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New York links nurses' pay to private sector.

Efforts to overcome a growing shortage of nurses led New York City's Health and Hospital Corp. to agree to a contract provision linking the public nurses' salaries to those of nurses employed by 14 private hospitals in the city. Under the new 37-month contract with the New York State Nurses Association, the minimum starting salary was raised to $27,000 a year retroactive to February 1, 1988, and to $28,235 on July 1, 1988, from $25,036. Under the new comparability provision, the city nurses' pay could be raised at 6-month intervals, based on the outcome of surveys of salaries paid in the private hospitals. The pay guarantees are 90 percent of private salaries for staff nurses and assistant head nurses, 95 percent for head nurses, and 100 percent for supervising nurses.

Robert W. Linn, head of the city's Office of Municipal Labor Relations, said the new approach was vital to "attract and retain a nursing staff." He also said that the city had been losing 100 nurses a month and that nearly 40 percent of new staff nurses were not even completing their first year of service.

At the time of settlement, there were about 6,500 nurses in the bargaining unit, ministering to about 100,000 patients, compared with 6,800 nurses in February 1988 and 7,400 in August 1986.

The contract, running to December 31, 1990, also provides for larger length-of-service salary step increases, raises shift differentials, and allows nurses to be credited with up to 5 years' service outside the public hospital system. Previously, new nurses started at the minimum salary, regardless of previous experience.
COPYRIGHT 1988 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Title Annotation:Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Oct 1, 1988
Words:271
Previous Article:New York, Pennsylvania employees settle.
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