This week, we’ve been clear President Trump must unleash the Defense Production Act to get frontline nurses the PPE we desperately need.
Our message is starting to break through.
Yesterday, President Trump issued an executive order to commandeer 3M’s stockpile of N95 respirators, and New Jersey Governor Murphy ordered state troopers to commandeer medical supplies and equipment stockpiled in businesses around the state.
This morning, Governor Cuomo said he was going to do something similar, but limited his Executive Order to redistribution between hospitals. The Governor needs to collect stockpiles from all private businesses.
We need the Governor to collect or commandeer every available piece of PPE across the state, including from private businesses in industries like construction, ship-building, and manufacturing.
And we need more local officials standing up for workers on the frontlines, like a group of city council members in New York City who are pushing legislation to protect healthcare workers who speak out about conditions in our hospitals.
As this pandemic progresses, it will be even more important that NYSNA members speak up, and let the world know what we need to keep our patients, and ourselves, safe.
If you haven’t already, text COVID to 877-877 to sign up for NYSNA COVID text alerts.
UNLEASHING THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT
We need to keep up the pressure!
I encourage every NYSNA member to tell President Trump to listen to frontline healthcare workers, not corporate lobbyists or the Chamber of Commerce.
Educate yourself and your co-workers about the Defense Production Act by downloading the campaign flyer and Frequently Asked Questions. We need every member to know what it’s going to take to protect us. We also encourage you help push NYSNA’s message through social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
And we need to make sure Congress doesn’t ignore the other essential protections we need, including a strong safety standard from OSHA, unlimited sick time, and disability protections.
REMEMBERING FALLEN NURSES
Tragically, several NYSNA members have fallen victim to COVID-19. Losing colleagues to this virus is devastating for everyone on the frontlines, and our hearts go out to their families.
We’ve established a Memorial page on the NYSNA website, honoring these fallen nurses. If you have pictures or remembrances of colleagues you’d like to share, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOIN US FOR AN UPCOMING NYSNA VIRTUAL TOWN HALL
NYSNA members across the state are holding Virtual Town Halls to share strategies and support each another through this unprecedented time.
- Northern Dutchess Town Hall: Tues., April 7, 8:30 AM
- Westchester Medical Center Weekly Meeting: Tues., April 7, 7:00 PM
- NY Presbyterian: Tues., April 7, 8:00 PM
- Northern Dutchess Town Hall: Tues., April 7, 8:30 PM
- Westchester Medical Center Weekly Meeting: Wed., April 8, 7:30 AM
- Long Island Town Hall – Wed., April 8, 5:00 PM
- Mt. Sinai Town Hall: Wed., April 8, 8:30 PM
- Montefiore Town Hall: Wed., April 8, 8:30 PM
- Brooklyn Town Hall: Thurs., April 9, 8:00 PM
RESOURCES FOR MEMBERS
In the midst of this unprecedented and incredibly stressful public health crisis, we remind NYSNA members to utilize a benefit available to all members and their immediate families, the Union Assistance Program (UAP).
Members utilizing the UAP can speak directly with professional staff counselors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Counselors (who all have either a Master’s degree or PhD) assist with issues including Family, Stress, Mental Health, Job Related Difficulties, Loss and Grief, Life Changes, and of course now, the anxiety and uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Conversations are confidential, and UAP provides direct in-the-moment counseling, and act as case managers when referrals are made to local counselors or other work-life or wellness resources. Find out more today… visit UAP online today.
NYSNA is working with the Afya Foundation to manage donations of masks and PPE for frontline healthcare workers. Afya is the same organization NYSNA partnered with after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. They’re seeking certified medical volunteers to organize and ship masks and other PPE to the frontlines. Afya’s warehouse in Yonkers remains open during this crisis; register here to volunteer! They’re also accepting donations to purchase PPE through their website, if you have inquiries from friends or family members.
LEARN THE TOOLS FOR ONLINE UNIONISM
NYSNA has shifted its organizing online, hosting more than 20 Virtual Town Halls and other meetings in the last week. If you’re interested in learning how to use Zoom, the technology behind this, NYSNA is offering trainings.
Learn how to get started on this powerful, free communication tool. Check out the full schedule of Zoom Trainings for April 3 - April 12.
NYSNA IN THE NEWS
Nurses continue to be the center of the national conversation about COVID-19, and the most trusted profession in the country. Our voices carry substantial weight; NYSNA members have been featured in more than 100 news stories in the past week. Here are a few recent examples:
- The Buffalo News: “Healthcare Workers Fear ‘We’ll Run Out’ of COVID-19 Safety Equipment” - Nurses at Erie County Medical Center held a speak out this week with healthcare workers from the Communications Workers of America, demanding greater access to N-95 masks, and calling on President Trump to unleash the Defense Production Act, including powerful comments from NYSNA member Rachel Larkin.
- Newsday: “Terrified' Long Island Nurses Worry About Reusing Protective Gear” featuring St. Charles LBU president Tracy Kosciuk.
- The New York Post: “Mount Sinai nurses pushing for extra supplies on Coronavirus front line” - Mt. Sinai nurses speak out about critical PPE shortages, with video testimony from NYSNA member Sasha Winslow and quotes from NYSNA member Diana Torres.
- The Guardian: “NY Doctors and Nurses Protest at Lack of PPE” NYSNA President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN spoke outside Montefiore Medical Center: “We are demanding we get all the hoarded supplies of PPE that exist so we can protect ourselves, our families, our beloved patients. We can’t do it if we’re dead.”
Pat Kane, RN