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ECMC NURSES TO SEEK 1-YEAR PACT

The union representing the 760 registered nurses who work for Erie County will ask the County Legislature to authorize a one-year contract following the nurses' rejection of a three-year pact proposed by the Gorski administration.

The nurses, members of the New York State Nurses Association, Thursday night overwhelmingly voted down the proposed contract that would have given them raises of 2.5 percent, 2 percent and 2 percent over three years.

The proposed pact would have changed six of 12 legal holidays into six floating holidays to cut back on holiday overtime pay requirements. It also failed to address the nurses' requests for increased staffing to ease overtime work pressures and would have ended the practice of accumulating compensatory time.

The nurses, who have been without a contract since June 30, 1997, are employed by Erie County Medical Center, the Erie County Home and Erie County Community Health.

Under the state's Taylor Law, the contract vote ends the negotiating process between the union and the county and requires the union to ask the Legislature for a one-year contract.

The Legislature may grant a pay increase but cannot alter any other terms of the previous contract.

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