More than 300 professional and nursing staff members are represented by the New York State Nurses Association in the contract negotiations with PBMC.
"Patient safety is our number one concern. We're sitting down with management to come up with solutions that will ensure our patients get the very best care," said Diane Groneman RRT, president of NYSNA's PBMC local bargaining unit.
According to NYSNA, staffing guidelines in the current contract call for one RN for every seven to eight patients in the medical/surgical settings, although at times, these numbers are exceeded, NYSNA reps said in a release.
"Studies show that safer staffing levels improve patient outcomes, reduce avoidable patient deaths, re-admissions and hospital-related infections," the release read.
According to NYSNA, California has already established state laws addressing safe staffing, and many states are in the process of passing safe staffing laws. Both NYSNA and NYSNA's executive council at PBMC advocate such legislation in New York.
"The professional caregivers at PBMC are hoping that management will negotiate a fair contract that includes new safe staffing ratios, and equally important, that they will commit to implementing these safe levels at all times," the release read.
PMBC representatives did not respond immediately to a request for comment.