nurses win improvements in staffing, working conditions

  1. <<<<For Immediate Release

    New York State Nurses Association
    Mark Genovese: 518.782.9400, Ext. 353

    Flushing Hospital nurses win improvements in staffing, working conditions
    QUEENS, NYC Nov. 8, 2002 - Thursday evening, registered nurses at Flushing Hospital Medical Center approved a new 3-year contract that the nurses believe will ensure safe staffing, improve working conditions, and help the facility remain competitive in the local RN job market.

    The agreement was reached late in the evening on Nov. 4, after several months of contentious negotiations that saw the RNs conduct an extensive community outreach campaign and informational picketing.

    Some highlights of the agreement include:

    * Staffing - The contract provides for the establishment of safe RN-to-patient staffing guidelines that will be enforceable through arbitration. A labor/management committee of nurses to develop the guidelines will begin meeting within 30 days. The guidelines must be implemented within 60 days. The RN staffing committee will meet regularly to assess staffing levels.

    * Compensation - Staff nurses will receive a retroactive salary increase of $2,300 for this year, and raises of $2,000 each year in 2003 and 2004, raising the base salary for staff nurses from its current $50,710 to $57,000 on Aug. 1, 2004. In addition, the hospital will restore one year of the nurses' experience pay. Many nurses had been frozen on the experience scale as a result of the hospital's 1999 bankruptcy.

    * 12-Hour Shifts-This same committee will also consider converting more units from their current eight-hour schedule to a 12-hour schedule. NYSNA believes 12-hour shifts provide for better patient care coverage. Many RNs prefer a 12-hour schedule also because it allows them more time off to care for their families and further their education

    *Retiree health benefits - Nurses retiring from Flushing Hospital with 20 years of service and are at least 62 years of age will receive $750 each year to purchase health insurance until they are eligible for Medicare.

    * Other provisions - The contract also includes job security protection for more nurses, additional reimbursement for continuing their education, and retention of the nurses' union's health and pension plans at no cost to the nurses.

    The contract runs from the expiration date of the previous agreement, Dec. 31, 2001, until June 30, 2005.

    NYSNA is the professional association for registered nurses in New York with more than 34,000 members statewide. A multipurpose organization, NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education and practice and works to advance the profession through legislative activity and collective bargaining. NYSNA is a constituent of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and its labor arm, the United American Nurses (UAN), which is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

    http://www.nysna.org >>>>
    Last edit by -jt on Jan 6, '03
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   sjoe
    Sounds like a good start. Now if their next contract could mandate competent management....
  4. by   oramar
    That looks good but if they switched to 12 hours shift on me at this point in my life they would effectively force me out.
  5. by   -jt
    The thing is THOSE nurses wanted the 12 hr shifts on those units. If they didnt, it wouldnt have be done. The point is the RNs now have the say in converting the hours wherever the nurses want it. On floors where the nurses dont want it, it wont be forced on them. The NURSES make the decision.
  6. by   NancyRN
    Will they get to pee?
  7. by   -jt
    For Immediate Release

    Onondaga County Nurses Approve New Contract

    SYRACUSE, Nov. 26, 2002 - Registered nurses employed by Onondaga County approved a new three-year contract this afternoon that provides a total wage increase of 10% and protects nurses from the givebacks that county officials had sought during negotiations.

    The 141 RNs, represented by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), were working under a contract that expired on Dec. 31, 2001. The new contract incorporates many of the recommendations in a report issued Nov. 4 by a state-appointed fact-finder.

    Some highlights of the agreement:

    The nurses will receive a retroactive salary increase of 3.25% for 2002, and increases of 3.25% for 2003, and 3.5% for 2004. Although NYSNA believes raises were not at a level that will keep the county competitive as an employer of RNs, the union acknowledged their fairness in that they are in line with raises offered to other county employees.

    Rejected by the fact-finder was a county proposal that would have increased work hours for public health nurses but provided no corresponding increase in pay. Public health nurses currently have a full hour for lunch, while nurses in other county departments have only 30 minutes. NYSNA determined the county's proposal would force public health nurses to work 2.5 more hours per week without additional pay. The fact-finder said there had been no indication the county had suffered a loss of productivity from this practice, but that the county would risk alienating nurses if it went through with it. The county agreed that this provision not be in the final contract.

