Health

NY nurses labor group prepares for important contract discussions

As contracts for tens of thousands of employees throughout the state are set to expire in the coming months, the nurses’ labor group at the state level is preparing for important contract discussions.

The group fought for better staffing levels for patients, higher pay for nurses to attract and keep them, and protection of health care and retirement benefits.

On Thursday, the New York State Nurses Association announced its intentions regarding the upcoming negotiations. These discussions will include nurses at two dozen sites who have been negotiating for their new contracts since before the COVID-19 outbreak began. In addition to a dozen NYC hospitals, talks will be held in locations around the state.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, the healthcare sector has had a difficult time keeping a significant number of its employees since so many of those employees have experienced burnout as a result of the excessive workload, vaccine requirements, and other factors.

Nancy Hagans, who serves as the president of the group, said, “As nurses and healthcare professionals, our priority is to protect and advocate for the best care for all of our patients. The ‘We Love NY Nurses’ platform will improve patient care, strengthen the nursing workforce, and uplift the communities we serve. Approximately 30,000 nurses are ready to fight for fair contracts that will strengthen healthcare for all New Yorkers.”

This year, in the state budget, Governor Kathy Hochul and state legislators reached an agreement on a package of measures aimed at helping the state’s health care workforce. These measures include incentives worth thousands of dollars and a five-year plan to attract more workers.

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