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Committee studying RN salary inequities

The Article 44 Committee, formed to study and make recommendations on problems and issues facing nursing and other professional employees in institutional settings, is taking a deep dive into registered nurse salaries at state facilities and agencies.

Committee Chair Susan Billi approached PEF President Wayne Spence in October of last year with a proposal to study the pay gap between PEF and private sector registered nurses (RNs).

So far, their research has uncovered large discrepancies.

At SUNY Downstate and area mental hygiene facilities in New York City, PEF registered nurses coming out of school with no bachelor’s degree are earning $61,352 – that’s 30 percent less than nine neighboring private-sector facilities, where the same level of skill would earn them $88,308.

SUNY Stony Brook sees similar disparity with the private sector.

The average starting salary at Stony Brook is $65,972. That is 24 percent less than four Long Island private facilities, where the starting salary is $87,328.

The committee is still gathering data from across the state and invites PEF members who know people in private sector nursing to reach out to Billi if they have any salary information.

“I believe we need to get this information out there,” Billi said. “RNs need to know that there is a great difference in what we’re earning compared to everybody else in a geographic area. The state of New York has not kept up with what is happening in geographic regions. It’s time to get the word out and let members know PEF is doing a study to address this issue.”

After the study is complete, the committee will make a recommendation for action to President Spence. The committee also reviewed and made recommendations on a medication treatment for COVID and the American Recovery Act’s provisions for aid to rural hospitals.​