Nurses praise new deal with Ellis Hospital

Ellis Hospital Registered Nurse Denise D'Avella voices her opinion at a rally at the Hampton Inn on State Street in Schenectady Thursday, August 20, 2015. (Peter Barber/Gazette Photographer)Ellis Hospital Registered Nurse Denise D'Avella voices her opinion at a rally at the Hampton Inn on State Street in Schenectady Thursday, August 20, 2015. (Peter Barber/Gazette Photographer)

BY KYLE ADAMS
Gazette Reporter

SCHENECTADY — More than 700 nurses at Ellis Medicine in Schenectady and Bellevue Woman’s Center in Niskayuna now have more control over their work assignments, as well as significant raises, thanks to a contract signed earlier this month after more than a year of negotiations and a threatened strike.

The New York State Nurses Association, which has long pushed for safer staffing practices, called the contract “a major win for front-line nurses.”

The contract was approved “overwhelmingly” by union members, according to Tara Martin, senior communications manager at NYSNA.

“It’s definitely a landmark contract where management and the union were able to come together and hammer out an agreement that works best for Capital Region patients,” she said. “It also solidifies that nurses have a voice in the care that they give to the community, and that’s something that we’ve been fighting for and will continue to fight for in hospitals across the state.”

Nurses at Ellis Medicine had announced plans for a one-day strike to take place Sept. 3 as negotiations dragged on for more than a year without resolution. The tentative contract was announced Aug. 29.

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