For Immediate Release
Contact: Bernie Mulligan, 518.469.2035
NEW YORK CITY, May 17, 2012 - Today thousands of nurses voted to transform their union - the New York State Nurses Association – into a dynamic force for safe staffing across the Empire State.
In an historic, unprecedented meeting, thousands of professional Registered Nurses and health care professionals voted to transform their union's structure to take on the challenge of protecting good jobs for caregivers and provide quality care for our patients.
Delegates from dozens of workplaces across the state voted to change many of the union's bylaws, the rules that govern how the union is run. All of the bylaw changes passed by huge margins.
"Working nurses now have the stronger voice they've needed for years to take on the challenges we face delivering quality patient care," said Pat Kane, an RN at Staten Island University Hospital and elected leader of NYSNA. "Now we will set a strong agenda for our organization, our families and our patients."
In addition to the dramatic change in the union's governance structure, the delegates also voted to take on the main challenge in New York's hospitals today - the need for strong nurse-to-patient staffing ratios.
Delegates gave rousing support to a resolution calling for safe staffing to become their main focus in the 2013 legislative session, and beyond. Thousands signed pledge cards, committing to workplace actions and strong legislative advocacy in home district offices and in Albany, in a massive, coordinated effort to pass a safe staffing, nurse-to-patient ratio bill in the next legislative session.
"This is a fight for the lives of our patients," said Anne Bove, president of the NYSNA unit at NYC's Health and Hospitals Corporation. "We are nurses. We see it every day: Safe staffing saves lives."
Besides the bylaws changes, delegates voted to eliminate the position of CEO and replace it with an Executive Director, to better reflect the union's democratic roots and greater accountability to working nurses.
This fall, nurses will elect the union's newly constituted Board of Directors.
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.
- 30 -