NEW YORK NURSE: November/December 2011
The New York State Nurses Association received notice on Dec. 15, 2011, that the American Nurses Association (ANA) has temporarily suspended NYSNA’s constituent member status for one year, accusing NYSNA of engaging in “dual unionism.”
This charge is outrageous and legally baseless. Neither NYSNA, nor any of its bodies, has taken any action toward disaffiliating with the ANA, nor has it acted to affiliate with any other labor organization.
The charge erroneously alleges a “takeover” of NYSNA by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) and the National Nurses United. To clarify: NYSNA is being managed on a temporary basis by the executive director of the MNA, based on her experience in strengthening and revitalizing that labor organization. She has made it a condition of her employment agreement that she will not seek the permanent position. Never in the history of these organizations has either engaged in anything but support to one another regardless of their respective decisions on national affiliation.
If a conflict exists, it is regrettably, on the part of the ANA Board of Directors, which apparently is reacting to the seating of the duly elected NYSNA Board of Directors, rather than to actions that have not, nor will take place, under the ruse of “dual unionism.”
It is inappropriate that the ANA Board of Directors would attempt to manipulate NYSNA’s members by temporarily denying our status as an accredited approver of continuing nursing education through the ANCC, our access to the ANA House of Delegates, to the association’s various bodies, and to members-only materials and member benefits such as publications and the association’s website.
NYSNA’s new leadership recognizes the organization’s long and cooperative relationship with the ANA and has not sought to sever this connection. Several members of the new Board of Directors made this position clear during a public forum on the issue at NYSNA’s most recent Convention.
NYSNA will seek to redress this issue to the ANA leadership and clarify the impact of their decision. We will continue to pursue NYSNA’s members’ rights to participate in ANA councils and bodies. Additionally, NYSNA will continue to provide accredited continuing educational activities.
NYSNA proposes that if the ANA leadership truly wishes to act in the best interests of nursing, and assure value in its organizational relationships, it will rescind its ill-conceived decision.