New York State Nurses Association
At Long Island College Hospital
Newsletter November 2008
NYSNA fights layoffs
Twenty-one RNs have been laid off from several LICH departments, effective December 6. If DOH approves the Continuum plans, there will be more layoffs. NYSNA is demanding bargaining over alternatives (including buyout) and will keep you apprised of what is happening. NYSNA had a table at the Atlantic Antic street fair, where LICH’s and other Brooklyn nurses collected over a
thousand signatures on a petition submitted to the DOH urging it to keep the MCH units open.
NYSNA attends doctor’s presentation in borough president’s office
On October 14, NYSNA Labor Representative Elaine Charpentier and NYSNA Community Affairs Representative Carol Pittman attended a meeting in Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s office. Physicians and their economic turnaround consultants made a presentation about LICH’s closure plan, including its financial underpinnings and the basis for economic assumptions. Their proposal is to split off from Continuum and either operate as a stand-alone hospital, or affiliate with another hospital. “The doctor’s presented their plan, and the community had a chance to ask questions,” said Pittman. “I think the community is very concerned about their services shutting down.
We’ve been trying to support advocacy for the patients. Some of them would have to travel some distance for their health care.” The doctors have their own letter writing campaign and electronic petition. Their website, www.lichmedicalstaff.org, provides more information. NYSNA has also
attended previous meetings with the borough president on this topic, has obtained a seat on the stakeholders’ committee, and will continue being as active as possible.
Take action to stop the proposed obstetric and pediatric unit closures At press time, LICH’s application to the Department of Health (DOH) to close the obstetric and pediatric units is still under review. No decision has been made. In the meantime, many LICH NYSNA members have been participating in the following activities:
• Helping with petitions
• Encouraging co-workers to write to politicians and the DOH urging them NOT
to close the maternal/child units at LICH
Rally urged DOH to stop the closure of the maternal child units
On Tuesday, October 14, NYSNA members and officials were part of the rally calling for the DOH to keep LICH’s maternal/child unit from closing. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz acknowledged NYSNA in his opening remarks and called on Continuum Health Partners, LICH’s
corporate manager, to go back to the drawing board and come up with a better plan. Also at the rally, on Hicks Street between and Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street, were Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez and special assistant to the Borough President Yvonne Graham, along with other elected officials, community leaders and members of the medical community. The community leaders are also demanding that Continuum release LICH’s complete financial information, and for the state attorney general to finish his
investigation into the allegations of the misappropriation of funds by Continuum.
Letter writing campaign
NYSNA is part of a letter-writing campaign to keep the Mother/ Baby Division, Pediatric and Dental Divisions open. The campaign runs through November 14, and letters will be sent to Gov. Patterson, U.S. Representative Nydia Velasquez, the State Senate Majority Leader, State Assembly member Joan Millman, and other local City Council representatives. We need to let the top decision makers in the state know the importance of this hospital. Personalize the sample letter explaining why LICH must be saved, and how important this hospital is to the communities we serve. Please describe your role at LICH, how you serve the people in the neighborhood, and how your services make a difference in the lives of your patients. Each of you has a unique experience with delivering care at LICH, and by putting these experiences together we will be able to provide the big picture of the value of this hospital. Give the letter to one of your NYSNA LICH Executive Committee members: Herdley Hill (9N), Loreto Gasmen (OR), Cheryl Powell (CM), Diane Mapp (ED), Joan Rowley (ICU), Lukmon Kalejaiye (ST51), and Julie Semente (ICU), no later than November 14.
Dear Elected Leader,
I am an RN who has worked at LICH for _____years, currently in the_________ Unit. During my
career at LICH I have provided care for many residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the
hospital. I know that these patients depend on us and can find the support they need because of local services and local providers. I remember a particular event when being in the neighborhood made a world of difference to a patient and their family……..
I am concerned that if LICH is not available to deliver babies, or take care of sick children, or ___________, our patients will be faced with overcrowded conditions at neighboring facilities. Overcrowded emergency rooms or patient floors often can lead to delays in care – with the risk of
bad outcomes. I am on the front line of patient care delivery and I can tell you that the
hospital where I work is much needed in this community. Please do whatever is necessary to help LICH survive as a full service health care provider.
LICH owes NYSNA bargaining unit members $503,137
Results are in on NYSNA arbitration re: 403b annuities
Before NYSNA members at LICH fought the hard fight and won to get into the NYSNA pension, they contributed to a tax deferred annuity plan. Around the beginning of 2004, members began noticing irregularities in the money taken from their paychecks to be deposited into their Prudential accounts. Some was deposited late, some was deposited in questionable amounts, and some was not deposited at all. To this effect, NYSNA filed a class action grievance that moved to arbitration. At the arbitration, LICH tried to offer a $40,000 settlement. NYSNA felt the impact was much greater than that, but it had to be proven by an arbitrator. With gratitude to the volunteers who allowed us access to their private financial information, the NYSNA executive committee and nursing representative used, as a sample, an employee from one year of each experience level and compared their base to the contributions LICH deposited into their accounts. Although your committee members are not financial professionals, they were able to calculate a discrepancy large enough that the arbitrator mandated a forensic audit be undertaken at LICH’s expense. The audit will review all of the records of members’
contributions. The auditing firm’s preliminary results indicate that LICH owes NYSNA bargaining unit members $503,137. Now NYSNA will move forward to make sure the nurses are paid their
money. The wheels of justice may move slowly, but they are moving.
NYSNA officers at LICH
Chair: Herdley Hill, RN 9 Psyche, days_ ________________ext. 1193 Co-Chair: Loreto Gasmen, RN OR, days________________ ext. 1705 Grievance Chair: Cheryl Powell, RN Quality Assurance_____ 718-801-1837/31 Grievance Co-Chair Diane E. Mapp, RN ED, days_ _________ext. 1961 Membership Chair Joan Rowley, RN ICU, days____________ ext. 4616 Membership Co-Chair Lukmon F. Kalejaiye, RN Evenings____ext. 1181 Corresponding Sec. Julie Semente, RN ICU days___________ext. 4616
NYSNA labor representative
212-785-0157, ext. 138
NYSNA nursing representative
Christina Terranova RN
212-785-0157, ext. 144