On January 1st, NYS’s first staffing law will go into effect, and whether it works or not, is up to us. Decades of work have gone into making this law and many of you were a part of that. Thank you.
The law is not perfect and our employers’ interpretation is not as comprehensive as it should be, so it’s also up to us to fight to get as many of our life-saving departments and job titles included in the law.
On January 1, 2023, staffing plans created by each facility’s Staffing Committee should, by law, take effect. We’ve put together a website with info and links to each staffing plan that hospitals must follow as of Jan 1, and forms that we strongly urge all members (regardless of facility or job title) to fill out anytime they see a violation of their unit’s plan or even if your department is not included in the plan but staffing is still unsafe. Click here for all the submitted staffing plans. For Kaleida’s staffing plans, there were some changes after submission because of bargaining, so click here for the most up to date Kaleida staffing plans.
We have to start out strong with enforcing this law! If we don’t report it, it didn’t happen. There are no Department of Health police dispatched to our departments everyday to make sure the staffing is right. We have to file a complaint EVERYTIME staffing isn’t right. Even if your department’s staffing plan seems impossible to ever achieve, REPORT IT! EVEN if your department’s plan is not enough and you’re staffed to it but still it’s not enough to provide good care, report it!
- Use this link to report a staffing violation, or any other staffing-related concerns, for each facility.
We need staffing captains for each department and shift that are committed to documenting each time you are short. Sign up here to be a staffing captain:
On May 4, 2021, the New York Legislature passed a package of bills to directly address the longstanding crisis of staffing levels in the state’s hospitals (S.1168/A.108).
The COVID-19 pandemic heightened the staffing crisis and brought more attention on it from the public and from legislators, but staffing shortages have been a big issue for a long time.
What the law does:
- Requires all hospitals in New York State to create Staffing Committees made up of equal parts worker representatives and management.
- Staffing Committees must meet and agree on staffing plans for every unit and shift in their facility by July 1st each year.
- Staffing plans are enforceable by the Department of Health.
- Staffing data must routinely be made publicly available to all on the Department of Health website.
- The Department of Health can investigate and impose civil penalties ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 against hospitals that fail to 1) form a staffing committee and create a staffing plan in accordance with the law 2) resolve violations of that plan.
This is a major step forward in our fight for safe staffing, and the result of decades of blood, sweat, tears, and organizing. CWA literally helped write this new law – and now we have to make sure that our members understand it, and that we all step up to enforce it.
There are real penalties for hospitals that don’t follow this law. It matters if we enforce it.
Thank you for all you do.