April 18, 2013
By Stephanie West
Albany, NY – A recent major victory for thousands of Albany nurses means higher quality care for patients.
More than 3,277 registered nurses have begun receiving settlement payments averaging $1,730 related to a class-action lawsuit alleging that five local hospitals violated federal antitrust laws by conspiring to suppress nurse wages. The SEIU Nurse Alliance played a critical role in developing the research and supporting the RN plaintiffs in the nurse wage antitrust case.
“We have helped ensure that all registered nurses are compensated fairly, and that means there will be better recruitment and retention of qualified staff, safer staffing and ultimately higher quality of care for patients,” said Norma Amsterdam, a registered nurse and Executive VP of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.
While the issue of wage suppression is often invisible to patients, it's critical to quality healthcare. Studies show that the nation's nurse shortage is due in part to wage suppression by employers and often leads to short-staffing in hospitals, compromising the quality of care nurses are able to provide. Although this case is limited to Albany, it will have a larger effect on the overall quality of healthcare in the area.