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NYSNA News: The New York State Nurses Association Applauds The Preservation Of The Nursing Care Quality Protection Act & Nursing Education Funding In The New York State Budget - However, Concern Remains About Implementation Of Medicaid Cap

Also… NYSNA-Represented Adirondack Medical Center Registered Nurses Ready Set To Picket Saranac Lake Medical Facility On April 7th/RNs Seek To Protect Affordability Of Health Care Coverage

Published Tuesday, April 5, 2011 5:00 pm
by NYSNA State Labor News

(ALBANY) - The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) is applauding the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo for not including the suspension of the Nursing Care Quality Protection Act (Public Health Law 2805t) in the 2011-12 New York State Budget.  This important law protects public health by disclosing nursing quality care indicators and staffing ratios and its suspension would not have eased the State's fiscal burden, Union Officials said.

“Having this important information available to the public, legislators and regulators is critical to evidence-based healthcare reform,” NYSNA CEO & Registered Nurse (RN) Tina Gerardi said.

NYSNA Representatives also commended the inclusion of funding for SUNY and CUNY Nursing Programs, as well as for the Nursing Faculty Loan Forgiveness Incentive and Senator Patricia K. McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship Program through 2016.  These faculty loan forgiveness and scholarship programs encourage nurses to return to school for the advanced degrees necessary to educate the state's next generation of nurses and, in the long run, will help to ease the nursing shortage, NYSNA Officials said.

However, NYSNA continues to have concerns regarding the cap on Medicaid spending growth included in the final budget.  Under the global spending cap with its ill-defined “utilization controls” and rate reductions that the Department of Health (DOH) will be empowered to implement, facilities that are already in a brittle fiscal state may not survive, leading to closed facilities, under-staffing, poorly-coordinated care, fumbled care transition,; cuts in community supports and decreased access to Health Care among the State’s neediest residents.

NYSNA, meanwhile, is encouraging careful consideration in the implementation of the cap and looks forward to working with DOH in ensuring that the spending controls do not jeopardize care for the State's most vulnerable population.

NYSNA - The Voice For Nursing In The Empire State - represents more than 37,000 members and is the State's largest professional association and Union for RNS.  It also supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy and collective bargaining.

 

NYSNA-Represented Adirondack Medical Center Registered Nurses Ready Set To Picket Saranac Lake Medical Facility On April 7th/RNs Seek To Protect Affordability Of Health Care Coverage

(SARANAC LAKE) – Health insurance costs are the main issue in a contract dispute between New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA)-Represented Adirondack Medical Center’s Registered Nurses (RNs) and management.  The 140 RNs are trying to maintain the affordability of their current health coverage, but management wants to increase the nurses’ share of the cost, NYSNA Representatives said.

In protest, the RNs will conduct an informational picket on Thursday, April 7th, in front of the hospital in Saranac Lake.  The RNs most recent three-year agreement expired on December 31st.

Management claims its contract offer is “competitive.”  However, the RNs say it would be financially damaging to them and put the hospital at a competitive disadvantage.

The Adirondack Medical Center pays the full premium for individual coverage for full-time RNs under its basic Health Care Plan.  RNs who opt for higher coverage pay only the difference.

However, Medical Center Management is demanding that RNs start paying a percentage of the individual premium under the basic plan.  All other regional hospitals currently cover the entire individual premium for their full-time employees.

The hospital is also demanding that the practice of compensating RNs using both a step system and across-the-board salary increases be stopped.  Nurses say this would put Adirondack Medical Center behind the other hospitals by the end of the contract.

“We want to keep experienced nurses at Adirondack Medical Center, and we know the best way to do this is through a fair contract,” NYSNA Representative Sandra Guynup said. “Nurses need to be able to take care of themselves and their families so that they can be here to take care of their patients.”

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