For Immediate Release
Contact: Bernie Mulligan, 212.785.0157, ext. 140/518.469.2035
Photo opportunity: Thousands of nurses rallying for safe staffing legislation
NEW YORK CITY, May 15, 2012 — This Thursday, 4,000 working bedside nurses, members of the New York State Nurses Association, will gather to set a new, aggressive course for their union, when they meet at the Jacob Javits Center North Hall, 655 West 34th St, Manhattan.
The New York State Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the state.
Leaders of the Association will hold a press conference at 4:00 PM at the entrance to the Javits Center North Hall.
They will discuss their new goal of passing statewide legislation mandating safe nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and to discuss the members' decisions made during the day-long meeting to transform their union into a more responsive and democratic organization - to meet the needs of working nurses and the hundreds of thousands of patients they serve each year.
NYSNA has more than 37,000 members across the state. They include the more than 8,000 NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation nurses, now fighting Mayor Bloomberg and HHC for a fair contact and safe staffing, as well as the thousands of members from New York state's leading private hospitals - Presbyterian, Montefiore, Mt. Sinai and St. Luke's-Roosevelt - who waged highly visible contract fights for safe staffing, affordable health benefits and fair wages last winter. Nurses at Erie County Medical Center and Westchester Medical Center are NYSNA members, as are nurses at dozens of other community hospitals, clinics and school districts across the state.
“Our union is unique,” said Patricia Donahue, an RN from Ellis Hospital in Schenectady. “We speak for ourselves and our families, but we also speak for our communities and our patients, and their need for quality health care.”
This meeting caps a year of transformation in the union, which saw new leadership elected in the fall and unprecedented member activity in last winter's successful contract fights that sparked citywide and national news coverage.
NYSNA will now take a leading role on the principal healthcare issue for New York’s caregivers - strong nurse-to-patient staffing ratios.
“We will take this fight from Manhattan to Albany, from the hospital floors to management’s offices, to whomever is blocking our way,” said Judy Sheridan Gonzalez, president of the local bargaining unit at Montefiore Medical Center, Moses Division, “Our message is simple: We are nurses. We know what works. Safe staffing saves lives.”
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is New York’s largest professional association and union for registered nurses. The association represents registered nurses, and some all-professional bargaining units, in New York and New Jersey. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.
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