1. forgive me for bragging but.........


    Just 2 short yrs ago, the 1600 RNs at a famous NYC hospital were 1 hr away from walking out on strike over staffing issues when the hospital finally blinked first & gave in to an offer the nurses could accept. Obviously the administration learned its lesson about NYSNA nurse unity & strength from that experience because THIS time,....... without even having the threat of a strike......

    Nurses at Presbyterian Approve Breakthrough Contract

    New York City, Dec. 21, 2001

    Registered nurses at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center Thursday overwhelmingly approved a three-year contract that provides safe staffing guarantees, health coverage upon retirement, and breakthrough base salaries that will exceed $60,000 the highest in city. The 1,600
    RNs are represented by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA). Their most recent two-year contract was due to expire on Dec. 31.......

    This contract gives RNs at Presbyterian the best contract in the city, said Donna Verry, NYSNA nursing representative. It shows that after several years of rocky relations, there was a real effort on the hospitals part to address the nursing shortage and make Columbia-Presbyterian an attractive place for RNs to work. The agreement includes:

    Safe staffing guarantees: A mechanism to allow the nurses to enforce unit-by-unit, shift-by-shift guidelines for safe RN staffing will be expanded throughout the entire hospital. Under their most recent contract, this enforceability provision was in effect in only one area of the hospital. Guidelines can be enforced through grievance and third-party arbitration if they are not implemented by hospital management. A full-time labor
    management committee will also be established to continuously monitor staffing levels and staffing related problems..........

    Retiree health: Recognizing that health care coverage is an important issue for veteran registered nurses, this contract will provide retiring RNs with up to $2,500 each year tax free to cover the cost of purchasing health insurance.........

    Salary: The nurses will receive a 12% salary increase over the life of the contract. The base rate for staff nurses will increase from its current $48,500 to $60,570 in the contracts final year. RNs will also receive a retention bonus equal to 1% of their salary in the contracts third year........

    Additional compensation: The cap on the experience differential was raised from $25,000 after 29 years to $29,000 after 32 years, while the differential for working the evening and night shifts was raised from $5,400 per year to $6,000 per year. Veteran RNs who also mentor orientees called preceptors will also receive a raise in their pay for such duties........

    Continuing education: Recognizing the need to help RNs keep their job skills current, the contract increases tuition reimbursement from 15 credits and $6,000 per year to 18 credits and $10,000 per year. The contract also increases the amount of time an RN is eligible to take as sick leave, and provides for additional labor-management committees to work on other workplace issues............

    This contract reflects a dramatic change in the status of labor management relations at the facility. It was negotiated in just 12 sessions and completed before the expiration of the current agreement - something that has not happened in the last 20 years. Just two years ago, the nurses were just minutes away from striking because of disagreements on staffing issues.........

    The hospital understands the need to maintain communication between management and the nurses is ongoing, Verry said. Thanks to the collective effort of the nurses, management now recognizes its obligation to provide for appropriate nurse staffing and safe patient care.........

    With more than 33,000 members, NYSNA is the leading organization for registered nurses in New York State and is one of the largest representatives of RNs for collective bargaining in the nation. A multi-purpose organization, NYSNA fosters high standards for nursing education and practice, works to advance the profession through legislative activity. NYSNA is a member of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and a founding member of its national nurses labor union - the United American Nurses (UAN). For more information, call Mark Genovese at 518.782.9400, ext. 353.
    NYSNA: >>>>>>

    These 1,600 unionized nurses just raised the bar for every nurse in our entire city. If one hospital can recognize the importance of these improvements & can find a way to provide for decent salaries & safe staffing, more can. I can just imagine how many RN applications Presby is going to start receiving tomorrow from nurses all over the tri-state area........ and I cant wait to see what happens with other contract negotiations that will be coming up at other hospitals after this.
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    About -jt

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 2,662; Likes: 46


  3. by   fiestynurse
    Last edit by fiestynurse on Mar 31, '04
  4. by   -jt
    <NYSNA has my full respect>

    Thank you! I passed on your message to those involved (

    The best thing about this is it happened because the nurses stood strongly united & committed to each other for the last contentious negotiations & went right down to the wire without blinking. The hospital became enlightened with that "education".

