NEW YORK NURSE: October 2010
by Mark Genovese
In the aftermath of two brutal attacks on NYSNA members within the past few months, the Delegate Assembly discussed making RNs’ work lives more secure – changing procedures, the physical setup of nurses’ stations, and a workplace culture that allows violence to occur.
To help provide assistance to local bargaining units during such emergencies, it was suggested during the assembly’s meeting at NYSNA headquarters in Latham on Sept. 20 and 21, that the association develop a “Code NYSNA” response plan to pull together the association’s resources to quickly respond to violent incidents. A NYSNA task force is also putting together a campaign to help educate nurses about ways of protecting themselves, and about their rights and options in the event of an attack.
Dennis Lindell, Zone 4 delegate from Erie County Medical Center, reported that talks with management are continuing after the assault on NYSNA member Kelly McLean. He said that in recent weeks security has been increased, aides have been hired, and arrangements are being made for “panic buttons” or walkie-talkies. He thanked NYSNA for all of its support.
In its regular business, the Delegate Assembly voted to change references to “geographic zones” in its rules to “Delegate Assembly zones” to accommodate the inclusion in 2008 of the “professional zone” to represent the 300 allied health care professionals NYSNA represents at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, and Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital Medical Center in Plattsburgh.
The assembly also voted to remove references to the NYSNA Congress of Bargaining Unit Leaders from its rules. The Congress no longer needs to be covered under the assembly bylaws because it was included in NYSNA’s overall bylaws as its own organizational unit by the 2009 Voting Body. The congress is developing its own set of rules.
Delegates also voted on the assembly’s budget priorities for the upcoming program year, which are: