OLEAN — Marching in front of their workplace Wednesday afternoon, around 100 New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) members employed at Olean General Hospital demanded change.
“This is an informational picket,” said Jeanne Wallace, a member of the nurses union’s executive committee. “This is not a strike; there are our members working today. Everyone here has come on their day off.”
Nurses marching in the demonstration called upon Olean General administrators to improve working conditions at the hospital. Specifically, the union is imploring hospital officials to set nurse-to-patient ratios that would allow for better patient care.
The picketers blew whistles, rattled noise makers, yelled chants and held signs which read, “Safe Staffing Saves Lives,” “Put Patients First,” and “Safe Staffing = Quality Care.” Many drivers passing by the march honked their vehicle’s horns in support of the rally.
Taking no issue with the picket, hospital officials say they remain committed to reaching a new, fair contract with the union, which represents more than 220 registered nurses at Olean General.