    Also defeated were the county's bids to eliminate the nurses' $500 annual education differential and change the method of determining eligibility for overtime. The fact-finder said these proposals, if included, would have caused more nurses to become dissatisfied and drive them away from public employment.

    The contract also restores additional pay for nurse practitioners who are placed in charge of units, and resolves a problem of inequity between the pay scales for veteran county RNs and new hires with outside experience.

    The nurses said prevention of these givebacks was crucial to their acceptance of the contract.


    NYSNA is the professional association for registered nurses in New York with more than 34,000 members statewide. A multipurpose organization, NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education and practice and works to advance the profession through legislative activity and collective bargaining. NYSNA is a constituent of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and its labor arm, the United American Nurses (UAN), which is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
    Mark Genovese: 518.782.9400, Ext. 353
    http://www.NYSNA.org


    In this time of national RN staffing crisis, how is any hospital in its right mind having the audacity to push for GIVE-BACKS & even forcing the issue to mediation to try & get them? What happened to the laws of supply & demand? If you want the person with the skills you need bad enough & there isnt that many of them to go around, you make yours the best, most attractive offer possible or they go someplace else, right? You dont attract them by demanding give backs. And then they have the nerve to cry that they cant find nurses. geeez....

    well, at least the mediator had a brain to see what the county administrators couldnt.
  8. by   askater11
    Hopefully THOSE nurses will get what they want.

    Oramar--

    I'm under the same problem. All local hospitals around here are changing to 12 hours. Once I quit my 8 hour position it will be deleted.

    The problem is I can't get a new job...since any available position is 12 hours.

    My dh's schedule and mine don't allow me to work 12 hours. I feel so lost trying to find a job. And very limited. Oh well...I'm bored with my unit but it's working for my family and myself. I'm just working the minimum since I'm not fully happy with my position.
  9. by   -jt
    Michigan:

    for immediate release-

    Registered Nurses at Dickinson County Healthcare System Ratify Contract

    Iron Mountain, MI - Registered nurses at Dickinson County Healthcare System ratified a new three year contract on October 11.


    Faced with a global nursing shortage, as well as competition for nurses from Wisconsin hospitals, retention of nurses was the primary goal of contract negotiations between the Michigan Nurses Association and Dickinson County Healthcare System. Rather than opting for a "retention bonus" which some health systems employ, the nurses' new contract increases the base rate pay thus "building in" a more permanent retention solution.


    As a result the nurses' base rate will increase up to 7% in the first year, with 6% increases each of the next two years. The nurses also negotiated significant improvements for standby pay, shift differentials, inconvenience pay, call pay, weekend premium, use of paid time off, bereavement and special adjustments. This would bring, for example, the top base hourly wage to $29.21 for "staff weekday" nurses and $38.62 for "weekend" positions.
    Additionally home health RN's are enjoying significant strides in their working conditions.


    Registered nurses on the MNA bargaining committee were: Lynn Karban, Shirley Dishaw Beck, Lola Johnson, Mark Carlson, Debbie Miller, Sue Mella, Sherry Mangan, and Perry Van Pembrooke.


    The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest nurses union and professional association of registered nurses in the state of Michigan. Nationally known for their innovations in collective bargaining agreements, MNA nurses have addressed a wide range of economic, practice and patient care issues.

    Such issues include language on mandatory overtime, use of non-nursing personnel, staffing, scheduling practices, professional practice committees, measurement of quality indicators, as well as wages and benefits that recruit and retain nurses.

    MNA is a constituent member of the American Nurses Association and the United American Nurses, and an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
    http://www.minurses.org/news/press/p...ickinson.shtml
  10. by   -jt
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Michigan:

    REGISTERED NURSES AT HACKLEY HOSPITAL RATIFY NEW THREE-YEAR CONTRACT

    Muskegon, MI - Registered nurses at Hackley Hospital, represented by the Michigan Nurse Association, voted today to ratify a new three-year contract that gains new ground in the area of retirement benefits.

