Our mission is to care for all. That's sums up NYSNA's new direction. And it's the subject of one of the motions we passed unanimously at our union's annual membership meeting, the Voting Body.
NYSNA members held our annual meeting on the second day of our convention. More than 600 members set the course for our union — voting overwhelmingly for motions to expand our campaigns to resist outsourcing, win strong contracts, and guarantee healthcare for all.
We also passed resolutions to make our work possible, including a resolution to hold a Steward's Conference in 2015.
NYSNA President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN, ran the meeting and delivered a powerful address laying out how corporatization is putting patient care at risk. We also heard from Executive Director Jill Furillo, RN, Council on Nursing Practice chair Colleen Murphy, RN, Congress President Jacqueline Gilbert, RN, NYSNA Treasurer Pat Kane, RN, and NYSNA Secretary Anne Bové, RN. Bové introduced a series of resolutions passed by the HHC and Mayorals Executive Council – and received many congratulations from the floor on her work to win a strong HHC contract.
We passed the following resolutions, almost all by nearly unanimous votes:
- A resolution recommended from the Council on Nursing Practice, to defend and advance our practice. The resolution calls on NYSNA delegate, leaders, and representatives to organize campaigns at the unit and facility level against the erosion of our practice. NYSNA's Council on Nursing Practice, Practice Focus Groups, and Nursing Education and Practice Department will serve as a clearinghouse for information and strategies to organize collectively to defend our practice.
- A resolution to oppose privatization at Westchester Medical Center. NYSNA will continue and expand our coordinated campaign to stop outsourcing practices that are hurting patient care at WMC.
- A resolution endorsing NYSNA's private sector bargaining platform.
- A resolution to work with lawmakers to amend state workplace anti-violence legislation to include a comprehensive set of measures to prevent violence against nurses and healthcare workers.
- A resolution about the mission of NYSNA and public sector hospitals, endorsing the model of child and elder care funds in the new HHC contract, a call for a coordinated campaign to roll back outsourcing in all healthcare institutions, and a call to implement an unprecedented coordinated campaign to make equal access to care and healthcare for all a reality in New York and the U.S.
- A resolution on student nurses, highlighting successful programs to educate new nurses, and calling on us to expand our work to mobilize student nurses to fight for safe staffing, climate justice, and healthcare for all.
- A resolution to deepen our work around climate justice, including continuing our educational workshops and working to expand the coalition of unions in this campaign.
- A resolution on training new leaders, including a one-day steward's conference in 2015.
The Voting Body was just one part of our very successful Biennial meeting – one of the largest in our union's history. More than a thousand members attended two days of educational workshops and meetings. We were joined by many allies, including NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, State Senators Bill Perkins and Ruth Hassell-Thompson. And just before our meeting, busloads of nurses rallied in front of the Greater New York Hospital Association -- calling them out for blocking Safe Staffing.
We are transforming NYSNA into a powerful voice to make healthcare for all and safe staffing a reality. Join our movement.