1199SEIU Healthcare Workers at Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC) to Hold Vigil for Quality Care

February 14, 2017

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Mindy Berman | 518.229.0486

“The hospital is so short staffed, that managers frequently interrupt us at our breaks and during meals, telling us to report back to work, adding to an already hectic day. This situation is not good for workers and our patients. We need more staff.”

WHAT: Vigil for Quality Care

WHEN: Tuesday, February 14, 2017
3:30-6:00 p.m. Interviews/Photo Ops on site

WHERE: 68 Harris-Bushville Rd, Harris

WHO: 1199SEIU healthcare workers, area elected officials, clergy, community and labor allies

Main Points: 1199SEIU healthcare workers are concerned that because of short-staffing:

• The work they've been hired to do cannot be completed when there are not enough workers;
• There is not enough staff to meet the needs of the patients, the community.

Elise Raynor, 1199SEIU member from Liberty: “Many times, we are told to stay and work another shift, after already having worked a full shift, and feeling fatigued. While we are fully committed to our patients, after all, our patients are many times our neighbors, friends and family, we also have personal lives and responsibilities.

Lisa White, also of Liberty: “The consequences of short staffing are serious. Co-workers leave to find other employment because the physical toll is too much, they need more time with their families, they don’t want to compromise their education, or it is simply just too frustrating to come to work, want to do your job well, and find it is impossible to do that. It’s ironic because short staffing leads to even more short staffing, as dedicated healthcare workers are forced to go elsewhere to work.”

Workers say that the situation is so severe that even though management has at times brought in workers from other sites as far as 30 miles away, in order to mitigate the problem, there is still not enough staff to meet patient needs.

1199SEIU member Marion Armistead: “Today, for the sake of quality patient care, we are taking the issue to the people we care for---the folks who are affected most by a shortage of staff-- our community! It happens to be Valentine’s Day, so symbolically, we will be showing our love to our patients, our families and communities, by speaking out for quality patient care at our community hospital, Catskill Regional Medical Center.”


1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 450,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.