Stop change in Fair Labor Standards Act overtime rules
Sept 10, 2003 -- The US Senate today voted to block the White House sponsored overtime pay cut measure which could mean an end to overtime pay for nurses. The measure now goes to committee to work out differences between its House and Senate versions. The House failed to block the overtime measure when it voted on it in July. See a New York Times article by Sheryl Gay Stolberg about the overtime issue in general.
Click to send your US Congressional representative an email urging her/him to to block the overtime rules from being implemented. Then please post a copy of your letter on our bulletin board for all to see.
Baltimore Sun: "Time running out for overtime"
July 15, 2003 -- An article in today's Baltimore Sun by Stacey Hirsh, explored how the life of nurse Nina Scheppske would be affected if the new overtime rules are passed into law.
See the Baltimore Sun article "Time running out for overtime".
Allnurses.com has a long thread devoted to the issue where this overtime issue can be followed.
Sun-Sentinel: "Nurses outraged by plan to strip health professionals of overtime pay"
July 3, 2003 -- The June 25 issue of South Florida's Sun-Sentinel published an article by Joan Fleischer Tamen about the reaction of local nurses to the U.S. Department of Labor's plans to revise Fair Labor Standards Act regulations to exclude many workers, including nurses, from long-standing federal overtime pay requirements. The piece, which seems sympathetic to the nurses' position, focuses on efforts by Fort Lauderdale area nurse Diane Flock to mobilize colleagues to protest the proposed changes. The new rules would reportedly exclude millions of workers from overtime requirements, including "learned professionals" such as nurses, pharmacists and other health workers. The article focuses on the likely relationship between the new rules and the current nursing shortage, noting that many hospitals rely on overtime--often mandatory, according to an ANA lobbyist--to cover their nursing needs, and that some nurses feel excessive overtime is contributing to nursing burnout. At the same time, the piece points out that many nurses rely on the extra pay to make ends meet. Tamen quotes a hospital representative who doubts hospitals that have worked to keep their nurses will risk losing them by cutting overtime pay. But she notes that nurses fear the bottom line savings will prove too attractive to hospitals with severe budget constraints, and the piece suggests that the result may be more burnout and fewer nurses at the bedside.
See the article ($) Nurses outraged by plan to strip health professionals of overtime pay in the Sun-Sentinel and a follow up letter to the editor by Henry Teplicki, RN, BSN.
See the Department of Labor's documents which are focused on examining the proposal from the perspective of the people who are helped and not by the people who are hurt by it.
Barbara MacArthur, RN, MN, FAAN, Vice President of Nursing for the Florida Hospital Association has written a response to our campaign against the changes to the overtime law. She believes that nurses will not be affected by the proposed changes to the overtime law. Click here to see Ms. MacArthur's response.
In response to Ms. MacArthur's comments, David Schildmeier, the Director of Communications from the Massachusetts Nurses Association, says that he agrees that Ms. MacArthur's viewpoint is "technically accurate." However, he fears that hospitals will "use this new law to justify not paying overtime regardless of market forces."
Also see the Boston Globe's article Nation's nurses lobby to protect overtime pay: Groups ask US to be excluded from rule changes for professionals on the many nursing groups lobbying against the bill.