update on Overtime Pay changes

  1. Still trying to stop that overtime elimination bill from becoming law, Congress introduces a new bill to protect the worker's overtime pay:

    New York State Nurses Association
    Practice and Governmental Affairs

    Update: Proposed Federal Overtime Changes

    On March 31, 2003 the Bush Administration proposed new Federal labor regulations that would dramatically alter who would be eligible for overtime pay. Under the new Department of Labor regulations, thousands of employees who are currently eligible to receive overtime pay would lose that status.

    The American Nurses Association sent a letter to the Department of Labor in opposition to these proposed new regulations. (Read ANA's Capitol Update article on the proposed over-time regulations at http://www.capitolupdate.org/Newslet...id=34&nlaid=43 )

    Several attempts have been made by members of Congress to stop the Administration's regulatory proposal. Congressman George Miller (D-CA) and Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2004 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation bill that would have blocked the Department of Labor from implementing these new rules on overtime pay.

    Though this attempt was narrowly defeated, a new effort to derail the proposed regulations has begun. Congressman Peter King (R-NY) and Congressman George Miller (D-CA) have introduced H.R. 2665 that would bar the Labor Department from excluding any worker who is now eligible for overtime pay.

    NYSNA urges you to contact your Congressmen and ask them to co-sponsor and support this new, important bill. (HR 2665)

    Visit ANA's legislative action page to find out who represents you in Congress. http://vocusgr.vocus.com/grconvert1/...;Federal+Asset


    http://www.nysna.org/programs/leg/alert_5.htm
    Last edit by -jt on Aug 5, '03
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   gwenith
    Sigh! I feel for you I really do. I never fully appreciated how strong our unions are here in Australia. If they even thought about that here we would stop the country! BANG! NOTHING would move NOTHING would be done - general strike action EVERYONE would walk out.

    We would be going down to Canberra in droves and picketting parliment. It seems amazing to me that you have to call for support. Our unions would band together on a issue like this because they would accept that they could be NEXT!!!

    What is worrying is that GWB feels so secure in re-election that he is even contemplating this.
  4. by   fergus51
    Sadly this will probably affect non-union nurses the most. I have never worked in a union hospital that didn't have OT pay in their contract.
  5. by   P_RN
    What I see is a rock and a hard place. Nurses want to be called "Professional?" then they should get straight wages.
    Nurses willing to be "pink collar" OK then you can have OverTime.

    How much freakin' money do they think they'll save if all the nurses decide just to move on to real estate or lawn services?
  6. by   -jt
    The unions are banded together on this issue. Ironic that its the unions that are fighting this bill the hardest & loudest but it isnt even the union workers who would be affected because their contracts provide for overtime pay & they would still get it. The workers who would be lose overtime pay are the non-union workers. Its people who arent even in unions that the unions are fighting for, and still the problem here is that not everyone "believes in" unions.

    Gotta say one thing for GWB - he is consistent, if nothing else. The first thing he did by February, after taking office in January, was pass bills that weaken our union labor laws. And he hasnt let up on it ever since.
  7. by   caroladybelle
    Originally posted by P_RN
    What I see is a rock and a hard place. Nurses want to be called "Professional?" then they should get straight wages.
    Nurses willing to be "pink collar" OK then you can have OverTime.
    I disagree. Independent MDs get paid more if they are handling more clients. Dentists get paid more if they have a larger practice. Pharmacists get paid per hour in many businesses/hospitals. Are they considered less professional?

    If I have any problem, it is with groups that classify RNs as management/administrative, when the vast majority of us do not hire, fire or have any control over staffing.
  8. by   oramar
    It is time for all unions accross the nation to do what the Aussie suggested, time for a nation wide strike.
  9. by   jnette
    Thanx for the update, -jt. And for the links. Curious to see where it goes from here. :stone
  10. by   sjoe
    "How much freakin' money do they think they'll save if all the nurses decide just to move on to real estate or lawn services?"

    A LOT, since this would strengthen the arguments behind their lobbying efforts in DC to open the floodgates even wider to foreign nurses willing to work non-union, for low wages, and at the beck and call of administration.

    "The unions are banded together on this issue. Ironic that its the unions that are fighting this bill the hardest & loudest but it isnt even the union workers who would be affected because their contracts provide for overtime pay & they would still get it."

    Union contracts ALL expire at some point. If unions wouldn't go along with the facility's demand to remove the OT clauses, a change in ownership (like a buyout by Tenet or some newly-formed "paper" entity, e.g.) would easily throw out the contract AND the union.

    In conjuction with the increased availabilty of foreign nurses as suggested above (and discussed in numerous other threads on this BB), these facilities would be able to do as they wished. They have little reason to do otherwise.

