I signed up for a long-term surge crisis shift in the nursing office, but now my shift has been cancelled. Can the hospital do this? How will this affect my crisis pay?
Per Article XIII, Section 9 on page 49 of the NYPNU contract, the hospital has the right to cancel any crisis shifts if the census no longer supports additional staff.
If the hospital cancels one or more of your crisis shifts, you will be paid a prorated amount of the $2,000 long-term crisis bonus. For example, if the hospital cancels 3 of your 7 shifts so you only end up working 4 crisis shifts, you will be paid 4/7 x 2000 = approx. $1,142.
Note that if you cancel any of your shifts, you will not receive any amount of the bonus.
Do I get cancellation pay if the hospital cancels my crisis shift?
Per Article XIII, Section 4(b), the hospital must give you at least two hours notice if your shift is cancelled. You must provide a phone number where you can be reached.
If the hospital has not given or attempted to give 2 hours notice, you are entitled to one hour "cancellation" pay at your overtime rate.
Why are travelers still working when my crisis shift has been cancelled? Shouldn't I get preference over travelers?
As we were bracing for the COVID surge, NYPNU was pushing the hospital to hire additional travelers. The hospital contracted 61 travelers. Now that we've made it past the peak, the census is decreasing in most units, so additional staffing is no longer required on these units and the hospital has cancelled some crisis shifts. Again, the hospital is within its contractual rights to cancel staff RN crisis shifts if the census no longer supports it.
We have no contractual grounds to contest crisis shift cancellation, even if that means travelers are working instead of staff.
Crisis shifts should not be cancelled if doing so creates ratio violations. Make sure you are submitting staffing violations using the NYPNU violation reporter. Please make a note on the violation report whether crisis shifts were cancelled for your shift.
A note on ICUs:
ICUs continue to have a higher census than med/surg units. The hospital recognizes this and should not be cancelling crisis shifts on critical care units.