Tonawanda News


April 11, 2013

GUEST VIEW: KMH at mercy of corporate greed


Tonawanda News — Corporate greed is affecting the hospital’s bottom line in negotiating a fair contract for the nurses. We nurses have asked for nothing new. We asked to maintain the current contract. Nurses who put in extra time to accomodate for sick calls, open positions and changes in volume are expected to do this without incentive. The lack of perks to attract and retain new nurses is evident in the proposed contract. Some of the non-financial concessions include removal of one emergency day off per year and a cap on requested days off per month. 

The hospital has spent thousands of dollars training newly hired nurses only to have them leave a year later for more attractive positions elsewhere. Although there appears to be an abundance of new nurses pumped out by local colleges and universities, this dime-a-dozen mentality is affecting the hospitals bottom line, is it not? And how should we feel as loyal employees to Kenmore Mercy when we are told “we have your replacements on contingency” and “ you are all replaceable?” 

The hospital is expected to run “business as usual, with or without you,” we were told.

It has been said we are only hurting ourselves to fight for a fair contract ... but are we? If we accept the proposed contract that offers no incentive to take on extra shifts and fill the evident staffing shortage, and/or attract and retain new nurses aren’t we ultimately hurting our patients? Fewer nurses equals less quality care. This will decrease patient satisfaction, which affects hospital reimbursement. 

Short staffing directly impacts patient safety and patient outcomes. So why don’t some see this impacts the hospital’s bottom line also? Not to mention the millions of dollars the hospital is willing to spend on our ‘replacements’ while we are fighting for our patient’s safety and satisfaction. 

As a business wouldn’t it be more cost effective to keep your current employees satsified? I hope administration takes a long hard look at how their proposed cuts will effect their bread and butter. Not to mention how greatly it will effect those people in our community in which we serve.

Lori Ann Meder, RN BSN, works at Kenmore Mercy Hospital. She lives in the Town of Tonawanda.

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