NEW YORK NURSE: June/July 2012
by Mark Genovese
Helping Mount Vernon Hospital recruit and retain registered nurses is the key to keeping our community healthy. And the key to keeping good RNs at Mount Vernon is a fair contract.
That’s the message Mt. Vernon RNs are taking to the public and elected officials.
The 95 registered nurses at Mount Vernon Hospital are wondering if management wants to keep them around at all.
Even though Mount Vernon Hospital is making a surplus, management claims it can’t afford quality health insurance, a decent pension, or a competitive wage – key incentives to recruit and retain experienced nursing staff.
The nurses are taking their message to the public and to the mayor.
“This hospital is a key component of our city,” said Mount Vernon RN Dionisia Sanchez. “Hospitals with better staffing have better patient outcomes. A fair contract is a good investment for the hospital and for this community.”
The hospital’s corporate parent, the Sound Shore Health System, is insisting on concessions from the RNs on the cost and coverage of health insurance and an “undefined” salary increase – which the nurses know will be close to zero. It also wants to freeze the nurses’ experience scales.
“Our nurses are going to keep reaching out to public officials to win this battle – and anytime management won’t deal fairly with our members,” said Nancy Kaleda, NYSNA deputy director. “We are advocates for our families, our patients, and our communities.”
The nurses are determined to keep up their fight – for their families and for their patients.