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Union opposes removing nurses from Porter doctor’s offices

The Porter Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (PFNHP) met Feb. 2 with the administration at Porter Medical Center (PMC) to discuss the Middlebury hospital’s recent announcement of layoffs. PMC is attempting to cut nursing staff in doctor’s offices leaving most offices with only R.N.

The Porter Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (PFNHP) met Feb. 2 with the administration at Porter Medical Center (PMC) to discuss the Middlebury hospital’s recent announcement of layoffs. PMC is attempting to cut nursing staff in doctor’s offices leaving most offices with only R.N.

— The Porter Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (PFNHP) met Feb. 2 with the administration at Porter Medical Center (PMC) to discuss the Middlebury hospital’s recent announcement of layoffs. PMC is attempting to cut nursing staff in doctor’s offices leaving most offices with only R.N.

“We know that those with more education, training and experience provide better patient care. This decision by the Porter administration to replace experienced R.N.s with medical assistants, whose only requirement is a High School diploma is short-sighted, unnecessary and not in the interest of our patients,” said Alice Leo, president of the union at Porter. “While we are continuing to oppose the layoffs, we are also negotiating that anyone who takes a voluntary layoff receive a fair severance package. And our position at the bargaining table is that there should be no involuntary layoffs.”

Some nurses also have serious concerns about the announcement.

“We are deeply concerned that replacing experienced, educated, licensed R.N.s with unlicensed medical assistants (M.A.’s) will have a negative impact on patient care. We need an experienced R.N. in every office every day. It’s unclear who will cover the R.N.’s responsibilities when the RN is not there,” said Anza Armstrong, an R.N. who has worked at Porter for 38 years. Armstrong works at Bristol Internal Medicine which is slated to lose one of the two nurses covered by the union contract.”

The Union and Porter management are continuing to negotiate.

Leo also stated, “We believe that changes that the Porter administration is making to Doctor’s contracts, and the layoff of RNs will lead to Doctor’s having less time with their patients. We are asking the Porter administration re-focus on quality patient care and rescind the layoffs.”

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