A breakthrough for minimum staffing standards in hospitals and nurses’ working conditions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 22, 2018
Contact: Carl Ginsburg I Carl.Ginsburg@nysna.org |Cell: 347.504.2701
New York City – The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), the largest union and association of registered nurses in the state, expressed its enthusiastic support for Governor Cuomo’s announced commitment today to introduce legislation that would authorize the NYS Department of Health to draft and implement regulations setting safe staffing standards based upon scientific studies for nurses and caregivers in all hospitals and nursing homes in New York State. The legislation, to be introduced in January, 2019, would provide RNs and other caregivers with staffing levels to assure patients receive the safety and quality care they need and deserve.
“Governor Cuomo understands the critical importance of safe staffing standards and RNs thank him for taking this very significant action. The proposed legislation and regulations will give us the protection we need and, in turn, give patients the safety and quality care they deserve. This is truly a breakthrough for nurses and the patients and communities we serve.” Judith Cutchin, RN, President, NYSNA’s Health and Hospitals Executive Council.
Governor Cuomo today also instructed the NYS Department of Labor to protect the rights of nurses under existing law to overtime pay, meal breaks and rest periods, and protection from mandated overtime. RNs in hospitals are routinely called upon to work through scheduled meals, without pay, because of very large patient census on their floors and insufficient staff.
NYSNA supports Governor Cuomo’s directive/executive order to the Department of Labor to tighten enforcement of these laws and crackdown on employers that violate nurses’ rights.
The proposed executive order will require employers who fail to give nurses their meal periods and breaks to implement penalty pay to nurses.
“I commend Governor Cuomo for setting in motion a process to give nurses both the safe staffing levels we need and protections for conditions on the job. Together these measures give us renewed strength to give our patients the very best care they deserve.” Anthony Ciampa, RN, NYSNA Second Vice President.
“NYSNA has worked hard to make our case: that safe staffing standards protect patients. Governor Cuomo has listened and is moving forward with proposed legislation/regulation that does just that. We salute his efforts in behalf of the health of ALL New Yorkers.” Pat Kane, RN, NYSNA Treasurer.
“Nurses see the needs of our patients every day. With the Governor’s proposal for safe staffing, once implemented, we can far better meet those needs. That’s critical to the public’s health. And his stand for our overtime pay, meal breaks and rest time, and protection from mandatory overtime shows that he understands our challenging working conditions.” Karines Reyes, RN.
“Governor Cuomo has demonstrated outstanding leadership in behalf of the public's health that protects nurses and other caregivers on the job in very important ways. His initiative is two-fold: it provides for a process to establish safe staffing standards essential to quality patient care; second, his immediate enforcement of laws governing overtime pay, meal breaks, rest periods and mandated overtime protects both nurses and patients. Governor Cuomo exhibits his wisdom with these actions.” Anne Bové, RN, NYSNA Secretary.
“Governor Cuomo understands the critical importance of safe staffing standards and RNs thank him for taking this very significant action. The legislation and regulations will give us the protection we need and, in turn, give patients the safety and quality care they deserve. His enforcement of labor standards enhances the ability of nurses to carry out our jobs effectively, another patient protection. This is truly a breakthrough for nurses and the patients and communities we serve.” Judith Cutchin, RN, President, NYSNA’s Health and Hospitals Executive Council.
“I applaud Governor Cuomo for not only recognizing the importance of establishing safe staffing levels in our healthcare facilities but for taking action and leading the way to ensure the highest quality of care for patients. Congratulations to the New York State Nurses Association for never giving up in the fight for patient safety. We will continue to support our brothers and sisters working in the healthcare industry to raise awareness about safe staffing levels.” Mario Cilento, President, New York State AFL-CIO.