Continuing a winning agenda for NYSNA

The election season has been very full for our union, as we stepped up to assess and approve a long list of prospective candidate endorsements. The NYSNA imprimatur is valued – by us, and by those seeking it. The Board selected 176 candidates worthy of NYSNA’s backing (see pages 5-10 for some candidate snapshots and Voter Guide). Please review these selections.

Endorsements were made for candidates in New York State Assembly and Senate, State Attorney General and Comptroller, and U.S. Congress from New York. The Board believes that these candidates will serve the best interests of patients and support issues affecting access to healthcare. These candidates understand our priorities and will give our legislative policies and goals very serious consideration.

The values of the union – patient safety and quality care, respect for RNs, protections for RNs in the workplace – are central. NYSNA stands for universal, affordable access to healthcare for all and for making every community in New York a safe and healthy place to live. In each candidate the Board sought to find a record in office, in careers and commitments, founded upon principles of equality – in opportunity and in access to essential services.

Your vote counts

Our efforts last year, first of its kind, to endorse and work to elect New York City and in county candidates were a huge victory. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Tish James, a number of outstanding New York City Council Members and others were elected. In a short time, they have helped advance our agenda in significant ways. Quality access to healthcare for all New Yorkers headlines that agenda.
NYSNA urges all its members to vote on November 4. Your vote counts.

A very full season

The election season has been full with other commitments and challenges. On September 21, NYSNA members joined thousands of people from around the world in the largest climate march to date: the People’s Climate March. Our contingent stood tall, joining scores of other labor unions and supporters and making up one segment of the March, which extended scores of blocks in midtown Manhattan.

Our members have shared their insights into the serious and profound affects climate change has had on the public’s health. Carbon emissions, which raise the temperature of the atmosphere and lead to Extreme Weather Events, such as Super Storm Sandy, are the substance of air pollution, a major killer in urban centers throughout the world.

This fall, NYSNA members throughout the state have been on the move to achieve their demands: protect patient care and keep the community informed.

Members from several hospitals joined together – a first – in a one-day picket in the Capital Region and continue to move forward, united in demands for safe staffing and  respect for RNs. On Long Island, our RNs picketed at Franklin Hospital in the face of intransigent management.

This season also finds us preparing for and initiating bargaining at a number of private hospitals in New York City. Contracts for 18,000 members are at issue and NYSNA stands ready. Your views and participation help us hone the edge.

Proper measures to stop Ebola

This season has also brought us the Ebola virus, a scourge in West Africa where thousands have perished, with cases in other parts of the world, including Spain and in the U.S.

NYSNA said that in this public health crisis our number one priority is to provide safe, quality care to every patient.

In facilities where NYSNA represents nurses we insist on: safe levels of staffing to care for patients with infectious diseases; optimal personal protective equipment that meet the highest standards used by the University of Nebraska, including full-body hazmat suits resistant to blood-borne pathogens and powered air purifying respirators; continuous, interactive hands-on training that is responsive to the changing nature of the disease; and optimal biohazard containment rooms for each suspected or diagnosed case of Ebola.

We urge that all facilities, with or without union representation, will adopt the standards outlined above.

NYSNA supports the State’s decision to require hospitals to have written protocols for immediately identifying, isolating and medically evaluating any person who could potentially be infected with Ebola. NYSNA looks forward to working with the NYS Department of Health to implement optimal statewide requirements for high-quality, safe care for all New Yorkers.

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