Safe Staffing

Beginning October 1, 2023, Connecticut's new Safe Staffing Laws go into effect. In this legislation and in the staffing committee is POWER. Those providing the care are going to decide how much help is at the bedside. Working in healthcare has not been easy for the past several years, we often hear our Members concerns that the people doing the work are not in decision making roles. This legislation is the answer to that, the staffing committee is where decisions will be made, and the Department of Public Health will enforce fines if the plans are not followed. It will be in the hands of direct care Registered Nurses and their Unions to decide how the staffing will be on their patient care units. 

Included in the law Nurses with Unions have a greater voice regarding staffing plans, including lawfully enforceable ratios, and a voting majority on the staffing committee. The Union chooses the majority of members, 50% plus one, and they must be direct care Registered Nurses. According to this new law, the staffing committee has the explicit authority to determine: the number of RNs providing direct patient care and the ratio of patients to each RN by patient care unit, the number of LPNs providing direct patient care and the ratio of patients to each LPN by patient care unit, the number of assistive personnel providing direct patient care and the ratio of patients to each assistive personnel by patient care unit, how the hospital determines and adjusts direct patient care staffing levels, a job description of assistive personnel on each patient care unit, a description of any differences between the staffing levels described in the plan and the actual staffing levels for each unit, and, any action the hospital intends to take to address the differences or adjust staffing levels in future staffing plans. Also included in the plan must be reporting on any objections or refusals to comply with the plan, evidence that the successful implementation of the nurse staffing plan has taken place, retention and recruitment rates, number of instances that the hospital has not been in compliance, certification that the hospital and staffing committee are meeting the requirements set forth in the legislation. 

Please note that in hospitals that do not have unionized nurses, the hospital gets to decide who is on the Staffing Committee.  With a union, you—the unionized nurses—get to decide the majority of members on the Staffing Committee.  

Organizing a Union in your workplace will give you back the power to make decisions, create an environment with safer work conditions, and improve patient outcomes. Please contact CHCA District 1199, NUHHCE for more information and to start your bargaining unit today!