March 23, 2016
By Jerry Levine, LaborPress Albany
Watertown, NY – Hundreds of members from the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) were engaged in informational picketing on March 18th at three upstate hospitals to push for fair contracts and to call for appropriate staffing levels to protect patients. Watertown's Samaritan Medical Center,Utica's St. Elizabeth Medical Center, and Oneida Healthcare have resisted NYSNA's proposals to improve patient services.
Safer nurse-to-patient ratios improve nurse performance and patient mortality rates. Nurses are calling for management from these three hospitals to come to the table and negotiate a fair contract that includes a more realistic staffing ratio.
"I have been a nurse for 25 years, and currently work in the maternity unit. Members of my family have had to be hospitalized, so it is important to me as a nurse, as a mother, and as a New Yorker that safe staffing levels exist. Its very simple: safe staffing really does save lives," said Debbie LaMora, RN, Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown.
In the last two years, NYSNA has successfully reached agreements with more than 60 hospitals representing 26,000 members across the state.
"We fully support the nurses represented by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), who have been fighting for safer nurse-to-patient ratios," said Mario Cilento, President, New York State AFL-CIO
*** The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 37,000 members in New York State.