NEW YORK NURSE: May 2011
by Mark Genovese
A new four-year contract for RNs at this Schenectady facility, approved on March 22, contains stronger provisions to address staffing concerns. The agreement extends the scope of the current Joint Staffing Committee to review staffing on a unit-by-unit basis to let management know of concerns identified by staff nurses and devise ways these issues can be addressed. This committee will have the right to review staffing plans and make recommendations. The contract creates subcommittees to further investigate staffing issues for each specific unit. The contract also requires management to conduct a more timely review when RNs protest assignments and give an accounting of actions taken to address RNs’ concerns. RNs will receive wage increases that depend on their years of experience, and the percentage of management’s contribution to the RNs’ health insurance premiums will also increase. The contract for the 670 RNs is retroactive to March 1, 2010, and runs through Feb. 28, 2014.
RNs at this Southern Tier bargaining unit approved a new contract on April 4 that calls for more prompt review and approval of vacation time requests. The contract will also allow RNs to use personal time in one-hour increments. The RNs successfully fought back attempts by county management to reduce their compensatory time and change their health insurance.