Dear NYSNA Member,
Wall Street, private equity firms, and big healthcare chains tried to take over, deregulate, and wreck New York hospitals this year in the New York State legislature.
We beat them.
The Albany legislative session is over and we defeated bills that would have:
We got on the bus to Albany again and again. We met with hundreds of lawmakers — in Albany and in their district offices back home. We made thousands of phone calls. We made headlines. And what we did worked.
But make no mistake. Wall Street and bankers want to take over New York hospitals — and they are used to getting their way. They’ll be back.
That’s the good news. And it is good news: those bills would have destroyed NY patient care as we know it and wrecked public hospitals in Erie County, Westchester, Massena, and HHC, New York City’s premiere public hospital system.
Here’s the bad news: a small handful of Albany politicians blocked a vote on the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act.
We made the biggest push for Safe Staffing in New York history. Thousands of us made calls, visited our lawmakers, and rallied on May 21.
And we built solid support in both houses: 86 Assembly members and 26 Senators signed on to support safe staffing.
But hospital administrators fought back, hard. They twisted arms and tried to get lawmakers to back away from Safe Staffing. They convinced a few well-placed “power brokers” to block our bill. Our supporters — the majority in the Assembly! — never even got a chance to cast their votes in favor of Safe Staffing.
A few people blocked legislation that would help so many patients. Patients will die because of what they did.
Next year we’re going to double — and triple — our work to win Safe Staffing.
Are you ready to get involved? Take the first step and text “Staffing” to 877-877 on your cell phone and we’ll add you to our Safe Staffing Rapid Response Team.
I want to thank EVERYONE who got involved this year. Your commitment is inspiring. We’re going to need it: Albany lawmakers will come together again in January, but our campaign starts right now. Text “Staffing” to 877-877.
We’ve won another battle to save a round-the-clock ER in Lake Placid. A bill to turn the ER into an urgent care center died in the Assembly before the end of the legislative session.
We’ve joined with Lake Placid community members and elected leaders to save our ER. And it’s working.
Read the story in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
SUNY began diverting ambulances from Long Island College Hospital last Thursday at 6:00 AM. And it’s causing chaos across Brooklyn hospitals. Just check out these reports in the Wall Street Journal, the NY Daily News, and PIX11.
LICH is fully staffed and able to provide safe care for patients. Patients are still walking in and getting care at LICH.
Tell your friends and family members who live in Brooklyn: Come to LICH when you need care. The ER is located at the corner of Amity and Hicks near Atlantic, in the Cobble Hill neighborhood.
Last night was incredible. Hundreds packed in to King Emanuel Baptist Church in Bed-Stuy to save Interfaith Medical Center. And we laid out our game plan to keep our hospital open for care.
We rallied with the Rev. Al Sharpton, the National Action Network, 1199SEIU, CIR-SEIU, Comptroller John Liu, District Leader Robert Cornegy, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio to demand real financial solutions to keep the hospital open. And we vowed to keep coming back every Tuesday night until we’ve saved our hospital.
We already won a significant victory last week: Department of Health officials contacted Interfaith Medical Center and told them that Interfaith should not be closed.
We thank the members of the Brooklyn legislative delegation, the leaders of the New York State Assembly, the NY City Council and its leadership, and representatives in the Governor’s office who intervened to keep the only hospital in Bedford-Stuyvesant open.
But we’re not done yet. Decades of financial mismanagement drove IMC deep into bankruptcy and debt. That’s why we're working with state and federal officials to find real financial solutions for Interfaith and all of Brooklyn’s hospitals. And that’s why we’re building a powerful grassroots movement for a moratorium on all Brooklyn hospital closures.
Continuum, the corporation that runs St. Luke’s-Roosevelt, used Hurricane Sandy as an excuse to shut down their pediatrics and detox units. And the Harlem community is speaking out.
Community Board 9 unanimously endorsed a resolution opposing the cuts, and calling for a voice for patients and the community in the merger between Continuum and Mt. Sinai.
“Patients, community leaders, and caregivers deserve a voice and a say in this merger to preserve access to care for the Harlem community,” Gwen Lancaster, NYSNA Board member and St. Luke’s RN, told DNAinfo. Read the news story HERE.
The NY Nurses for Staffing, Security, and Strength (S-3) slate has won all offices in the election for NYSNA officers.
Here is a statement from President-elect Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN:
“We all face extraordinary challenges daily as we care for patients. Our union is becoming THE powerful voice of NY nurses, recognized by government and hospital CEOs.”
“But NYSNA is a work in progress; it needs the active input of members to improve our working situations. When nurses support a picket, lobby legislators, sign a petition, confront a bullying manager, or VOTE — he or she is building NYSNA.”
“It’s only through collective action that we can win legislated staffing ratios and make NYSNA meet our needs and protect our communities.”
Candidates will be seated at the end of the NYSNA Convention, October 16-18 in New York City. CLICK HERE to see the vote tallies.
Jill Furillo, RN
NYSNA Executive Director
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for hundreds of thousands of frontline nurses. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses.