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It's no wonder fewer people are choosing a career in nursing. Erie County Medical Center nurses were notified of a proposal only days before a vote. We were not allowed to see any details of the contract until we came to vote. We now have a contract that forces us to give up compensatory time for holidays worked.

We are accustomed to being away from our families on Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. We're caring for our patients at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. Rather than receive overtime payment, some of us chose to take time off at a later date. We must now take overtime pay. Some things are more important than money.

Some of the people who voted on the contract do not have to work holidays. As they are enjoying Christmas and Thanksgiving with their loved ones, do you think they'll be jealous of all the extra money we'll be making? Our children like to have extra days with us, even if we celebrate special times a little later than most.

Another negotiating committee member admitted that she chose comp time when her children were younger, but now she prefers the extra money. How sad that nurses will no longer have this precious time off with their children like she did.


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