NYSNA-Represented Hospital Workers & Local Leaders Rally At St. Charles Hospital In Port Jefferson, Call For Passage Of The Safe Staffing For Quality Care Act
(PORT JEFFERSON, NEW YORK) – Union-represented Nurses and community leaders rallied at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson on Tuesday (February 23rd), calling on New York State Lawmakers to pass the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act.
The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) has been calling on the New York State Legislature to mandate higher staffing levels for years.
Union Officials say the Coronavirus Pandemic has proven that staffing is crucial to keep patients and Staff safe and healthy.
One Worker said that it was time for them to stop being called heroes if they're being treated like "zeroes."
The statewide legislation would require nursing home and hospitals to set specific Nurse-to-Patient Ratios and require certain minimum care hours per resident, per day.
The legislation passed in the state Senate on Monday (February 22nd).
In April, NYSNA-represented Nurses at St. Charles Hospital held an informational picket to shine a spotlight on unsafe staffing.
Registered Nurse (RN) Maureen Woodruff, a 46-year veteran at the hospital and life-long community resident told supporters at the time: “My priority as a patient advocate is to ensure that the best possible care is given to my patients, but short staffing is a persistent problem” that is jeopardizing patient care throughout the hospital.
Emergency Department RNs at St. Charles Hospital report being stretched very thin.
Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurses, meanwhile, say they often care for three or four patients each, and Nurses in the facility’s Rehab Unit say there are times when they each must care for 11 patients.
RN Tracy Kosciuk said: “As a nurse for (28) years at St. Charles, I have seen the needs of our patients change over the years. Patients are coming in much sicker. Unfortunately, Nurses have less time at the bedside. My top priority then and now and always will be my patients, but it’s gotten more difficult.”
The 328 NYSNA-represented RNs who are employed at the Port Jefferson Hospital have also been working without a contract for more than year.
They have presented safe staffing proposals across the bargaining table to management, but have yet to achieve resolution.
To Directly Access The Majority Of This Labor News Story, Go To: www.nysna.org/rns-better-patient-care-li#.YDZfI-hKiiM