Poughkeepsie Common Council holds off on support for safe staffing legislation


POUGHKEEPSIE – A handful of nurses at Vassar Brothers Medical Center
brought their short-staffing issue to the Poughkeepsie Common Council
Monday night after which Councilwoman Ann Perry attempted to have her
colleagues support state legislation calling for safe staffing levels.

Perry, who gave an emotional argument, said it was not about Vassar, but
all hospitals with short staffs.

“Every one of us gets sick at some point and being sick is the lowest
point in your life. It doesn’t matter how much money we have. When
you are sick, you need the nurses to take care of you and they are excellent
people, work long hours and it is about time that we start caring about
the people who care about us,” she said.

State legislation has passed in the Assembly but not in the Senate. Perry
rejected the argument that the nurses’ issue was a labor-management

Fellow Councilman Lee Klein said he did not want to get involved in the

“It’s not our business. We are inserting ourselves in a labor
and management dispute and there has been a lack of information gathering
so far on the part of our colleagues who seek to pass this resolution,”
he said.
In the end, the memorializing resolution failed with three yes votes,
one no vote and four abstentions.