9/23/13: Poloncarz Announces Ratification of NYS Nurses Association Contract

Modified: January 23, 2015 2:09pm

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Fourth Successful Contract Negotiation by Administration; Contract Covers Approximately 32 Nursing Professionals

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz announced the ratification of a new contract with the New York State Nurses Association (“NYSNA”) following the union membership’s recent 25-2 vote to approve the agreement. The new agreement marks the fourth successful contract negotiation conducted by the Poloncarz administration, after reaching agreements with the CSEA Local 815 Erie County Corrections Officer unit and Teamsters Local 264 in 2012 and the Erie County Sheriff’s PBA in August 2013.

“I thank the NYSNA membership for coming to the table and working with us to devise a fair and equitable agreement that is good for them and good for taxpayers,” said Poloncarz. “Having this contract in place will help with the retention and recruitment of nurses in critical positions, including in correctional health, and will provide more continuity moving forward. My administration will continue to work on settling contracts with remaining unions in the same way, with open discussions leading to solutions that are fair to all.”

NYSNA has been operating under the terms of a contract that expired in December 2011. Under the new contract, which covers the period between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2017, NYSNA agrees to eliminate double overtime for nursing professionals, saving Erie County over $75,000 annually. NYSNA also agrees to move members from the Core healthcare plan to the Value plan, resulting in savings for the county of $1,300 per year per member for a family insurance plan. In addition, due to the extreme difficulties in recruitment for nursing positions, especially correctional health positions (such as senior nurse practitioner, where market salaries are tens of thousands of dollars higher than the current County scale), Erie County has agreed to modest wage increases for the nurses and a pro-rated one-time signing bonus of $500 for 2012. 

Erie County will cover the costs of the signing bonus and 2013 wage costs of the contract through an appropriation of undesignated/unassigned fund balance.  The ratified contract will require approval from the Erie County Legislature prior to taking effect.