Union blasts Auburn Community Hospital over staffing, contract

For the past year and a half, Ken Spurgeon said, Auburn Community Hospital has been short-staffed.

The vice chair of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, Spurgeon has worked as a registered nurse at ACH for nearly 20 years. Now, he said, he is becoming increasingly concerned about staffing levels at the hospital.

Spurgeon will be one of three ACH employees speaking at the Cayuga County Legislature meeting next week. Their goal, he said, is to raise awareness about the “staffing crisis” and negotiate a new contract with management.


“We’re proud of what we do here … but there is a crisis in health care regionally,” Spurgeon said in a phone interview with The Citizen. “We just want to bring attention to the staff-to-patient ratio to achieve the best outcome possible for our patients.”

That ratio varies on every floor and department, he said. Union members will have specific statistics at the Legislature meeting Tuesday.

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