The City of Buffalo’s Common Council passed a resolution on November 24, calling on state lawmakers to pass the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act. NYSNA members congregated at Buffalo’s City Hall to bear witness to the vote. Councilman David Rivera, the resolution’s sponsor, said, “This is about healthcare needs of people that are going into hospitals. It’s about taking care of nurses.” Kevin Donovan, RN, Erie County Medical Center, and a member of the NYSNA Board of Directors, added, “This is the first step in a long journey to pass a safe staffing bill in NY that I believe will not only raise the patient-hospital experience to where it should be, but will raise the quality of our healthcare and health outcomes to where it needs to be.”
The Council followed the lead of its Legislation Committee, which had unanimously endorsed the resolution on November 17, following hearings in which nurses and family members of patients who had experienced first hand the effects of unsafe staffing testified and implored the Council to push for passage of the staffing act. The hearings had attracted wide local news coverage, adding urgency and momentum to the issue.