Volume 78 - Number 24 / NOVEMBER 12 - 18, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
From left, St. Vincent’s Registered Nurses Eileen Dunn, Michael Cormier, Doreen Germino, John Hiltunen and Gina DaRosso attended 46 negotiating sessions to achieve the nurses’ new three-year contract with St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center.
St. Vincent’s, nurses sew up contract
By Casey Samulski
After almost a year of negotiations, St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center has settled a dispute between management and nurses over salary increases and health benefits with an updated contract.
“The nurses really stood strong here for almost year. They were unified,” said Christine LaPerche, representative for the New York State Nurses Association. Seven hundred and eighty-six St. Vincent’s nurses are being represented by N.Y.S.N.A. and appointed leaders. In their campaign, the nurses posted billboards, took out ads and protested to make their demands known. After 46 meetings, the yearlong process came to a close.
Michael Fagan, a St. Vincent’s spokesperson, said the hospital was “very pleased” to have reached the agreement. The new contract was ratified on Oct. 20. Of the nurses, Fagan said, “St. Vincent’s could not have survived and emerged from our bankruptcy without our people.”
St. Vincent’s filed for bankruptcy in 2005, then reorganized itself to successfully re-emerge from chapter 11 in mid-2007. Ilyssa DeCasperis, N.Y.S.N.A. labor representative, noted the nurses’ loyalty through these hard times and said, “Now it is their employer’s turn to repay their patience by bringing their salary and benefits up to industry standards.”
Fagan said the hospital values the nurses’ dedication.
“Our nurses are very important to the work we do every day,” he said.