Dear PEF Nurse, Great News!
I am happy to report that relief is on the way for our overworked PEF Nurses. At our urging Governor Cuomo today issued the following the statement:
“One of the issues that has not been addressed this year is the level of care provided in our hospitals and nursing homes and the staffing levels of nurses and health professionals. We know that quality of care is directly linked to appropriate staffing levels. Next session I will introduce legislation allowing the Department of Health to set safe staffing levels by regulation as legislative solutions have not been forthcoming. In the meantime, I have directed the Department of Labor to vigorously enforce workforce protections. Reports of nurses being forced to work through lunch breaks, additional hours and without fair compensation, are not only unwise, as it diminishes the quality of care, but they violate state law which will result in penalty-pay to each nurse, and which I am directing the Department of Labor to aggressively pursue.”
As you know, PEF has been aggressively pursuing safe staffing levels for our health professionals across the state. The PEF legislative department drafted a bill that puts some real “teeth” into the existing overtime law. Thank you for taking the time to contact your local elected legislators on A.10441 and S.6311 which would have provided a fine for an employer of not less than one thousand nor more than ten thousand dollars, per violation where an employer requires a nurse to work more that such nurse’s regularly scheduled work hours; further provides that the employee shall receive an additional fifteen percent of the overtime payment from the employer for each violation. Although this particular bill has not passed yet, our collective voices have been heard. Due the inactivity by the legislature, we then lobbied the Governor who decided to tackle this issue head on as evidenced by his press release.
Remember, we work for you, so I would ask that you continue utilizing the PEF Protest of Assignment Forms when you feel it necessary so your documented concerns can be brought to the labor-management table. Become familiar with your Statewide Nurses Committee and feel free to ask questions, take advantage of ELearning Opportunities for NYS Hospital Nurses and Make your voices heard .
As always, please feel free to contact the PEF Nurse Coordinator Dee Dodson at anytime with questions or concerns.