On November 2, Northwell Health, parent company of Southside Hospital, agreed to pay nurses at its Southside facility $1.55 million in back wages. It was a huge victory for more than 300 nurses — about half the nurses at Southside — who will receive on average $5,000 in back wages owed for overtime by the end of this year. “The nurses are ecstatic!” said Marianne Walsh, RN and Southside’s LBU President.
The settlement resolves a long and bitter fight over Southside’s pay practices from April 2007 to January 2011. During the four-year period, the hospital implemented non-overlapping shifts for nurses in certain units. Nurses were forced to work beyond their shift to give patient briefings to incoming staff, but they were not paid for their time as required by law.
NYSNA filed a grievance, and the arbitrator ruled against Southside. Then the nurses took action. Ms. Walsh and her colleague Dorothy Lane, RN, along with NYSNA staff presented over a year of testimony, with detailed documentation on overtime hours worked, to Southside Hospital management before reaching the $1.55 million agreement.
“We work so hard. Any extra time we spent at work was time we were away from our families. We didn’t ask for anything more than we deserved and what we were legally entitled to,” said Ms. Walsh.