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CWA Healthcare Workers Call For Safe Staffing and Full Funding of Facilities in New York

New York is facing a healthcare workforce crisis. Frontline healthcare workers are being forced to care for too many patients at one time, at the expense of patient safety. Since the state’s safe staffing requirements went into effect at the beginning of this year, CWA healthcare workers have reported thousands of violations of hospitals’ clinical staffing plans to the New York Department of Health (DOH).

Violations reported to the DOH include:

  • Nurses working under 1:3 nurse-to-patient ratios in the ICU departments, when the ratio required by the law and necessary for adequate care is 1:2 for critical and intensive care patients.
  • Entire patient care units being left without any Care Attendants, leaving patients without being changed, cleaned, or provided their medication.
  • Management consistently mandated staff to work beyond their scheduled hours.

“CWA District 1 strongly supported the passage of the 2021 Clinical Staffing Committee law and has since worked day and night to ensure we’re implementing this law to the fullest extent because safe staffing is critical to ensuring quality patient care. However, despite the best efforts of our committee members to address violations of the law, when hospitals fail to staff according to agreed-upon plans and put patients’ lives on the line, we have no choice but to get the State involved,” said CWA Local 1168 President Cori Gambini, based in Buffalo, N.Y. In addition to calling for the proper and robust implementation and enforcement of the 2021 Clinical Staffing Committee law, CWA District 1 is urging New York State to fully fund healthcare facilities in the FY25 State Budget and include proposals aimed at stabilizing the existing healthcare workforce.