New York is now one of a handful of states to put an end to forcing nurses to work overtime. Nurse members from the New York State Public Employees Federation and the New York State United Teachers have been working with several other unions for years to lobby their state legislators to ban mandatory overtime, often sharing their stories of being forced to work double shifts. On June 18, Gov. David Paterson and the state Assembly and Senate agreed on a measure to end mandatory overtime. When the measure takes effect on July 1, 2009, hospitals will no longer be able to require nurses to work more than their regular schedule, except in emergencies or healthcare disasters. The abuses of staff have occurred for far too long, and now it is time to have healthcare managers do the job of staffing, says Anne Goldman, special representative for the Federation of Nurses/United Federation of Teachers. This is a great victory for patients and the nursing workforce.

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