    Unions and union members have every reason to be seriously concerned.
    Last edit by sjoe on Aug 5, '03
  11. by   fergus51
    I do expect hospitals to attempt to get rid of OT in union contracts, but I can't see that actually succeeding.
  12. by   -jt
    August 04, 2003
    Working Family News

    Bush Move to Strip Overtime Draws More Fire

    July 31--A growing public outcry over the Bush administration's plan to eliminate overtime pay protections for as many as 8 million workers has drawn charges that the Labor Department is overstepping its authority in a special congressional hearing July 31.

    The hearing followed the July 29 introduction of legislation (S. 1485) by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that would block Bush's Department of Labor from gutting the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA's) overtime pay protections.

    Since the Labor Department announced its plan to strip overtime from a broad range of workers--from nurses and firefighters to retail clerks and engineering technicians--it has received more than 80,000 public comments, which the department acknowledges are mostly negative.

    "Eliminating overtime pay is yet another step in the wrong direction for our economy by the Bush administration. Workers and their families depend on this money to supplement their income and make ends meet. It's incomprehensible that the administration would want to strip away this money from hard-working Americans as the economy continues to stumble," said Sen. Kennedy.

    When Congress passed the FLSA, which set wage and hour standards, it "intended the protections of the 40-hour workweek to apply to the vast majority of workers, with the exception of only a narrowly limited class of workers....Congress plainly did not intend, nor did it empower the DOL (Department of Labor) to repeal the 40-hour workweek for the vast majority of Americans through regulation," Christine Owens, AFL-CIO director of Public Policy, told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education during the special hearing called by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.).

    Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) questioned the Labor Department's legal authority to so drastically change the FLSA during a July 29 hearing on the nomination of Howard M. Radzely as solicitor of the Department of Labor. She noted for the past 70 years, the Labor Department has interpreted rules to make the vast majority of Americans as eligible for overtime because that was Congress' intent when it passed the FLSA.

    She called the overtime proposal contrary to the intent of the legislation and "a power grab" by Labor Secretary Elaine Chao "on behalf of the president."

    At the July 31 hearing, Economic Policy Institute (EPI) Vice President Ross Eisenbrey said, "The paychecks of millions of workers are at stake....There is no reason for workers to sacrifice one of this country's bedrock entitlements."

    The Kennedy/Harkin bill is expected to be one of the first votes held when Congress returns from its summer recess in September. It may be offered as an amendment to the fiscal year 2004 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education appropriations bill or it may be voted on as a stand-alone piece of legislation. The House killed a similar amendment July 14 when it voted on the appropriations bill.

    Under the Bush proposal, workers exempt from overtime rights could face unpredictable work schedules and reduced pay because of an increased demand for extra hours for which employers would not have to compensate workers, according to an EPI report released June 26.

    Workers making more than $22,100 a year could be denied overtime pay under the proposed changes if they are reclassified as professional, administrative or executive employees exempt from federal overtime rules.

    _

    More:

    Send an e-mail to President Bush telling him to stop attacking overtime pay._

    Learn more about the Bush administration's proposed changes to overtime pay regulations and other measures attacking the 40-hour workweek and hear what workers have to say._

    Find out how the Bush attacks on overtime pay would affect your state and region._

    Read the EPI report on 8 million workers losing their right to overtime pay._

    Get the details on Bush's overtime proposal._

    Find out about current overtime rules and what you can do if denied overtime pay._

    See how today's economy affects working families.

    Visit the Communications Workers of America website and read CWA President Morton Bahr's take on the overtime attack, plus "How to Cheat Workers 101" and more.

    Listen to_The Newspaper Guild/CWA press conference about the attack on overtime.

    Get perspectives on overtime from the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers and the Fire Fighters.

    see:

    http://www.aflcio.org/yourjobeconomy...ns07312003.cfm




    Tell your senators to block the Bush overtime take away. Act now to voice your opposition to changes in federal overtime rules, which could deny overtime pay to at least 8 million people. Send a message to your U.S. senators with a copy to your Congressman and President Bush at:

    http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/senateOTrider
    Last edit by -jt on Aug 5, '03
  13. by   NicuGal
    I have to disagree with the Professional statement. If you want to work 16 hours a day for no OT, then be my guest. If wanting to be paid for my OT makes me unprofessional, well, so be it.
  14. by   Todd SPN
    This brings up a question I have. When I was doing CNA work, I was asked numerous times to work a double shift. They were only going to pay me straight time so I always refused. I figured if I was going to work 16 hrs straight, I deserved to get paid for it. Are any of you nurses asked to work double shifts at straight pay? Have youi done so?

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