Rochester — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announces new initiatives on April 26 to improve staff rentention and create a career pipeline at MCH utilizing resources from Monroe Community College. All photos Ove Overmyer, CSEA ©2021

Rochester — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello was joined today by CSEA Western Region President Steve Healy, Wade Norwood, CEO of Common Ground Health, Alyssa Tallo, Executive Health Director of Monroe Community Hospital and Todd Oldham, MCC Vice President of Economic Development, Workforce and Career Technical Education to announce a series of measures being implemented aimed at improving staffing retention and recruitment at Monroe Community Hospital.

As part of the announcement, a new long-term care task force will be convened through Common Ground Health to study opportunities to address the communitywide nursing home staffing crisis.

“Like so many things, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t create the staffing crisis we’re seeing in long-term care facilities and nursing homes throughout Monroe County and New York State. Instead, it exacerbated an existing problem that can no longer go unaddressed,” said County Executive Bello.

Bello added, “My administration, the leadership at Monroe Community Hospital and CSEA have been working together over the last several months to develop a strategy to improve the pipeline of nursing and support staff at MCH and are committed to ensuring the residents of our facility continue to receive the best service and care possible.”

As an initial step to address nursing staff turnover at MCH, Monroe County implemented pay increases for CNAs, LPNs and RNs, created new leadership positions for additional growth opportunities for current and future employees, and improve new employee recruitment with the creation of a new nursing recruiter position. The County administration received approval for these pay increases and the creation of the new positions from the Civil Service Commission on April 8, 2021.

Recent reports suggest that upwards of 500 jobs are available in long-term care and nursing home facilities throughout Monroe County at any given time. Staff retention and pay scale concerns are not unique to Monroe Community Hospital and have been well-documented over the last several years. To address this issue on a long-term basis, County Executive Bello has asked Common Ground Health to convene a long-term care task force to identify critical issues contributing to the staff turnover crisis felt in facilities throughout Monroe County.

At the press conference, the following remarks were delivered by CSEA Western Region President Steve Healy:

Rochester — CSEA Western Region President Steve Healy (center) speaks with the media. At left, CSEA Monroe County Local President Jim D’Amico.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 26, 2021

MONROE COUNTY – “First of all, I would like to thank Monroe County officials for inviting CSEA to speak today—this invitation is something that would not have happened in previous administrations.

Often overlooked and underappreciated, CSEA front line workers here at MCH need to be heard and should always be part of the conversation when discussing how we collectively move forward.

By the way, CSEA never had the opportunity to have meaningful MCH labor management meetings until Adam Bello became the Monroe County Executive.

We all agree hospital operations are not where we want them to be right now. There is a lot of room for improvement. However, the spirit of cooperation we are seeing from all the significant stakeholders and the level of collaboration here at the hospital can only be described as progress.

CSEA believes the new initiative to create a career pipeline from MCC to MCH is fundamentally sound and a brilliant idea.

During the height of the pandemic, we have seen labor and management work hand in hand to create new efficiencies and policy that serves the interests of patients, concerned families, MCH employees and taxpayers alike. And we are just getting started.

Not only have we recently agreed to shift differential pay and hourly wage increases, labor and management have also agreed to upgrades to MCH clinical titles so we can retain and attract the best and brightest healthcare workers in the nation.

CSEA’s main priority is to make sure patients and residents of this hospital get the best care possible and at the same time, our members have a voice at work and are offered the tools and resources necessary to be successful in life and on the job.

Again, thank you to Adam Bello and his team for allowing us to share our thoughts with you today concerning this important community conversation.”

About CSEA:

The Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) is one of the largest and most influential unions in New York and the United States. CSEA represents more than 275,000 members who work for state and local governments, school districts, library systems, childcare, and the private sector. Formed in 1910, CSEA continues to improve the lives of hardworking families by negotiating fair and decent collective bargaining agreements. CSEA is the largest affiliate of our International Union, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). For more information, go to CSEANY.org.

Media Contact:

Ove Overmyer
CSEA WNY Communications
ove.overmyer@cseainc.org
585-272-0800
585-354-1613

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About Author

Ove Overmyer is an award winning photojournalist and writer who has promoted the virtue of working people and the value of public service throughout his career. His work has been published by many well-respected international media outlets, including PBS Moyers & Co., Steward Update UCS Worker Institute Cornell ILR, CBS News, The Weather Channel, SCI-FY Channel, Associated Press and LOGO-TV. Before joining the CSEA Communications Department staff in 2015, Overmyer was a CSEA member employed by the City of Rochester and an officer of the union for more than 18 years. He covers a 14 county area of Western New York and lives in Rochester, NY.

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