NEW YORK NURSE: May 2008
by Mark Genovese
The Delegate Assembly celebrated its 20th anniversary during its April 15-16 meeting at NYSNA headquarters in Latham.
Current Delegate Assembly President Barbara Crane joined founding DA members Audrey Ludmer of Mount Sinai Hospital, Verlia Brown of Kings County Hospital Center, Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez of Montefiore Medical Center, and Marva Wade of Mount Sinai Hospital in cutting a cake to mark the occasion. Wade was the assembly’s first chairperson. First convening in May 1988, the Delegate Assembly has advised the association about current and emerging labor issues and worked to increase the power of nurses to improve their workplace conditions.
Mary Howley and Maureen Sheehy of Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island, discussed issues that are occurring in their facility during the meeting’s “Zoning In” session. The assembly also heard from Diane Groneman, a certified respiratory therapist and co-chair of the bargaining unit at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, about the need for greater representation for the 300 other healthcare professionals that NYSNA represents for collective bargaining.
This was the first meeting for the assembly’s new vice president, Rod Roca from Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg, and for secretary José Planillo from New York Presbyterian Hospital. The two were elected to two-year terms at the Assembly’s last meeting in January. Taking part in their first meeting as new members of the Delegate Assembly were Beverly Brown, Zone 9 delegate from St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, and Felice M. Rosen, Zone 9 delegate from Mount Sinai Hospital.
John M. Hiltunen, a member of the NYSNA Executive Committee at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in Manhattan, gave a continuing education session on pension benefits. The presentation informed members about federal pension laws, members’ rights, and how to address pension issues in negotiations. Although education sessions have been given in the past by NYSNA staff and outside professional educators, Hiltunen’s talk marks the first of what is hoped will be many presentations given by members.