    In a time when many employers are cutting retiree benefits, the 270 RNs at Hackely gained a 3% pension increase and a new medical reimbursement account. Hackley Hospital will contribute up to 2 % of a nurse's salary annually toward an account that can be used for medical expenses in retirement such as prescriptions and health insurance premiums.

    "We are pleased that the hospital agreed to address our members' issues related to pension and retiree insurance. Nurses deserve to have adequate benefits when they retire," says Sue Frasier, RN, who is vice chair of the Hackley staff council and a bargaining committee member.

    The nurses will also see wage increases of 6% in the first year, 5% in the second year, and 4% in the third year of the contract, plus step increases and improvements in differentials. The nurses' wages will range at the end of the three year contract from $20.88 to $30.35/hour.

    Hackley nurses enhanced their contract language prohibiting mandatory overtime by creating monetary incentives for nurses to volunteer to work additional shifts. This is an effort to ensure the hospital is staffed appropriately without having to use agency nurses who are unfamiliar with the hospital.

    Nurses will have a greater say in patient load at the unit level, where an optimum ratio of patients to nurses is set. The contract includes new language to ensure nurses are involved in any changes in these staffing ratios.

    "As West Michigan feels the effects of the nursing shortage, we are hopeful that these negotiated improvements will go far in helping Hackley Hospital to recruit and retain qualified nurses to provide the citizens of Muskegon the nursing care they deserve," says Jessica Salazar, MNA Labor Representative.

    Registered nurses at Hackley Hospital have been represented by the Michigan Nurses Association since 1972.

    The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest nurses union and professional association of registered nurses in the state of Michigan. Nationally known for their innovations in collective bargaining agreements, MNA nurses have addressed a wide range of economic, practice and patient care issues.

    Such issues include language on mandatory overtime, use of non-nursing personnel, staffing, scheduling practices, professional practice committees, measurement of quality indicators, as well as wages and benefits that recruit and retain nurses.

    MNA is a constituent member of the American Nurses Association and the United American Nurses, and an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
    http://www.minurses.org/
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 5, '02
  11. by   -jt
    St. John's Riverside Nurses Win Improvements in Staffing, Compensation

    Yonkers, NY - December 4 - Registered nurses at St. John's Riverside Hospital yesterday approved an amendment to their current contract that will help the hospital remain competitive in the local RN job market.

    The new agreement came in response to recent improvements in salaries and benefits at other Westchester facilities. Although the nurses' current contract runs through Dec. 31, 2003, hospital administration recognized that changes would be necessary in order for the hospital to keep pace. The new agreement will:

    * Extend the nurses contract through March 31, 2004.
    * Improve the staffing guidelines that were established in the first contract.
    * Increase the nurses' base pay from its current $48,000 to $50,000 in September 2003.
    * Increase the top level of experience pay by nearly $4,000 in January 2003.
    * Establish a preceptor/mentor program, through which the RNs will receive additional compensation for providing on-the-job training to new hires.

    The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) was elected to represent the 265 RNs in December 1999. The nurses won their first contract in February 2001.
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 13, '02
  12. by   -jt
    Montefiore Nurses Approve New Contract

    Bronx, NYC - Dec. 11, 2002 - Registered nurses at Montefiore Medical Center Tuesday evening approved a new three-year contract that will set safe levels of RN-to-patient staffing and provide incentives to help the hospital recruit new nurses and retain veterans.

    Highlights of the contract:


    * Safe staffing - The contract calls for the hospital to implement safe RN-to-patient staffing ratios on each unit no later than four months after contract ratification. Many units will see an immediate improvement in staffing as a result. If medical center administration does not follow the guidelines, the nurses can seek enforcement through binding third-party arbitration.

    * Compensation - All RNs will receive a salary increase of 4% on the base rate for each of the contract's three years. This would raise the base salary for a staff nurse from its current $53,810 to $60,528 in April 2004. To encourage the retention of veteran nurses, the contract will add two steps to the top of the experience scale and increase experience differentials by 6% in the contract's third year. This will add $29,300 to the annual salaries of nurses with 30 years of service.

    Additional pay for working the evening and night shifts will also increase from its current $5,400 per year to $6,000 by July 2004. Finally, the lower, introductory salary rate for new-hires will be eliminated in 2003, as will the two-tier salary and benefit schedule for Montefiore RNs who work at clinics in Westchester.

