WMC nurses stage silent protest

WMC Board Members were greeted by NYSNA nurses outside the hospital’s June 1 board meeting.

More than one hundred NYSNA members from Westchester Medical Center greeted the hospital’s board of directors as it arrived for a June 1 meeting, staging a “silent gathering” complete with signs and a giant petition signed by more than 800 nurses. The petition urged the hospital to respect nurses, and return to the bargaining table to negotiate a fair union contract.

Nurses ready to negotiate

The newly elected NYSNA Negotiating Committee has been steadfast in working toward a contract settlement, putting forward proposals and mobilizing members. According to Eileen Letzeiser, RN and WMC’s NYSNA LBU President, “Nurses stand ready to negotiate, but management has taken a condescending and adversarial tone instead of sitting down to bargain in good faith. We’ve put forward proposals that we think are more than fair to both sides.”

WMC’s future is looking brighter after a period of cutbacks and layoffs. “Things are looking up at WMC and that makes management’s disrespectful attitude all the more puzzling,” Ms. Letzeiser added. “The nurses agree with the hospital that salaries need to rise to competitive levels so that WMC is able to attract the most qualified nurses. If we can agree on that, we should be able to reach a contract with wages and healthcare benefits that will help WMC retain nurses and provide the very best care to our patients.”

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