BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — On Wednesday, ECMC and Terrace View Long-Term Care nurses gathered at the former to call for a fair contract.
“While nurses are working to safeguard patient safety by coming to the table with real proposals to improve nurse recruitment and retention, hospital administrators have responded with blatant disrespect by showing up late with little to no proposals and refusing to engage with us,” said registered nurse Crystal Knihinicki. “We will continue showing up in good faith until we have a contract that reflects the respectful wages and benefits nurses need to sustain safe staffing levels and provide the quality care our patients deserve.”
The nurses are represented by the New York State Nurses Association. They say they’ve been concerned over staffing, as well as patient and workplace safety after a number of violent incidents.
ECMC issued the following statement:
“We continue to negotiate in good faith, making progress with NYSNA and recently agreed with NYSNA to introduce a mediator to the process. In fact, over the past eight months, over 30 negotiation sessions and other labor meetings have been held with NYSNA. ECMC continues to lean forward to support our nurses and all clinical staff. Most notably providing a 7.75% increase in 2022 for nurses and achieving a staffing plan with increases that was signed off by NYSNA in 2022. These collaborative efforts have been successful with the hiring of 360 nurses in 2022 and 2023, which represents over 25% of our RN workforce, resulting in only 14 agency nurses for night shifts in the hospital. ECMC also recruited almost 1,400 total new employees duringErie County Medical Center
this same time. It is very unfortunate NYSNA would target our annual Foundation event, which is organized by volunteers and raises about $500,000 for patients and scholarships for nurses and other staff. The 1,950-person event will also include nearly 600 ECMC employees, including employees sponsored by NYSNA. Our goal remains to achieve a contract agreement with NYSNA that is fair and benefits all of the parties in this process, while ensuring that high-quality patient care remains our highest priority at ECMC.”
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