<<<For Immediate Release
New York State Nurses Assoc
Mark Genovese: 518.782.9400, Ext. 353
NYSNA Wins Million $ Settlement for Bronx RNs
BRONX, NYC - Dec. 20, 2002
- Twenty-six nurses
who work at North Central Bronx (NCB) Hospital will receive a settlement totaling $1,241,936
from the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. (HHC is NYC's system of public city hospitals).
The settlement will pay the nurses thousands of dollars in annual salaries plus sick and vacation time accumulated when HHC ended an unusual contractual arrangement with Montefiore Medical Center.
The settlement gives the nurses every single dollar that HHC originally denied them since 1995, plus 3% interest retroactive to 1995. HHC also agreed to pay almost $25,000 in attorney's fees.
In 1976, North Central Bronx, which is an HHC facility located next door to Montefiore Medical Center, signed an agreement authorizing Montefiore to hire RNs to work at NCB.
The arrangement left nurses working on the same unit at NCB earning different salaries - even if they had identical qualifications and the same length of service, because some nurses worked for NCB under a contract that covered 7,000 HHC nurses in the city's public healthcare facilities, and others worked for Montefiore Medical Center.
The nurses who worked under the Montefiore contract earned significantly more money than their colleagues who were employed by HHC. Although NYSNA represented the nurses at both facilities, the association had no control over this arrangement between NYC's HHC and the administration at Montefiore - an arrangement which lasted for almost 20 years.
In 1995, when Montefiore told the nurses the arrangement with HHC was over, the RNs had three choices:
*Apply for one of the few open positions at Montefiore
* accept termination
* or continue to work at NCB under the HHC contract.
Many nurses wanted to remain at NCB, and NYSNA and HHC began to negotiate a roll-over agreement for them.
During these negotiations, NYSNA had worked out what appeared to be a fair agreement, one that recognized their years of experience. But before it was signed, talks broke down. Instead of agreeing to roll-over provisions, HHC demanded that the nurses come in as "new hires,"
giving up their experience differentials and losing their unused vacation and sick time. The most HHC would offer was credit for five years' experience.
Despite their anger and disappointment, many nurses continued to work at NCB under the conditions HHC offered. But the story was not over:
NYSNA and the nurses sued HHC.
"It took a very long time to win this settlement," said Eunice Baskett, RN - the current nurse representative at NCB. "And we could not have done it without the ongoing support of our members. Through it all, they showed the determination and fortitude typical of HHC nurses. This is a great day for them - and for NYSNA."
"NYSNA was absolutely determined to correct this injustice," said Lorraine Seidel, director of NYSNA's Economic & General Welfare Program. "Nurses deserved their pay, benefits, and seniority, and we fought hard to help them win what was rightfully theirs."
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.>>>>>>