    * Health benefits - The nurses will see improvements in their health benefits, including an increase in their major medical and dental coverage. The hospital will hire a customer service representative to help process the nurses' medical claims. Nurses had encountered a number of problems in recent years with the administration of their health benefits. This agreement comes after nearly a year of difficult negotiations that saw the RNs conduct a community outreach campaign that included informational picketing. The 1,880 RNs at Montefiore are represented by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA). Their most-recent three-year contract expired on Jan. 15, 2002.

    NYSNA is the professional association for registered nurses in New York with more than 34,000 members statewide. A multipurpose organization, NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education and practice and works to advance the profession through legislative activity and collective bargaining. NYSNA is a constituent of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and its labor arm, the United American Nurses (UAN), which is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 13, '02
  13. by   2banurse
    -jt, I really appreciates your posts. I still have thoughts of relocating back to NY when I finish with school and I am pleased at how the NYSNA is improving the conditions for NY RNs.
  14. by   -jt
    Sunday, December 8, 2002

    KAISER NURSES RATIFY "PROGRESSIVE" NEW 3-YEAR CONTRACT
    4th Hospital Strike Averted By Hawaii Nurses


    HONOLULU - With the vote ending at 11:30 PM on Saturday, December 7, 2002, the nurses of Kaiser Hospital have ratified a new three year contract "by a strong margin." Sue Scheider, HNA Director of Collective Bargaining said, "The new agreement provides for real progress in all the areas that Kaiser nurses had identified as priorities:

    * real retiree medical benefits in the contract
    * wage increases of 21% overall (8%-6%-7%), and two longevity steps for experienced nurses (one dollar per hour for 7-yr nurses in the 2nd year and another dollar per hour for 15-yr nurses in the 3rd year) to retain experienced RNs
    * new language to create safe staffing patterns
    * a major movement toward a unified pay structure for hospital and clinic nurses."

    The nurse negotiators all said that a central factor contributing to the success of these negotiations was the amazing support from staff nurses at bargaining sessions. At most sessions, upwards of 50 Kaiser nurses participated and showed their resolve in achieving the team's priority.

    "Now that their new contract is ratified, the Kaiser nurses will be turning their attention to supporting the HNA nurses on the picket lines at St. Francis, Kuakini, and Queen's medical Centers," Sue Scheider said. "Particularly with the holiday season upon us, the Kaiser nurses sincerely hope that their progressive new contract will encourage the other hospitals to resolve their disputes with the striking nurses."

    Nurses at Hawaii's Queen's, Kuakini, and St. Francis continue to walk the picket lines in a strike which is moving into its second week and with no further negotiations set.

    Nurses at Kapiolani Hospital had ratified their three-year contract on Wednesday, December 4, 2002 - also narrowly averting a strike.

    From its founding in 1917, to the present, Hawai`i Nurses' Association (HNA) has served as the organization for nursing in Hawai`i and continually strives to preserve the identity, integrity, and core values of the profession of nursing.

    HNA is the only-full service professional organization representing Hawai`i's 10,000 registered nurses.

    HNA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, protects the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace through collective bargaining, project's a positive and realistic view of nursing to the community, and advocates for on health care issues affecting nurses and the public through lobbying the Hawai`i Legislature and regulatory agencies.

    The HNA Collective Bargaining Organization (HNA/CBO) represents registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nurse aides in more than twenty bargaining units throughout the State of Hawai`i.

    The 3,500 registered nurses that belong to HNA are representative of all areas of nursing from clinical staff nurses to nurse administrators, from nurse educators to advanced practice registered nurses. Through participation in their professional association, HNA members are the voice that makes a difference for the profession.

    The Association joined the American Nurses Association (ANA) in 1931.

    In 1964, the Association, at the request of registered nurses working at Kaiser Foundation Hospital and Kuakini Hospital, became involved in collective bargaining through the Council on Economic and General Welfare. In 1979, the Collective Bargaining Organization of the Hawai'i Nurses' Association was recognized within the Association bylaws, as a distinct entity with its own Board of Directors.

    Today, HNA has a statewide membership of 3,500 registered nurses, seven districts, and more than 22 bargaining units.




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