Tuesday, May 24th @ 8:30: NLRB Hearings to Resume Thru Day: CMC Nurses Federal ‘Unfair Labor Practices’ Hearing Begins
Where: 214 W. State St, Ithaca (County Office for Aging, corner Albany and W. MLK/State)
Come support our nurses! See details below about CMC Nurses campaign.
The unionization campaign launched by registered nurses at Cayuga Medical Center (CMC) in 2015 is ongoing and building momentum with support from others within the hospital and community. Many private homes and businesses in Tompkins, Cortland, and Cayuga Counties proudly display yard signs supporting the union effort (you too can get one at the Workers’ Center!).
Ken Franklin, originally from Ithaca with strong family ties to the community, and organizer with 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, underscores why nurses’ unions are so important. “When RNs have a voice, patient care and health outcomes improve immensely. CMC’s dollars should be spent improving care and defending the health and lives of the community, not fighting a union campaign.”
Representatives of the nurses have had speaking engagements about the campaign, and have been interviewed on WRFI Community Radio and by the Cornell Daily Sun – but other regional news outlets have been reluctant to cover the story, leading Nurses for Change and the Labor-Religion Coalition of the Finger Lakes to circulate a petition to end the media blackout. Hospital nurses have also presented to the City of Ithaca Common Council, whose members submitted a letter of support and asked the hospital administration not to oppose nurses exercising their right to organize.
“Following the behavior of typical corporate America, executives can continue to enrich themselves, even as the organizations they ‘lead’ suffer financial hits from market forces and poor executive decisions. Members of the CMC Board of Directors have a self-serving financial stake in decisions affecting our organization,” says Anne Marshall, RN, regarding CMC’s 2014 tax return that shows executive compensation increases of 8.2-16.9% and bonuses of up to $71,000 despite a net revenue loss and 2014 being the first year in decades that the hospital did not give bonuses to front-line employees.
Andrea Levine, union steward for Workers United Local #2833 at the Ithaca Health Alliance, a local healthcare charity, describes her union’s full support for the nurses’ campaign. “We believe and know from experience that patient care and an environment for healing are improved when health care workers have a voice.”