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NYSNA Nurses Employed At St. Joseph’s Medical Center In Yonkers ‘Demand Safe Staffing, A Fair Contract & Health Equity’

Working Through The COVID-19 Pandemic & Under An Expired Contract, Nurses ‘Sound The Alarm About The Staffing And Quality Care Crisis At The Hospital’

Published Monday, November 21, 2022
by NYSNA News
NYSNA Nurses Employed At St. Joseph’s Medical Center In Yonkers ‘Demand Safe Staffing, A Fair Contract & Health Equity’

(YONKERS, NEW YORK) - New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA)-represented Nurses employed at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers recently held a speak-out outside the hospital, voicing their frustration over the lack of a new contract after nearly three years of negotiations and to demand safe staffing and a fair agreement for Nurses and patients, including more investment in the hospital from CEO Mike Spicer. 

Nurses highlighted how St. Joseph’s Medical Center administration has failed to listen to its Nurses and continues to violate contractual Safe Staffing Ratios in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Psychiatric Units and Emergency Department.

Nurses in the ICU often care for three patients, when the safe standard is a maximum of two patients per Nurse, NYSNA Officials said.

Long wait times in the Emergency Department are driving patients away, including the influx of new residents in the third largest City in New York State, the Union said. 

Hasan Hamam, who serves as NYSNA Local President at St. Joseph’s and is a Registered Nurses (RN), said: “Over the years, the community grew bigger and the cases increased in acuity.  However, the number of Nurses didn’t grow as needed to care for these patients.  Also, the working environment and the incentives to retain RNs are far less competitive compared to other local hospitals.  We have lost, and keep on losing, good Nurses that we needed so badly.”  

Nurses emphasized how understaffing makes patients less safe and a lack of investment in the Hospital’s Staff and equipment is an issue of health equity in some of the poorest census tracts in Westchester, NYSNA Officials said.

Despite the crisis in quality care, hospital administrators have been trying to lower Safe Staffing Ratios through the contract process and through the New York State Hospital Staffing Committee process - in direct violation of the new law, the Union alleged.  

NYSNA Local Vice President Renee Carson, an RN herself, said: “I went into this profession to save and heal people - believing in patients over profits.  Everyone who utilizes this facility deserves the best regardless of their ability to pay or status in life.  Every patient is a VIP. Research has shown safe staffing saves lives.  Nurses have fought hard for Safe Staffing Legislation because we as Health Care Providers understand what patients deserve, but management is ignoring our input and trying to lower patient safety standards.” 

St. Joseph’s Medical Center Nurses say they are tired of being understaffed and under-resourced, often scrambling for basic equipment to serve their patients.

Nurses are demanding better for their patients and themselves.

Nurses at St. Joseph’s have worked through the COVID-19 Pandemic under an expired contract, leaving them with the lowest overall economic compensation of any Acute Care Facility in Westchester County, NYSNA Officials said.

The low wages and huge disparity in pay and benefits with neighboring facilities makes recruitment and retention difficult, furthering the safe staffing crisis, the Union said.  

NYSNA is New York’s largest Union and Professional Association for RNs and represents more than 42,000 Members across New York State.

To Directly Access This Labor News Story, Go To: www.nysna.org/press/2022/nysna-nurses-st-joseph%E2%80%99s-medical-center-yonkers-demand-safe-staffing-fair-contract-and#.Y3sv-nbMKiM

Photo Courtesy Of NYSNA, Via Facebook.

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