NEW YORK NURSE: January/February 2010
by Randi Hoffman
It took two years to resolve, but the 750 day-shift flextime nurses of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan won an arbitration in November that awarded them more than $200,000.
“The flextime nurses who work during the day, worked 13 shifts in a four-week period,” said James Ferris, NYSNA nursing representative for the facility. “But they were only receiving shift differential for 12 of those shifts. It had been that way since the 1990s.”
“We were so happy to be on flextime, no one questioned it,” said Betty Ann Lynch, bargaining unit grievance chair. “One of the nurses brought it up, we informed James, and a grievance was filed. NYSNA then took it to arbitration.”
The flextime nurses work six shifts for two weeks and then seven shifts during the next two-week period. It was that seventh shift differential for which they were not being paid. While the shift differential itself is $2.76 an hour, the overall monetary amount owed the NYSNA nurses totaled more than $200,000.
“The contract says ‘hours worked,’ and we worked the hours, so we have to get paid,” said Lynch. “It’s very simple. It’s all paperwork. We should get about $300 each.”
Gwen Lancaster, NYSNA delegate-at-large at St. Luke’s said, “James has been very helpful in making sure the contract is followed correctly. Management wanted to reinterpret how it was written. But Betty Ann is very organized, and she went through her notes, and James used the actual language. It’s very straightforward.”