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NorthEast Nurses Association & MNA Stands With Lenox Hill Nurses in Fight for a Fair Contract for Safer Patient Care


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 Contact:    David Schildmeier (781) 249-0430            
October 18, 2012
NorthEast Nurses Association Stands With Lenox Hill Nurses in Fight for a Fair Contract for Safer Patient Care
CANTON, MA – In the wake of an overwhelming 96% vote to authorize a strike by the RNs of New York City-based Lenox Hill Hospital, the NorthEast Nurses Association/National Nurses United is offering its strong support to these nurses in their struggle to win a fair union contract for safe patient care. 
The NorthEast Nurses Association, with more than 24,000 members, is urging the management of North Shore-LU Health System, which owns Lenox Hill Hospital, to remove a number of proposals that compromise the safety and quality of patient care.
“Nurses throughout the Northeast and throughout the nation are standing with the nurses of Lenox Hill Hospital because their struggle against a voracious corporate health care conglomerate like NSLU mirrors struggles nurses across the region and across the nation are facing as the concern for profits by health care executives overtakes the concern for patients,” said Donna Kelly-Williams, President of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, a member organization of NENA/NNU.
Despite billions of dollars in revenue and hundreds of millions of dollars in profits, North Shore-LU Health System has refused to bend on proposals that will put patients at risk and lower nurses’ standard of living.  These proposals include:  gutting rules that prevent exhaustion and burnout among nurses; implementing rules that would allow hospital management to force nurses to work on units where they do not have the proper experience and training; weakening protections that make sure nurses are properly looking after patients; cutting tuition benefits that nurses use to improve their training and skill and cutting their health insurance benefit. 
 “This health system is making significant profits, yet still seeks to impose change through these negotiations that will increase the workload of nurses, force them to care for patients for whom they are not properly trained to care for, while cutting key benefits that are crucial to recruiting and retaining the quality nursing staff the patients of this prestigious hospital have come to expect and deserve,” Williams added. “We are standing with these nurses because we see the same types of proposals in our states, and it is the patient that ultimately pays the price in the form of preventable complications and a dramatic increase in the risk of death.”