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Ellis asks union to collaborate, not strike

Thursday, June 6, 2024

An open letter to our community from
Paul Milton, President & CEO

The union representing registered nurses at Ellis Medicine is threatening to strike unless we agree to hire more nurses. We want you, our community, to know we are hiring every quality nurse we can. There are simply not enough nurses to go around. If there were 50 qualified nurses outside my door right now, I’d hire them.

Here and across the country, there’s a tremendous nursing shortage. Union leaders themselves have noted that only 53% of licensed nurses in New York State are actively working in the profession.

That’s why we’re so proud of the success we’ve had at Ellis in partnering with our nursing colleagues:

  • Over the past two years, we’ve hired more than 200 registered nurses.
  • In the past 18 months, 50 former Ellis nurses chose to come back after working elsewhere.
  • Since 2021, we’ve seen a nearly 40% drop in nursing staff turnover.

Ellis respects the difficult and rewarding jobs that nurses have. This is reflected in a pay and benefit package that’s highly competitive in the market. In May 2022, Ellis rewarded our RNs with an average 18% pay raise, in addition to increases they already received in the union contract. Add this increase to our current proposals, and most nurses would see a 30% to 35% pay increase through the end of the next contract.

We are pleased that we were able to make these improvements, we understand the challenges nurses face in today’s healthcare environment, and we share our nurses’ desire to have more of their colleagues working alongside them.

We sincerely hope the union will not decide on a disruptive strike—as we remain committed to providing a healing environment for our community. We also want our community to know that, should we receive notice of a strike, we have a robust contingency plan in place and are fully prepared to continue providing compassionate care —uninterrupted.

In the meantime, Ellis remains focused on reaching a fair and equitable contract with the union, and to working cooperatively with them to attract and retain the highest quality nurses in the region.




Ellis Medicine | Newsroom

Ellis Medicine Media Inquiries

Media inquiries should be directed to the Communications Department at Ellis Medicine. The Communications Department is open and staffed Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. The department can be reached by phone at 518.232.9288. If you leave a message your call will typically be returned within 24 hours.

All official communications regarding Ellis Medicine are arranged through the Communications Department. We look forward to working with members of the public and media organizations to provide accurate, up-to-date information about Ellis Medicine.


Ellis Medicine
1101 Nott Street
Schenectady, NY 12308