Friday, July 11, 2003
The Medical Center has settled with the nurses! This is great news. The nurses were being asked to take a reduction in pay, and to continue the short staffed, mandatory overtime milieu in which they have been working for a long time. All for the sake of the hospital cost-cutting brought on by overages in the cost of new construction. That's putting it in a nutshell. The new contract with the nurses union will set new work rules immediately. No mandatory overtime, something which is needed to insure good patient care. I could never understand mandatory overtime. Overtime is, by its very nature, more than is required, thus mandatory is a word I cannot apply. Back when I worked in nursing overtime was sometimes necessary to insure continuity of care, but never were the staff told it was mandatory. Also in place will be staffing ratios of 5 patients to one nurse, and a one to one ratio in the ER. I should hope the ICUs also have more R.N.s. Apparently this contract may be the benchmark for hospital in the Northern New England area. Go nursing staff!