On June 11, essential healthcare workers represented by CWA Local 1126 in upstate New York rallied to demand fair and safe staffing at Mohawk Valley Health System. Nurses, service, and maintenance workers have experienced dangerously low staff levels during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
"We've all been in difficult staffing situations in the past, but none have been as bad as during this pandemic," said registered nurse Barb Spudie. "Safe staffing is good for workers and patients. It decreases staff illnesses, injuries, and burnout. Retention of nurses is at an all-time low now. And it's not just nurses—it’s housekeeping, care attendants, secretaries, [and] laundry workers. Everyone is short-staffed. We need boots on the ground to get our jobs done."
In May, the New York state legislature passed long overdue safe staffing legislation, putting even more pressure on hospital administrators to improve staff-to-patient ratios. Members of CWA Local 1126 are currently negotiating for a new contract and calling on hospital management to ensure safe staffing ratios now rather than waiting for the legislation to become enacted.
Essential healthcare workers represented by CWA Local 1126 in upstate New York rallied to demand fair and safe staffing at Mohawk Valley Health System.