ALBANY, N.Y. December 18, 2007 - Albany Common Council members have sent a letter to management of the Visiting Nurse Association of Albany, urging them to "resume negotiations and come to an agreement that reflects the workers' concerns."
The 40 home health care aides and office workers are members of New York State United Teachers, and have been without a contract for a year. The aides visit the sick and elderly in their homes to address their medical issues, while the office staff helps coordinate schedules and billing.
The Dec. 17 Common Council letter notes, "VNA staff provide care, compassion and assistance at some of the most trying times in an individual's life, and their reputation in the community reflects this."
"These workers deserve a fair shake," said NYSUT Vice President Kathleen Donahue. "Management's stalling tactics are unacceptable. It's time to show some respect to these workers whose careers are built on respecting the neediest in our community."
The 40 employees are the lowest paid workers at the VNA, averaging about $10 an hour, and are the only VNA employees who have to pay a portion of their health insurance costs.
NYSUT represents more than 585,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.