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JULY 2019


Westchester Unites for Safe Staffing On July 3, nurses at Westchester Medical Center were joined by nurses from St. John’s Riverside and St. Joseph’s Medical Center, as well as local and state political leaders, to speak out for safe staffing. The afternoon rally on the Oval drew attention to some unfinished business this state legislative session—the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act and the recently-introduced Financial Penalties for Violating Mandatory Overtime Laws bill (A3706/S5424). Both bills aim to improve staffing, and ultimately, patient safety. The bipartisan Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act would establish safe nurse-to-patient ratios in healthcare facilities throughout the state. State Senator Peter Harckham (DSD40) spoke at the rally, explaining, “This bill is very simple. It is only common sense that we have mandated staffing levels for all units. It only makes sense to not have nurses scrambling from room to room to room.” Other politicians who reaffirmed their commitment to safe staffing were: State Senator Shelley Mayer (D-SD37); Assembly Member Tom Abinanti (D-AD93); Assembly Member David Buchwald (D-AD93), Assembly Member Colin Schmitt (R-AD99); Westchester County Legislator David Tubiolo (R-CD14); and Westchester County Legislator Christopher A. Johnson (D-CD16).

Assembly Member Aileen Gunther and Senator Robert Jackson introduced the Mandatory Overtime bill this session to create a civil penalty/fine for violations of the mandatory overtime law (including breaks and lunches). Although mandation is less of a problem since NYSNA successfully advocated for a law in 2009, imposing fines and bonus pay would provide an even greater incentive for employers to staff properly, instead of relying on mandatory overtime. “It’s getting bad again and that’s why this bill was introduced,” said Corrine Noonan, RN and NYSNA Release Time Representative. “Give us safe staffing! After 16 hours, even on our best day, nurses can only do so much.” Although Westchester Medical Center has hired more nurses recently, the majority of new nurses have been hired into more senior positions, where they may perform limited bedside duties. “We need to build the foundation before we build the roof,” said Jayne Cammisa, RN. “Last year, nurses at Westchester Med filled out more than 8,600 protests of assignment. Safe staffing is way past due—for patients at Westchester Med and all over the state.”


Welcome New Executive Committee Members

Liesl Van Ledtje

We sat down with the two newest members of NYSNA’s Executive Committee at Westchester Medical Center. See the back page for full committee information.

Mary-Lynn Boyts Background: MaryLynn has a long history in healthcare, working as an ER tech at Danbury Hospital for ten years before starting at Westchester Medical Center in 2014. MaryLynn worked as an ER tech here while earning her nursing degree. She now works as an RN in the Operating Room. Vision: “We are the union! The nurses are the voices of the union. We need to speak up for how we want to be treated. We bring so much to the table and truly care about our patients. We need to raise our voices to make this hospital a more positive place, where people want to work and nurses don’t get overworked, stressed out, burned out and leave the profession. We want Westchester to be an employer that nurses want to work for, and a hospital that patients want to come to.”

Background: Liesl is finally living her dream of being a nurse. After some detours along the way, including raising a family, being active in her community, and owning her own business, Liesl became a nurse three-and-a-half years ago. She currently works in behavioral health, and is looking forward to starting in 4N soon. Vision: “I am so excited to be working as a nurse at Westchester Medical Center, and dedicating time to be involved in my union. I like to do things wholeheartedly, so being involved in NYSNA is just an extension of who I am as a nurse. Safe staffing is always the hot topic. We need the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act passed into a law so it can benefit every patient in New York State. It affects all of our friends and families. We need nurses on the frontlines and at the bedside. Here at Westchester, we want new nursing hires on the floor to alleviate the worst of our staffing shortages. At the end of the day, we need to be well-staffed to give patients the best care possible.”

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS! Theresa Prezioso 4S

Ofelia Aguilar CDU

Breana Negersmith NICU

Stephanie Ramos 4S

Ami Ciftja CDU

Desiree Granato Peds 32

Sherine Sunny 7NE

Jennifer Harker ER

Megan Triano Peds 32

Helen Joe 7S

Michael Mackenzie NESICU

Elizabeth Reagan PICU

Tamara Benoit B1

Robert Terri NESICU

Mary George PMR

Bryan DuBois B2

Daniel Warunek NESICU

Rey Cortes Radiology

Marie Yves Kernisant BHC

Christina Burrows NICU

Ryan Millicker BHC

Dana Cannella NICU

Jessy Mary Ramos-Maldonado Radiology

Elaine Lopez Case Management

Dakota Darin NICU

Julius Wehr TICU Lulanaj Nadziba

JULY 2019

A Newsletter for NYSNA RNs at Westchester Medical Center

Know Your Contract: Vacations with Pay (Annual Leave)

Annual leave will be granted as follows:


An employee who is employed prior to April 1 will be entitled to seven and one-half (7½) working days (56.26 hours) vacation after six (6) months of service. 1. On January 1st an employee who has less than one (1) year of service will be entitled to fifteen (15) working days (112.5 hours) vacation after six (6) months service. 2. On January 1st an employee who has more than one (1) year of service will be entitled to twenty (20) working days (150 hours) vacation. 3. On January 1st an employee who has more than five (5) years of service, or during that year will attain the fifth (5th) anniversary of service, will be entitled to twenty-five (25) working days (187.5 hours) vacation.


