N.Y. hospital's docs ratify deal. Residents at 525-bed Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in New York overwhelmingly ratified a collective-bargaining agreement earlier this month. The estimated 295 members of the house staff became the first private-sector hospital doctors in the nation to negotiate such an agreement since that right was affirmed by the National Labor Relations Board in a landmark ruling in November 1999. Residents at Brookdale were represented by the Committee of Interns and Residents, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about 11,000 residents in more than 60 hospitals in California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Puerto Rico. The residents joined the CIR in May 2000.
Nurse groups may form new union. Leaders from state nurses' associations that have broken away from the national American Nurses Association met last week in Baltimore to continue discussions about forming an alternative national group for direct-care registered nurses. The meeting included leaders from the California Nurses Association, the Maine State Nurses Association and the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which have disaffiliated from the ANA, along with union leaders from Missouri and Pennsylvania. The various organizations' memberships would have to approve a new national group. The groups' leaders plan to meet again in June in Chicago.
Nurses' salaries rose 11% in 2000. The average salary for registered nurses rose 11% to $48,972 in 2000 from $43,968 in 1999, according to a survey released last month by Irving, Texas-based Martin, Fletcher, a consulting and staffing firm. Nurse anesthetists earned an average of $120,538 in 2000, compared with $106,667 in 1999, the firm said. The survey was based on a sampling of U.S. nurses and allied healthcare workers.
Mandatory overtime on way out. Aliquippa (Pa.) Community Hospital will eliminate mandatory overtime under an agreement reached last month with the Service Employees International Union District 1199. The 24-bed hospital returned to community ownership last month after five years under UPMC Health System, Pittsburgh, and is attempting to beef up its staff of 310 employees. Officials at the former UPMC Beaver Valley facility said it is the first Pennsylvania hospital to ban mandatory overtime in a union contract. UPMC transferred ownership of the hospital because of community outrage over the scheduled closing of acute-care services.
Study: N.Y. nurse vacancies on rise. The vacancy rate for direct-care registered nurses in the New York metropolitan area has increased to 7.8%, up from 5.4% in 1999, according to a study released last month by the Greater New York Hospital Association. Nearly one-third of the 78 hospitals responding to the survey, or 31%, have vacancy rates of 10% or higher. Hospitals are particularly struggling to fill vacant positions in critical-care, perioperative and emergency services. More than 60% of the hospitals said it takes longer than three months to fill specialty-area jobs.
Labor charges settled in Conn. Yale-New Haven (Conn.) Hospital last month settled complaints of unfair labor practices that were brought by the New England Health Care Employees Union District 1199. The settlement, which was approved April 4 by a regional office of the National Labor Relations Board, requires the 722-bed hospital to post notices that employees have the right to organize and that vow not to threaten employees for the distribution of union materials. The hospital admits no wrongdoing as part of the settlement, which was obtained by Modern Healthcare. According to the Associated Press, the union is trying to organize 1,800 service and maintenance workers at the hospital.