On October 17, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio opened the 2016 NYSNA Biennial with a rousing tribute to the tremendous political power of our members. “When nurses speak, people listen,” the Mayor said to the house. “When nurses act, change happens.”
One thousand NYSNA nurses from around the state gathered in midtown Manhattan for the two-day event to help shape the future of our union and our State. “You’re not the biggest union, but you make one of the biggest impacts because you’re not afraid of a righteous fight,” the Mayor said.
For RNs unable to attend the Biennial, or for those who would like to revisit some of the presentations, please see links below for video clips of speakers.
Nurses have power
The presence of elected officials, including Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, as well as NYS AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento, all speakers at the Biennial, added heft to the Mayor’s statement about the nurses’ political clout.
“When I think about NYSNA, I think... purposefulness, social conscious, uncompromising,” said de Blasio. And over the next two days NYSNA nurses participated in packed sessions on important topics such as LEAN management, one-on-one organizing, campaign escalation, Single Payer, safe staffing, community organizing and the history of RN advocacy.
Standing up for quality care
By the second day, energized members were on their feet for a standing ovation when NYSNA First Vice President Marva Wade, RN, conferred the “Distinguished Healthcare Champion” award to Assembly Speaker Heastie for his leadership in bringing the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act to a successful floor vote at the Assembly. In accepting the award, the Speaker affirmed that NYSNA’s collective voice travelled beyond patient bedsides — to the halls of power. “We heard your concerns,” said the Speaker. “We want to ensure that you are able to give the best care you possibly can to your patients.”