To the Editor:
I’ve been a nurse working at Canton-Potsdam Hospital for the past 35 years. I’ve enjoyed providing quality, safe care to my patients. My hospital has also provided a supportive work environment for all these years. However – this is changing.
We are presently working without a contract and have been for two months.
We are trying to negotiate a reasonable renewal. However, negotiations are not going well. Several of the issues are: the loss of 2 – 3+ weeks of days off accruals (sick time, vacation time), no guarantee of a regular workweek, and staffing by mandated on-call hours.
I’m really worried about attracting and retaining experienced, quality nurses with these drastic proposals.
The nurse’s role has become a high performance job: multi-tasking while caring for increasingly ill patients, patients in crisis. Our nurses, collectively, have hundreds of years of experience to bring to this task.
Loss of our previous contract will have nurses working tired (less time off to rest) and working sick (unable to take sick time when needed). We are concerned this will result in a subsequent decline in quality care and patient safety.
Our nurses live in and value our community and we are very concerned that when our families and friends need health care, experienced, competent nurses won’t be there to care for you. We have been proud of the hospital we have worked at and want to be able to say this in the future.
Please help your local nurses to obtain a reasonable, fair contract with our hospital. Take our handbill when offered and call the hospital CEO to express your concern about the hospital’s ability to continue to attract and keep the best nurses. Talk to us so we can tell you about our dedication to our profession.
Linda Sholl, RN, Norwood