NEW YORK NURSE: October/November 2008
A crew of NYSNA staff visited two New York City facilities in October to provide information, discuss issues, and just chat about whatever was concerning the registered nurses.
“NYSNA Days” were held on Oct. 14 at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and on Oct. 15 at Brooklyn Hospital Center.
“These events do two things,” said Pat Mitchell, co-chair of the NYSNA local bargaining unit at the Brooklyn facility. “It exposes the nurses to NYSNA and the benefits we offer them, and it gives NYSNA leadership a chance to meet members at the grassroots level and learn what they are thinking.”
LBU delegate Lisa Williams added, “It allows the nurses to come down and put a face to the name. There’s a lot of information and they can ask questions.”
NYSNA staff attending both days included Chief Executive Officer Tina Gerardi, Economic & General Welfare (EGW) Program Director Lorraine Seidel, EGW Program Senior Associate Directors Nancy Kaleda and Barbara Conklin, and EGW Associate Director Carol Lynn Esposito.
Also in attendance were Eileen Avery, associate director of the Education, Practice & Research Program; Christine Moore, senior associate director of the Governmental Affairs Department; and Maureen Farrell, regional coordinator for the Statewide Peer Assistance for Nurses (SPAN) Program.
At Montefiore, nurses asked many questions about their upcoming contract negotiations and the possibility of a retiree health plan. At Brooklyn, nurses partook of a feast from the Brooklyn institution Juniors Restaurant and discussed the upcoming presidential election. At both facilities, canvas tote bags along with two gift certificates from Crate and Barrel and Williams-Sonoma were raffled off each hour.
The nurses collected a wealth of information about environmental health, violence prevention, legislative priorities, library services, and educational opportunities. SPAN brochures offering confidential help for nurses with substance abuse issues were also distributed.
Another NYSNA Day is scheduled for Nov. 20 at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in Queens.