ALBANY, N.Y ., June 19, 2008 - The 600,000-member New York State United Teachers today applauded the agreement among Gov. Paterson, Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Bruno to end the practice of forcing nurses to work mandatory overtime.
"Ending mandatory overtime begins a new era of quality care in New York," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "Patients will continue to be served by great staff. Our nurses will have the dignity and professional respect they deserve. We salute our state leaders for addressing this critical health care issue for nurses and their families, and those who depend on their care."
Under the bill, no health care employer shall require a nurse to work more than that nurse's regularly scheduled work hours. Besides assisting quality care efforts, this change is expected to boost efforts to recruit new nurses to the profession.
"This bill is the product of years of advocacy by nurses' unions and organizations from around the state," said NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan Lubin. "Thousands of health care professionals have lobbied on this issue and this agreement is a tribute to their united efforts and a good policy decision by state leaders."
Twelve thousand NYSUT members work in health care settings that will be affected by this legislation.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 600,000 classroom teachers and other school employees; faculty and other professionals at the state's community colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other education and health professionals. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.