NEW YORK NURSE: November 2009
When the 2009 Voting Body got down to business, it approved bylaws changes and set a new membership rate for retired nurses.
But it was evident that the state’s plan to force healthcare workers to get flu vaccinations was a major concern for NYSNA nurses. Three main motions, all of which passed overwhelmingly, were focused on NYSNA’s response to the unprecedented mandate.
Members requested that the board of directors investigate the feasibility of seeking an injunction against the New York State Health Department to prevent enforcement of the mandate; urged the development of a database to inform staff and members about how the requirement was being implemented in various facilities; and asked that the Nurses Association be present at the legal proceedings scheduled for Oct. 14.
The Voting Body agreed to add the Congress of Bargaining Unit Leaders to the organizations named in the NYSNA bylaws. The Congress, which includes the president or chair of each local bargaining unit, will advise the Economic & General Welfare Program director and the NYSNA chief executive officer about the concerns of members at the unit level.
The bylaws change was supported by the Board of Directors as a way for members to communicate with NYSNA leadership. The bylaws specify that the Congress will collaborate with the Delegate Assembly in strengthening the collective bargaining program.
The Voting Body also approved a dues rate of $100 per year for all retired members. This includes members who are aged 62 or over, not earning more than Social Security allows, and not represented for collective bargaining by NYSNA.
The new rate will take effect on July 1, 2010. Based on the current number of retired members, the change in dues should not have a significant impact on association finances.
More advance notice will be required for the submission of bylaws proposals to the Committee on Bylaws. The previous deadline of 30 days prior to the annual meeting was extended to 75 days.
As recommended by the Board of Directors, this change will allow proposals to be properly reviewed by the committee and to be included in the July/August issue of New York Nurse. American Nurses Association President Becky Patton, who was present at the Voting Body session, noted that ANA requires 180 days advance notice for bylaws proposals.
See Voting Body Actions for the full text of main motions and bylaws changes approved by the Voting Body.