Annual leave should be used in the year it is earned; however, any employee may carry over seventy-five (75) hours for use into the next year. The Employer on an individual basis may approve time in excess of seventy-five (75) hours to be carried into the next year. Employees who do not submit schedules for using excess vacation time will be subject to having such time scheduled by the Employer. In no case will an employee lose accrued vacation time.

C. The vacation period will be the entire year. D. Vacation time scheduling will be based on bargaining unit seniority.


A maximum of two (2) weeks of any earned time may be taken from June 15 through September 15. During this scheduling period as stated in D, bargaining unit seniority will determine time granted. However, if extra weeks become available upon request they will be distributed in a fair equitable manner that would enable employees who were unable to be granted time off during this time period to have time off.

F. An employee will not be denied a requested week vacation because a singular day is granted.

G. The employer will make sufficient weeks available for the employee to take his/her full annual vacation entitlement each year.

H. The Employer will make a reasonable effort to schedule a weekend day off prior to and following the approved vacation week.



1. An updated Bargaining Unit seniority list will be posted on August 1. 2. A Vacation Grid divided by shift for the upcoming year will be posted on each unit by Sept 1. 3. RNs will work collaboratively from Sept 1 to October 31 to pencil vacation time they are entitled to for the year on the grid with the goal of achieving a balanced vacation schedule for the year that will enable all request to be granted on their unit. 4. Employees must submit initial vacation requests on a vacation request form by November 1 to use accrued time that will be available as of the following January 1. Vacation requests will be approved or denied in writing by December 1, and the final Vacation Grid will be posted by January 1. 5. If an employee notifies the Employer that he or she does not want to use previously approved vacation time, such time will be posted on the unit for seven days and employees can bid for that vacation time using bargaining unit seniority. Unless; an employee had during the original request period asked for the same time and was denied. In such case that previous request would be honored over bargaining unit seniority.


In the calculating of the time allowed for vacations, intervening holidays shall not be considered vacation days. Annual leave is to be taken with departmental approval so as not to interfere with the operations of the department.


Beginning January 1, 2017 Employees with one or more years of service who separate from employment will be entitled to a month to month payout of all accrued and unused vacation, including prorata vacation for the current calendar year payout. For example, a nurse with more than one year of service who separates on May 31st will be entitle to 5/12 of his/her annual vacation accrual, in addition to, all other such accrued and unused vacation.


(For more information or to register, ask your NYSNA Rep)




INTER-REGIONAL MEETING Sept. 4, 5:30-8:30PM, NYSNA Tarrytown Office






July 15-20, Cuba August 1, NYSNA Tarrytown Office August 12-18, Jamaica

September 12, NYSNA Tarrytown Office Sept. 26 & 27, NYSNA Tarrytown Office

NEW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE David Long, RN, President CCU Zina Klein, RN, 1st Vice President EICU Liesl Van Ledtje, RN, 2nd Vice President BHC/B2 Mary-Lynn Boyts, RN, Grievance Co-Chair OR Corinne Noonan, RN, Grievance Co-Chair 4N Jayne Cammisa, RN, Secretary NYSNA Release Time Representative Deb Cava, RN, Night Chairperson Nursing Supervision

October 7 & 8, NYSNA Tarrytown Office October 17, NYSNA Tarrytown Office November 6, NYSNA Tarrytown Office




NYSNA WMC Office: Phone 914-493-8329 Fax 914-493-7175 Email Integrated Disability: Phone Lisa Okoro 914-493-2630 Email NYS Retirement System: Phone 866-805-0990 or NYSNA Welfare Funds: Phone 800-537-1237 or Payroll Services Hotline: Phone 914-493-2704 Email Kronos Help Hotline: Phone 914-493-246793 Email Corporate Compliance: Phone 866-545-0038 or 914-493-2600 Personal Protection and Safety Hotline 24/7: Phone 844-492-1321 SPAN: Phone 800-457-7261 WMC Health Benefits: Phone 914-493-7144 Email Aetna Medical/Rx: and Aetna EAP: Teladoc: Cigna Dental: EyeMed Vision: WageWorks FSA & Commuter Benefits:




Profile for New York State Nurses Association

We Are Nurses: Westchester Med July 2019