Hospital threatens layoffs in midst of nurse staffing shortage - engages in coercion-

  1. for immediate release

    NYSNA will NOT be Coerced into Givebacks
    Westchester Med Center

    VALHALLA, March 13, 2003 - Registered nurses at Westchester Medical Center today said they will not give in to demands from management that they agree to givebacks.

    On March 12, medical center management said that unions must agree to $8 million in givebacks or face layoffs. This demand was made with no guarantee - even if the unions find a way to accommodate these cuts - that there won't be layoffs anyway.

    NYSNA believes this is not only unfair, it is dishonest.

    To paraphrase a presidential candidate: It's not the economy, stupid. It's severe financial mismanagement. The hospital wasted millions on consultants for reorganization just a few years ago. Then it bought Ellenville Community Hospital for $10 million. NYSNA asks: What other corporate waste is below the tip of this iceberg?


    Before laying off staff, the hospital should first be looking to get its fiscal house in order. Looking to labor is always the quickest way to make cuts, but it's also the most irresponsible.

    NYSNA's belief is that every bargaining unit RN performs an essential function at the medical center. With at least 210 vacancies at this point, all RN positions are essential for nursing care. We are already working short-staffed and further cuts are only going to be more dangerous.

    Management claims that some of the laid off managers would be put into direct patient care. But who then is going to coordinate and direct nursing care? Other hospitals where NYSNA represents RN have tried eliminating managerial staff and it's been a disaster.

    NYSNA will not be coerced into givebacks. Nor will we compromise patient care at this facility.

    Watch for updates to come on this situation.

    New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), with more than 34,000 members, is New York's largest union and professional association for Registered Nurses. NYSNA is the only organization that exclusively represents the interests of New York State's RNs, and is recognized nationwide as a trendsetter in improving RNs' wages and working conditions. NYSNA works to advance the nursing profession through collective bargaining and legislative activities, and fosters high standards of nursing education and practice. It is a constituent of the American Nurses Association and its labor arm, the United American Nurses, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

    Contact: Mark Genovese: 518.782.9400, ext. 353
    http://www.NYSNA.org
    Last edit by -jt on Mar 15, '03
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Going80INA55
    It is amazing what hospitals will try to get away with.
  4. by   sjoe
    Sounds like a skit from Saturday Night Live.
  5. by   OC_An Khe
    Never give into the pressure for give backs in order to save jobs. It doesn't work in the long run. The lay offs will come anyway and those left will forever by at a lower rate of compensation.
    If lay offs are truly necessary (yea right?) its always far better off to accept the lay offs then to forever reduce the compensation of those that remain behind.
    Are they trying to return Westshester to the old Grasslands days?
  6. by   Chiaramonte
    "Never give into the pressure for give backs in order to save jobs. It doesn't work in the long run. The lay offs will come anyway and those left will forever by at a lower rate of compensation.
    If lay offs are truly necessary (yea right?) its always far better off to accept the lay offs then to forever reduce the compensation of those that remain behind"
    Totally agree with ocankhe. Lot and lots of dirty dealing all around.
  7. by   oramar
    Haven't I been posting all over the place that these consultants lower cost for short period and then in two to three years the trouble starts. By then the people who are responsible for problems caused by shortsighted, short term cost savings have taken the money and run. How do I know this? I just read, read, read. This is one tough union, they won't lay down for this for a second. Oh by the way, my guess is that just recently millions of dollars have been moved into the pension accounts of the few people at the top. That is what usually happens. I wonder if their is a way to check. After they do that they usually tell the workers that their pension fund is underfunded and it has to be reorganized at lower rate.
  8. by   -jt
    <I wonder if their is a way to check.>

    There is & the unions do - then they bring it to the attention of the public to apply pressure. The info is in the hospitals tax returns. Top executive salaries & pensions are reported. Under the freedom of information act, newspapers have even published the data, demanding explainations. Some of those articles were posted here a while back in a discussion on CEO salaries. At one hospital that forced its nurses out on strike claiming they didnt have the money to meet the demands for safe staffing, they had millions in salaries & more millions in their own pensions. They also had the audacity to explain this by telling the newspaper that they had to pay the best to attract & retain the best executives. Obviously they do understand the concept - they just conveniently forget it when it comes to applying it to nurses.
    Last edit by -jt on Mar 16, '03
  9. by   Cafe
    How do you get a look at the tax returns from the hospital?
    I think we all would like to be enlightened on that subject.
  10. by   -jt
    through the Freedom of Information Act.

    the hospitals tax returns are a matter of public record.
  11. by   -jt
    <we all would like to be enlightened on that subject.>


    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...t=CEO+salaries

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...t=CEO+salaries

    http://www.revolutionmag.com/newrev9/ceowealth.html

    * The combined value of the top 43 CEOs' stockholdings alone is more than $6 BILLION.

    * If these 43 top CEOs contributed just 10 percent of their stockholdings 14,662 registered nurses could be hired.

    * It would take 1,468 years for the average registered nurse to earn what Dr. William W. McGuire, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, earned.

    * If you were to spend $100,000 a day everyday, it would take almost 42 years to spend the $1,524,908,878 of stock holdings of CEO Peter Nichols.

    * The money put into a CEO's compensation package alone could provide health insurance for 223,151 individuals.

    * It would take 331 years for the average registered nurse to earn what one average healthcare CEO took home last year.

    * HCA's CEO, Dr. Thomas F. Frist's has a salary that appears paltry at only $42,613, however; he also is compensated with a package that includes more than $800 million in HCA stock.

    And with a straight face, guys like this have the gall to claim that their facilities and hosiptals have no money for workplace improvements and pt care.
    Last edit by -jt on Mar 19, '03
  12. by   sjoe
    "If you were to spend $100,000 a day everyday, it would take almost 42 years to spend the $1,524,908,878 of stock holdings of CEO Peter Nichols."

    Hey, I volunteer! Where do I sign up?
  13. by   -jt
    RNs File Charges Against Med Center for Lay-off Plan
    http://www.nysna.org/news/press/pr2003/032103.htm

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