Catskill Regional Medical Center employees protest over alleged understaffing

Healthcare workers at Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris, N.Y., protested Tuesday over what they say are overly long shifts, according to a Times Herald-Record report.

The workers, including technicians and assistants, are represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

In a news release, the union said workers are concerned that work they've been hired to do cannot be completed when there are not enough workers, and that there is not enough staff to meet the needs of the patients and the community.

The hospital administration released a statement to Becker's: "We take the staffing concerns very seriously and always place patient care and welfare at the highest priority. CRMC maintains a core value of putting patients and families first. Sometimes, we must ask employees to delay, move, or miss a break because serving our patients' needs requires immediate attention."

The hospital added: "CRMC pays employees if their breaks are substantially interrupted… The ideal number of employees is based on how many patients we have and the severity of illnesses of those patients. The patient census numbers are constantly fluctuating and staffed in the best manner possible to meet patient care needs. It should also be noted that our job vacancy rates are at an all-time low, averaging around 3 percent... Catskill Regional will continue to work collaboratively with the union to resolve any issues that employees have pertaining to staffing."


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