Features, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, New York

Staten Island Nurses Rally for Safer Staffing

June 11, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

NEW YORK, N.Y.—About 50 nurses and supporters demonstrated outside Staten Island University Hospital June 10, calling on the state legislature to pass the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act. The bill would set nurse-to-patient ratios for hospitals such as 1:2 in intensive-care units and 1:1 in operating rooms, trauma emergency, and the latter stages of childbirth. It passed the Assembly in 2016 but has gone nowhere this year. “We want this bill for safe patient care,” recovery-room registered nurse Maddalena Spero told the Staten Island Advance. The more than 1,100 union nurses at the hospital, in the Ocean Breeze section near South Beach, voted last month to authorize a strike. In the last three years, according to the New York State Nurses Association, University Hospital nurses have filed more than 1,800 “Protests of Assignment,” formal complaints made when “we feel we cannot provide our patients adequate care because we don’t have enough resources,” said open-heart surgery registered nurse Pat Kane. The hospital, part of the Northwell chain, said in a statement that its hiring of nurses is based on “legitimate staffing needs, not mandated quotas,” and that the union merely wants to increase its members’ “generous retirement health benefits.” Read more

June 11, 2018

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