In Brief: November 2015

NYSNA keeps up fight for $15

NYSNA is helping keep the momentum going toward a $15 wage floor. At a November 10 rally that was part of a national day of action, Anne Bové, RN and NYSNA President of the HHC/Mayorals Executive Council, spoke out about how all workers, including the lowest paid workers in healthcare, deserve $15/hour and a union, stating: “Throughout our history, NYSNA has fought for social and economic justice. Low wages and poverty have created an overwhelming and growing public health crisis in our communities and the time has come for corporate CEOs to raise pay and respect the right to form unions without retaliation.”

In a related action, NYSNA members gathered outside the NYC home of Alice Walton, whose family founded Walmart, to support the megastores’ workers on a hunger strike for higher wages and the right to unionize.

Medicare — for ALL Americans

Labor and healthcare activists from across the country converged in Chicago for the National Single Payer Strategy Conference from October 30 through November 1. NYSNA members and leaders representing our largest public sector and private sector hospitals, from upstate and downstate, all participated and shared the news of our successful passage of the NY Health Act in the NY State Assembly earlier this year. NYSNA President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN, helped lead a panel on the work we’re doing internally to help build the single payer movement within our state, and First Vice-President Marva Wade, RN, spoke at a plenary about statewide campaigns.

Highlights included a strategy sharing meeting with more than 60 nurses from across the U.S., a march and rally in front of Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s Chicago headquarters, and a sneak preview of a powerful new documentary called “Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point.” The film takes an in-depth look into how our dysfunctional healthcare system is damaging the economy, making healthcare unaffordable for many and negatively impacting on the nation’s health. We’re working to make the film available for Inter-regionals and conferences.

Postal workers need our support

More and more unions, community groups and other organizations are lining up with the Postal Workers and backing the union’s boycott of Staples. The AFL-CIO endorsed the Postal Worker’s boycott of the office-supply giant in response to the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to privatize retail operations by contracting mail services to Staples, using “postal counters” staffed with low-wage, high-turnover Staples employees rather than postal employees.

Victory for TCC Nurses

Nurses from Terence Cardinal Cooke in Manhattan brought closure to their contract victory with the November 16 reinstatement of Maria Teves-Iman following an arbitrator’s ruling in favor of NYSNA’s claim that she had been terminated without cause. As part of the contract settlement, members had insisted on the reinstatement of two RNs: Ms. Teves-Iman along with Rosamond Cuello, who also had been terminated without just cause. Ms. Cuello was reinstated on September 21.

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