CMC Nurses’ Frequently Asked Questions

What do the nurses want?

Safe staffing so that we can provide safe, quality patient care to our patients

Better security for patients and staff

A collective voice with meaningful input into strategic decisions at CMC

Standardized and predictable scheduling so that we can balance work and family life

Opportunities and resources to advance our education so that we can improve our clinical knowledge

A formal process of discipline with representation and recourse to arbitrary management decisions

A clearly delineated wage structure which eliminates favoritism and recognizes the value of experience

Increased on-call pay which is commensurate with the sacrifice in private and family time

Wages which permit nurses to live in the community where they work, reflect the financial resources of CMC, and invest in retention of local workers, rather than payment for outside third-party contractors

Why should it matter to me?

Cayuga Medical Center is the key provider of medical care for the residents of Tompkins County and the surrounding area.

Patient interests and nursing interests are closely aligned. What is good for nurses is good for patients.

Nurses at CMC are sounding the alarm that patient safety and quality of care are suffering under the current trajectory of management decisions at CMC

Research shows that adequate staffing with experienced nurses who are well-educated results in better quality of care for our community, with fewer hospital-acquired infections, faster recovery time and fewer readmissions.

Nurses are highly mobile with easily transferrable job skills. Sustainable workplace conditions meant to retain educated and experienced nurses are essential to countering the national trend towards a nursing shortage as the Baby Boomers age.

Why do nurses need a union to achieve their goals?

Our collective experience has been that attempts on an individual and unit basis to discuss our concerns with CMC management over a period of years has not resulted in meaningful changes which respect our valid concerns and clinical expertise.

Unions are one of the last truly democratic institutions in our country, and while they are imperfect, they can empower disenfranchised workers to effect changes in the workplace which benefit patients, staff and the community as a whole.

How can I support the nurses?

Sign our petition on this Tompkins County Workers’ Center website, demanding moral and ethical behavior from CMC management during our union drive.

Write a letter to the editor. Question local media sources about why there has been a veritable media blackout on covering the nurses’ efforts during the last seven months.

Write John Rudd, CEO of CMC at 101 Dates Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850. Question him why CMC has engaged in media censorship, and what they are trying to hide. Let him know that you want experienced and well-educated nurses caring for you and your family at the bedside.

Put up a yard sign supporting your local nurses.

Make a contribution to our advertising fund. To contribute contact Anne Marshall at

Spread the word. Tell a nurse you know that you care.