NEW YORK NURSE: June/July 2012
In 2011, employer trustees in our benefits fund won a decision to make you pay more for your healthcare.
Now a new no-cost option is back on the table — thanks to the thousands of members who stood up to management’s cost-shifting agenda. NYSNA benefits trustees successfully addressed a very important issue for thousands of members and their families covered under the NYSNA benefits plan.
The plan trustees agreed to a major modification to the awful 2011 health benefits arbitration decision, which mandated that every nurse had to contribute to pay for their health benefits.
NYSNA members engaged in many strategies in order to make this happen. NYSNA waged an unprecedented contract campaign — from strike votes to major media coverage — to bring nurses’ issues to the public and pressure hospital decision makers.
Efforts like lawsuits funded by NYSNA and other creative tactics led to this much-needed change for NYSNA members, as ultimately, management trustees agreed to this improvement.
As of April 30, the employer trustees have now agreed with the NYSNA union trustees to develop an additional plan option — a no-cost plan available with a zero contribution rate for our members for bargaining. This will be known as Employee Premium Option 4.
This is a big win, as the benefits funds issue was a major stumbling block in 2011 contract negotiations.
In addition, the Presbyterian, St. Joseph’s and Gracie Square contract agreements were accepted by the funds, as were plans agreed to at Mt. Sinai and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt were also accepted.
Those two plans address the needs of nurses with extraordinary out-of-pocket prescription expenses.
Having this new option of a no-cost plan for our members gives us greater freedom and leverage going into negotiations for future contracts.
It’s already paying off – nurses at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center were the first to ratify a contract with the new plan in it.
NYSNA has entered a new era in contract negotiations and enforcement as the strength and resources of our members will be used to win good contracts.
Using many tools, from corporate research to mass mobilization, NYSNA is on a new path to making gains for members and their families.
The NYSNA representatives on the benefit fund board of trustees are BettyAnn Lynch from St. Luke’s-Roosevelt, Pat Holloman from Mt. Sinai, Alyson Selby King from Methodist, and Nancy Kaleda, Julie Pinkham and John Barrett from NYSNA senior staff.