For Immediate Release
Contact: Bernie Mulligan, 518.469.2035, firstname.lastname@example.org
LATHAM, September 15, 2012 - Nurses voted yesterday in record numbers for new officers – and a new direction for their union.
Thanks to the democratic reforms nurses made earlier this year, the new officers of the New York State Nurses Association will have more authority than ever before to set the direction of their union.
This election had the highest member-voter turnout in a decade of NYSNA elections.
These front line nurses say their top priority is taking on the staffing crisis in New York hospitals. Hospital administrators are forcing some nurses to care for 9, 10, or even more patients at a time.
The union’s transformation began last fall, when nurses voted for new leadership by a two-to-one margin.
That same team – New York Nurses for Staffing, Security, and Strength – has swept all offices in this race.
In May of this year, nurses voted for new union rules that let nurses at the bedside set the direction for their union for the first time.
“NYSNA begins a new era today with the voices of working bedside nurses guiding the organization,” said Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, NYSNA’s first vice president. “Today marks the start of a new aggressive approach on the issues our members face.”
Under the association’s old rules, nurses’ elected leaders had little power to set their organization’s direction.
The union has made dealing with staffing shortages their number one issue.
Staffing shortages were the focus of negotiations at some of New York’s biggest hospitals last winter.
This summer, the union rallied at the City’s 11 HHC hospitals to improve staffing levels there, and backed up their actions with newspaper, radio, and TV ads.
Statewide, the union has made winning safe nurse staffing law their number one legislative priority for 2013.
Hundreds of nurses have already volunteered to be part of the union’s new grassroots political mobilization program to pass a safe staffing law and elect legislators who support that bill.
This decisive election result brings a new sense of direction and a unified agenda to the 37,000-member organization, which now turns its sight on passing safe staffing legislation for New York's patients and nurses.
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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