currently seeking a fair contract from 13 FMC clinics in the NYC area.

FMC, a global company based in Bad Homburg, Germany, reported operating profits from dialysis in the U.S. alone of $1.6 billion in 2014. FMC is seeking to cut benefits of dialysis nurses and healthcare workers in its negotiations in a number of its NYC-area operations. Dialysis patients, who suffer from End Stage Renal Disease, are among the most vulnerable in the patient population. Quality care for these patients is linked to a committed workforce. The two unions have urged FMC to invest in safe, quality care through fair contracts for the nurses and healthcare workers.

“Fresenius needs to step up and do the right thing,” said Teresa Schloth, RN, a Fresenius nurse in Brooklyn. “We work hard to deliver quality care to our patients. These proposed cuts to our benefits are an insult to us, our patients and the community we serve.” Also in Brooklyn, Fresenius RN Elenita Ambat said, “Fresenius needs to be fair to its staff. They want us to move backwards and take big cuts to our healthcare benefits, pensions and personal time off, but we deserve more.”

“We are taking a stand against corporate greed,” said Kelvin Peña, equipment technician at Nephrocare Inc., a Fresenius holding. “Fresenius wants to squeeze profits out of its employees by switching us to a more expensive health plan with inferior coverage. Fresenius is a multi-billion dollar global company with more than enough resources to make sure its staff has the coverage to remain healthy. We can’t allow companies like Fresenius to short-change workers locally to make profits globally.”

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The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) is the largest nurses’ union in New York State, representing more than 37,000 registered nurses and other healthcare professionals. To learn more about NYSNA, visit www.nysna.org.

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