ALBANY, N.Y., April 4 (UPI) -- About 3,200 registered nurses in the Albany, N.Y., area are receiving payments in the settlement of a class-action lawsuit over pay, union officials say.
Lisa Brown, executive vice president of the Hudson Valley area's Service Employees International Union Local 1199, which supported the plaintiffs and did research for the lawsuit, said the payoffs of the multimillion-dollar settlement to 3,277 nurses averages $1,730 per nurse, the Albany Times Union reported.
Two Albany-area nurses, Wendy Fleischman and Cindy Cullen, filed the lawsuit in 2006.
The lawsuit alleged a wage-fixing conspiracy in which Albany Medical Center Hospital, Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, St. Peter's Hospital in Albany, Albany Memorial Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam and Samaritan Hospital in Troy shared detailed wage information.
The lawsuit alleged the hospitals agreed to not compete for nurses from 2002-2006 -- violating federal anti-trust law -- during a period when there was a national nurses shortage. The hourly wages of all the hospitals allegedly differed by no more than $1.
Daniel Small, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who represented the plaintiffs, said the lawsuit estimated each nurse lost about $6,000 annually in compensation, the Times Union reported.