The Right Thing to Do.....

  1. From: News and Views | City Beat |
    Wednesday, October 10, 2001

    Health Care Labor Truce
    NY Daily News

    With Gov. Pataki looking on, NYC health-care labor and management representatives announced yesterday they were extending soon-to-expire contracts while the city recovers from the World Trade Center disaster.

    "We saw that it was not the right time for collective bargaining," said SEIU Local 1199 President Dennis Rivera. "What we should be doing is taking care of the needs and concerns of our patients."

    The contracts, which Rivera said cover 70,000 SEIU workers at 67 area League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes institutions, were set to expire Oct. 31 but will now be extended until March 31, 2002.

    Any changes made in negotiations are to be retroactive to Nov. 1, 2001.

    Pataki called the move an "incredible act of patriotism," praising the health care community's response to the Sept. 11 attacks.

    "Today you are sending another extraordinary message to America," the governor told union and hospital representatives assembled at the Crowne Royal Hotel in Times Square. While the tone was patriotic and support for the governor nearly unanimous, tensions between labor and management were far from dissolved.

    When League president Bruce McIver declared, "It's no secret that the hospital community is in difficult financial shape," he was met with jeers and laughs from union delegates.

    "In our very first meeting in May the League told us flat out that they had no money," said a skeptical Dorothy Benson, 52, a unit receptionist at St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan. "People in corporate positions aren't taking any pay cuts. There's money somewhere. It's just a question of where it's going."

    Benson said that while she thought it unlikely that negotiations will be any easier as a result of the terrorist attacks, putting them off was the right move, ethically and politically.

    "I knew right away there would be no new contract," Benson said. "What's there to negotiate? People are dying."

    Ira Warm, chief of human resources at St. Vincent's Medical Center, expressed matching sentiments from the management side.

    "I think this is the right thing for the city," Warm said.
  2. Visit -jt profile page

    About -jt

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


  3. by   -jt
    Health Care Workers Respond

    Thousands of health care workers responded in the hours and days following the WTC attack. SEIU Local 1199 NY, the physician's unions SEIU Committee of Interns and Residents and the SEIU Doctors' Alliance are providing around-the-clock emergency medical service.

    The New York State Nurses Association, part of the United American Nurses, have been caring for World Trade Center victims in Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey hospitals. An early call for volunteers on the NYSNA website drew such a tremendous response it had to be withdrawn because the New York State Department of Health couldn't handle the volume of nurses who wanted to volunteer their assistance.

    The New York State Psychological Association, an AFT affiliate, has dispatched disaster response teams to help victims, workers and their families deal with the emotional reaction to events. The teams are working near the site, at the morgues and other locations.

    AFL-CIO: Working Families Mourn, Honor and Rebuild: The Union Movement Responds
  4. by   -jt
    Helping People Cope:

    Along with the United Federation of Teachers, also an AFT affiliate, the NYSPA is developing a package of material for school children to help them comprehend the tragedy and their feelings about it. The material also will stress the importance of not blaming an ethnic group for the actions of individual terrorists.
    Working with the Red Cross:

    AFL-CIO Community Service-Red Cross liasons are on the ground in New York assisting in coordination efforts between the Red Cross and union disaster relief efforts.
    At the request of the Red Cross, AFL-CIO staff helped locate space for a Compassion Care Center to provide counseling to families of the victims.

    The Red Cross called the Teamsters to request a truck and drivers to pick up communications equipment at a warehouse in Memphis, Tenn. and drive it to New York. IBT members, employees of UPS, responded to the call and the equipment has been delivered.

    Union Members Offer Helping Hands Learn More
    * Union members offer helping hands.
    * Member-to-member, union workers mount relief drive.
    * Building Trades Joins Front Lines
    * Union workers bringing the city back to its feet
    AFL-CIO: Working Families Mourn, Honor and Rebuild: The Union Movement Responds
  5. by   -jt
    In NYC and Washington DC:

    Working Families Mourn, Honor and Rebuild