New funds for RNs and our families

No givebacks. More than 19 percent wage increases. Retro pay. These are building blocks of the contract we bargained for and won.

There is more to this outstanding contract: two new funds: one for education and training; the second for child and elder care.

As professional caregivers, we are very aware of the need to enhance our knowledge of nursing through education and training. As caregivers at home, we appreciate the needs of our children, spouses and parents.

What’s exciting about these new funds is that we can shape them to meet our needs, evaluate those needs and change them as our experience dictates.

This special issue of New York Nurse helps explain these funds and reports on the New York State Patient Handling Act.

The importance of elections

Our elected officials have an important – sometimes direct – role in our contract negotiations. Public officials who are fair and open are critical to NYSNA’s movement forward.

For the first time – ever – we weighed in last year to the local election process and endorsed local candidates in the New York City and other races, including the county legislatures of Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk. Our endorsements had a major impact and have been cited throughout these locales.

In New York City, Bill de Blasio was arrested along with NYSNA leadership and members during his mayoral campaign to bring attention to hospital closings in Brooklyn. As mayor, he engaged in HHC contract negotiations that were fair and fruitful. His dealings with us in the proposed sale of four HHC chronic dialysis clinics to a for-profit entity have shown a keen knowledge and sensitivity on the issues. He continues to speak out about healthcare disparities and the absolute and essential need to bring them to an end.

A new election season

Public Advocate Tish James also earned our backing and for good reason: her door has been open to us on all issues important to NYSNA. On the dialysis sale, she weighed in with force and clarity. It was Tish James who stood – time after time – in Brooklyn to call for the protection of hospitals and the communities they serve.

We are very fortunate to have these two public servants, and many others we endorsed and who won their races, in office.

The election season is upon us again and NYSNA has given much attention and review to New York State candidates.

We are making new endorsements at this time and ask that you give close attention to these candidates. And vote!!

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