News & Events

Nurses Turn Out in Droves to Tell Their Stories, Make the Case for Our Safe Staffing Proposal

Your MNA negotiating committee wants to thank the hundreds of nurses who turned out on Wednesday afternoon to participate in our special negotiating session with management, where we presented our rationale for our safe staffing proposal, which would call for improvements in our RN-to-patient ratios on all units. The turnout was astounding and the testimony by nurses was both compelling and shocking. The message was clear and unequivocal – our patients are suffering, our nurses are drowning and there is overwhelming support among our bargaining unit that we need to improve staffing and it needs to happen now.

The day began with a presentation by MNA Director of Public Communications of the volumes of scientific research over the last ten years that clearly shows that the staffing levels we are seeking would not only save lives and dramatically improve care, but the research also shows that better staffing translates into better financial performance for hospitals.

This was followed by a presentation by Marlena Pellegrino of a pile of more than 868 unsafe staffing reports, all of which have been filed in 2010. Marlena made the point that this is totally unacceptable, that if there were 868 reports filed, there were hundreds more that could have been filed, and she stated, “We can tell you that staffing is unsafe at this hospital every day, every shift….and we are here because we care about our patients and we love this hospital and you need to know that , as we have in the past, the nurses of St. Vincent Hospital will go to any lengths necessary to protect our patients.”

This was followed by line of nurses from nearly every unit, who went to the podium at the front of the room and told their stories of what it is like to practice under the current conditions. Management, including our new Director of Nursing Jane Metzger, listened intently and took notes as nurse after nurse spoke passionately, not only about their concerns for patient safety, but for their love of nursing and their pride in being a St. Vincent nurse. A member of MNA staff in attendance that day said it was the most powerful union meeting he had ever witnessed.

Again, we thank all who participated and in this powerful demonstration of nursing solidarity and patient advocacy. Please stay tuned to this process for further updates, and be ready once again to step up when called upon to continue this fight for safe patient care.

View Presentation of Scientific Research Supporting Our Staffing Proposal

View Photos from the Session