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Nurses Represented By NYSNA, 1199 SEIU, CSEA, NYSUT, CWA DISTRICT 1 & UFT ‘Applaud’ The State Legislature ‘For Passing Bills To Curb The Abuse Of Mandatory Overtime’ - Trio Of Bills Will ‘Reduce Nurse Burnout & Improve’ Patient Care

Published Wednesday, June 8, 2022
by NYSNA News
Nurses Represented By NYSNA, 1199 SEIU, CSEA, NYSUT, CWA DISTRICT 1 & UFT ‘Applaud’ The State Legislature ‘For Passing Bills To Curb The Abuse Of Mandatory Overtime’ - Trio Of Bills Will ‘Reduce Nurse Burnout & Improve’ Patient Care

(ALBANY, NEW YORK) - The New York State AFL-CIO, the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), the Public Employees Federation (PEF), the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Union, Communications Workers of America (CWA) District One and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) are applauding the New York State Legislature for passing what they describe as an urgently needed package of Bills to protect Nurses from mandatory overtime before the close of the 2021-22 Legislative Session. 

At the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Nurses worked around the clock, putting themselves and their families at risk, to care for New Yorkers.

During the best of times, nursing is a physically and emotionally demanding job that requires long hours, let alone during a public health crisis.

But now, the New York State Senate and Assembly have showed their gratitude by passing three critical pieces of legislation to protect Nurses from unfair mandatory overtime.

These common-sense reforms will protect Nurses and the integrity of patient care in New York State’s many communities

Meanwhile, New York State’s Union Movement is voicing its gratefulness to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie - the Bill sponsors and all of the Legislators who supported the Bills, which are as follows: 

S8063A/A8874B - The existing Law allowed employer exemptions to the mandatory overtime prohibition for certain short-term, unforeseen events with no limits on duration.  This Bill clarifies the durations of these events so employers can’t continue to exploit the Law to make up for their own inadequate staffing policies. 

S4885A/A181A - The existing Law excluded Home Care Nurses.  This Bill rights that wrong.  Home Care Nurses deserve to have the same protections from unethical mandatory overtime policies as all other Nurses.

A286A/S1997A - This Bill strengthens the enforcement of our Mandatory Overtime Laws by creating a fine for employers who break them

"I want to thank New York's Elected Leaders who listened to Nurses and took action to end abusive mandatory overtime for Nurses,” NYSNA President Nancy Hagans said.  “After working for more than two years through the COVID-19 Pandemic - often understaffed and overworked - Nurses are exhausted.  Mandatory overtime was pushing us to the breaking point and endangering quality patient care.  These new laws show recognition and respect for Front Line Nurses’ hard work." 

CWA District One Vice President Dennis Trainor said: “Health Care Workers are exhausted after putting themselves on the frontlines of a relentless pandemic for over two years.  Mandatory overtime is an unfair and unsafe policy that exacerbates the staffing crisis and compromises quality patient care.  Thank you to Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie and all members of the New York State Legislature who have stood up to support our Health Care Workers by passing this vital legislative package.” 

CSEA President Mary Sullivan said: “New York is facing a nursing crisis, caused in part by the continued abuse of mandatory overtime in health care facilities.  The package of legislation passed by the State Senate and Assembly will help better enforce the prohibition on mandatory overtime and allow Nurses to do what they do best - care for patients.” 

Lisa Kozma, a Member of 1199 SEIU and a Registered Nurse, said: “This is amazing news for New York’s Nurses and I thank all who made this possible.  For Nurses, it means a light at the end of the tunnel and relief from mandation.  Nurses are tired enough at the end of our shifts when all we want is a shower, maybe some food and to hug our families without worrying about another four-to-eight hours.  This Law will protect our patients, who deserve care from Staff who are not suffering from burnout and exhaustion.” 

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