NEW YORK NURSE: October/November 2008
A new “professional zone” was created by the NYSNA Delegate Assembly (DA) during its meeting on Sept. 15-16 to provide representation for the 340 other healthcare professionals that NYSNA represents at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, Champlain Valley Physician Hospital Medical Center in Plattsburgh, and Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead. Their titles include pharmacists, respiratory therapists, physician assistants, social workers, and laboratory, X-ray, nuclear, and medical technologists. Although DA representatives are elected based on geography, non-RN professional members had indicated a need for a separate representative to raise and address issues specific to their professions. The new zone will not affect the calculation of members when determining the number of delegates for the geographic zones.
The Assembly authorized the formation of a “member nurse organizer” program to recruit member volunteers to help with organizing campaigns. A similar project in the late 1990s, called the “nurse ambassador” program, provided valuable person-to-person assistance in winning elections at facilities in Long Island, Westchester, and New Jersey, and in internal organizing of current bargaining units prior to contract negotiations.
In response to member concerns about their future after retirement, the Assembly voted to make it a priority to devise a strategy to pursue retirement health benefits on a wide scale, through both contract negotiations and legislation. The campaign will be under development for the next few months.
Delegates passed a resolution requesting the NYSNA Board of Directors allocate the entire rebate of dues from the American Nurses Association to the E&GW Program. The dues were originally collected for use by the United American Nurses, a national union from which NYSNA has disaffiliated.