NEW YORK NURSE: March 2010
During their meeting at NYSNA’s Latham office on Jan. 25 and 26, the Delegate Assembly voted to begin working with NYSNA’s Governmental Affairs department to explore ways in which NYSNA can help RNs in local bargaining units engage in regional political activity.
Delegates shared notes on how their units respond to incidents of violent episodes with patients, in reference to the State Senate’s passage of a bill to increase the penalty for violence against nurses. Some members said they called the local police, which has helped to emphasize the seriousness of the problem.
Delegate Assembly members also approved the budget priorities for the Economic and General Welfare Program for the upcoming program year. At the top were securing and protecting retirement health coverage and internal organizing.
Long Island Zone 8 delegate Jenmarie Byrnes, president of the LBU at New Island Hospital, thanked NYSNA for its help in preserving its health plan after it joined Catholic Health Services (CHS) of Long Island. CHS had pressured the nurses to change their health plan to comply with its religious-based guidelines. New Island nurses worked with NYSNA to negotiate a complementary plan that was acceptable to both parties and at no cost to the nurses through 2014. She said that RNs at the other CHS facilities represented by NYSNA – St. Catherine of Siena and St. Charles – will look into whether the plan would work at their facilities.
Diane Earl, Southern Tier Zone 5 delegate from AO Fox Memorial Hospital was reelected vice president and Mercedes Herman, a New York City Zone 9 delegate from St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, was reelected secretary. Each will serve a two-year term.
Martha Wilcox, LBU president in Sullivan County, was named to fill a vacancy in Lower Hudson Zone 6. Her term will run through 2011.