For Immediate Release
Interfaith Nurses Win 20.5% salary increase over four years
BROOKLYN, NYC Feb. 7, 2003
- Registered nurses at Interfaith Medical Center Wednesday evening overwhelmingly approved a new four-year agreement that will boost RN salaries by 20.5% over the life of the contract and make many improvements in their working conditions.
The 250 RNs are represented by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA). Under the new contract, base starting salaries for staff RNs will increase from their current $51,154 to $61,528
in July 2005. Nurses will receive a lump-sum payment of $1,000 on Feb. 14, 2003, and additional $1,000 on Aug. 1, 2003; a 4% raise on Jan. 1, 2004; a $1,000 lump-sum addition to the base on July 1, 2004; a 4% raise in Jan. 1, 2005; and a $1,000 lump-sum addition to the base on July 1, 2005.
Some other highlights of the agreement:
* Experience differential steps - Five new steps will be added to the experience scale starting this year. By Jan. 1, 2005, the maximum amount RNs will be eligible to receive in experience pay will increase to an additional $23,125
after 25 years. There will no longer be a cap on credit for outside experience
, which will help Interfaith recruit veteran nurses.
* Staffing ratios - Under the nurses' most-recent contract, which was settled in 2000, an RN committee was established to develop enforceable, unit-by-unit, RN-to-patient staffing guidelines. The ratios they decided upon have now been formally incorporated into the contract.
* Health benefits for retirees - RNs who retire at age 62 with 20 years of service can receive health coverage through Interfaith's insurance plan at no cost
until they become eligible for Medicare.
* Handling home care paperwork - Interfaith RNs who work in home care will now be given a paid day to complete necessary paperwork
. The paperwork burden in home care is so great that many nurses often have to spend several hours each week completing it - in addition to their patient care duties and travel time. For the first time, home care RNs will also be reimbursed to cover their travel and phone costs
* Latex allergy prevention - The hospital will also implement a plan to reduce RNs' exposure to latex products and respond to incidents of latex allergy - a serious and debilitating reaction to latex powder in many health care products. It has been estimated by the federal government that latex allergy can affect up to 12% of health care workers.
The nurses have been working without a contract since Dec. 31, 2001.
"The changes called for in this contract will dramatically improve Interfaith's competitiveness in the New York area RN job market," said Camille Edwards, NYSNA nursing representative. "It also indicates a recognition by management of the importance of nursing to patient care at this facility."
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.
Contact: Mark Genovese: 518.782.9400, ext. 353