CMH, nurses at odds over sceduling/pay issue

NORWICH – The direct care staff at Chenango Memorial Hospital is protesting a new pay policy set to be enacted March 1.

Half of the hospital’s Registered Nurses Bargaining Unit 1199SEIU drew up a petition Thursday afternoon asking for a stay of the March 1 order. Union representative Jim Rundle said the other half of the direct care staff were upstairs working while the meeting took place at the Norwich-based hospital.

“It was the best turn-out we’ve had since the union was organized in 2000,” he said.

Nurses at Chenango Memorial Hospital say the policy will cut their pay while hospital administrators say nurses will be paid only for hours worked.

A program that was designed eight years ago to recruit nurses to the Norwich-based hospital offered 12-hour shifts for three days a week with a bonus of four hours’ pay offered by the hospital. Such pay plans were instituted in many hospitals nationwide to combat a widespread nursing shortage.

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