Over 700 NYSNA delegates and members convened in Monticello, NY, at the annual NYSNA Convention on October 19-20, 2022. In two days of meeting and learning together, NYSNA nurses and healthcare professionals embodied the Convention theme, demonstrating that they are One Strong Union, One United Voice.
Day one of Convention was filled with educational workshops where members learned about strategies for patient advocacy and bargaining, the latest in health and safety and preventing workplace violence, NYSNA history, PTSD and self-healing in the nursing profession, and more.
NYSNA President Nancy Hagans, RN, CCRN, BSN, opened the Convention by saying: “I am so excited to spend the next two days with you, shaping the direction of our union. And I am incredibly excited for the work ahead. 2020 may have been the year of the nurse, but we are ready to make 2022 the year of the union nurses!”
Several guest speakers addressed NYSNA members, including Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado and Assemblymember Aileen Gunther, who recommitted their efforts to rebuild and retain the nursing nurse workforce and sent NYSNA solidarity as over 30,000 members enter contract negotiations this fall. Gunther presented an official New York State Assembly citation to NYSNA for our tireless work advocating for our patients and for safe staffing. NYSNA members also heard from National Nurses United (NNU) Vice President Cathy Kennedy, RN, and New York State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Rev. Terrence Melvin.
Our Solidarity Is Strong
Day two of Convention was filled with more workshops for members and voting body for delegates, the space where elected nurses from every region of the state make decisions on the direction of the union. Delegates discussed and voted on affiliation with NNU, an amendment to the NYSNA bylaws, and nine different resolutions, ranging from a legislative and policy platform to guide NYSNA, support for bargaining campaigns, public health systems, and social and healthcare equity.
There was an unprecedented amount of consensus on the resolutions presented, and they were all discussed and quickly approved by near-unanimous votes. The bylaw amendment was also approved, which will codify the right of per diem and part-time NYSNA nurses to pay a reduced dues rate. The bylaws change will also allow reduced dues rates if NYSNA negotiates joint union representation of members with another union when hospitals merge. Full text of the amendment and resolutions are available on the NYSNA website.
Growing Union Power
The resolution to affiliate with NNU was the first order of business and generated the most comments from members, with seven members speaking in favor of affiliation. The resolution passed with an overwhelming majority of delegates-95%-voting in favor. Now the 42,000 members of NYSNA will grow the National Nurses United to 225,000 members strong! In numbers there is power, and we are truly building a national movement for nurses, our patients, and quality care for all!