Major arb award for 300 ECMC nurses

In a victory for NYSNA members, Erie County Medical Center included an extra $43,000 in its January payroll. Payments to individual nurses ranged from $56 to $467.

A little more than a year earlier, an arbitrator had ordered the hospital to stop short-changing nurses for holiday pay and compensate them for owed overtime. After management dragged its feet with compliance, the ECMC NYSNA Executive Committee pushed for resolution.

“This was a substantial award, and we weren’t going to wait any longer. Every nurse who had worked a 12-hour shift over a holiday was owed money, and we demanded closure,” said Mark Medakovich, RN and NYSNA Executive Committee member.

The arbitration grew out of a NYSNA class action grievance. “This was the second time we brought this issue to grievance,” said NYSNA member Beth Moses, RN. “In 2009, we noticed that new payroll software was short-changing holiday overtime pay.”

Déjà vu

The issue was resolved the first time around after NYSNA members filed a grievance, but when ECMC upgraded its payroll software in 2012, Ms. Moses noticed the same thing happening again — nurses working a 12-hour shift on a holiday were not getting paid all the overtime due. At first management refused to acknowledge the problem, but NYSNA nurses won in arbitration and continued to push until RNs received the pay they were owed.

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