    Now, because of what these nurses did 2 years ago, every hospital in the city will have to pay attention & make improvements to be competitve or lose staff - union, nonunion, NYSNA represented facilities & facilities that have nurses represented by any other labor union. They can all thank these NYSNA nurses. Call it the trickle down effect. Thats how a strong union of nurses in the area helps every working nurse in the area and its what our organization has been doing for 30 yrs in this city. And thats how we set the standard, raise the bar, and establish the norm.

    Ta da!
    Last edit by -jt on Jan 9, '02
  5. by   nurs4kids
    Congratulations and thanks to these nurses!! HOPEFULLY, the NY nurses are going to set a precedent for the rest of us. It seems EVERYTHING starts in NY I'm impressed, to say the least.
  6. by   -jt
    <Congratulations and thanks to these nurses!! HOPEFULLY, the NY nurses are going to set a precedent for the rest of us. It seems EVERYTHING starts in NY...>

    LOL! Well we're just keeping up with our tradition because,
    actually - it did!

    100 yrs ago, a group of nurses in NYC established the first organization of nurses ever - as it grew, they branched it off into a state-wide association for NY nurses, the first ever state association in the country, & expanded into a national organization of nurses - the ANA. So thats where the idea of state associations & the ANA came from.

    The NY nurses - as the new organization NYSNA - went after the legislators to make laws that made nursing a profession & standardized education for nurses across the nation and then they created & fought for laws to require such a thing as a REGISTERED LICENSE for all nurses. Every registered nurse in the country can write that RN after their name thanks to 36 nurses in NY.

    Almost everything that came after that for nursing, started in NY too. NY nurses have been writing legislation for 100 yrs & getting the legislation they wrote passed into laws that benefit nurses and pts. The current bill The Nurse Retention - Quality Care Act 2001 that is now in Congress for passage into national law to help correct workplace conditions & retain experienced current nurses nation-wide was written by NYSNA nurses. (a word from all nurses to their legislators to support it would help get it passed)

    The history of the NYSNA is the history of the nursing profession. Great nurse activists like Lillian Wald & Lavinia Dock were NYSNA nurses, so we come from strong stock. Why stop now??? lol.

    Most of us already have safe staffing guidelines & ratios in our NYSNA contracts but some are better than others & other nurses unions dont have strong safe staffing contract language if they have any at all. Non-union nurses dont have any except for what the hospital decides (if it wants to). The more wide-spread we have it in our represented facilities, the easier it may be to pass the safe staffing law we have pending in our state & make safe staffing guidelines/ratios required by law in every facility for all the rest of those nurses.

    The new grad starting salary at my facility when our present contract ends in June 2003 will be $55,200/yr. For experienced nurses there is an additional $1000 per each yr of experience as an RN up to 25 yrs. After 25 yrs that nurse receives an additional $1000 bonus every yr. We have tuition reimbursement of 16 credits/yr or $8,000/yr & not many reach the limit so I dont think our nurses will care about increasing that much.

    Besides increases to retain experienced nurses, Im sure the main point of next negotiations at my facility is going to be those retirement benefits. Ill bet every one of our bargaining units is looking at the same thing for their next contract. We could very well be making retirement benefits the norm here. : )
    Last edit by -jt on Jan 10, '02
  7. by   semstr
    Awsome jt!!
    But I know why New Yorkers are the way they are.............a long, long time ago it was called New Amsterdam!!
    Yeah, way to go Holland

    Take care, Renee
  8. by   -jt
    <<it was called New Amsterdam!!
    Yeah, way to go Holland>>

    LOL!! And our NYSNA headquarters office on Wall St is a short walk from the spot where Dutchman Peter Minuit paid the Natives for the island of Manhattan with those $24 worth of beads. Nice statue of him we have there. ; )

    I live on Staaten Island (now spelled Staten) where I grew up in Great Kills, which is down the road from New Dorp. Now I live not too far from the Voorleezer's House on Arthur Kill.
    (I bet you know those names!)

    If youre ever in NYC & feeling home-sick, just stop by Staten Island.
  9. by   semstr
    Thanks, jt I will!!
    Till now, I never felt homesick in New York though!
    Too much to see and do!

    Take care, Renee