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May 3, 2013

CVPH nurses picket

(Continued)

PLATTSBURGH —

CVPH has also agreed to pay increases for certifications, expanded retiree benefits and more funding for staff education, a statement from the hospital said.

“Given the current economic issues surrounding health care, we feel this is a prudent and proactive offer that will continue to allow us to attract the best employees to our region,” said Vice President of Human Resources Michelle LeBeau in the release.

In 2012, CVPH reported a $5 million dollar loss. Also, the hospital laid off 17 employees, including members of the administration and management teams.

No members of management or administration will receive pay increases in 2013, the hospital stated.

STAFFING RATIOS

NYSNA representatives feel the proposed wage increases are not sufficient to compete with other facilities in the region, however.

The hospital also initiated some new policies for staffing ratios between nurses and patients in 2012, but the nurses want specific numbers to be included in the contract.

“They have guidelines, but they are not set in the contract, so they (CVPH) don’t have to follow those guidelines if they don’t have (sufficient) staff,” Grom said, noting that specific ratios differ from unit to unit.

The new staffing guidelines have been utilized on inpatient units, but Guynup noted that other areas of the hospital, including the Emergency Department and Maternity, do not have those policies.

FEDERAL MEDIATOR

Erin Silk, associate director of the NYSNA Communications Department, said the issue of hospital staffing has become a statewide concern. Both the State Senate and House of Representatives are considering legislation that would limit the number of patients per nurse, she said.

NYSNA and the hospital have negotiations scheduled for May 8 and 22. A federal mediator will be in attendance for the second meeting, Guynup said.

“We will continue to work with NYSNA to discuss the current staffing models and will look for their support as we make adjustments to improve patient care and employee satisfaction,” LeBeau said.

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